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4. During the time of his execution they were, by order of Louis, both clothed in white robes, and led beneath the scaffold on which their parent was to suffer, in order that his blood might flow upon their innocent heads; and when all was over, they were conducted by the guards of the king to the Bastile, (the common prison of Paris,) and there strictly confined, by the instructions of the barbarous monarch.
5. During their residence in this miserable abode, it is scarcely possible to conceive sufferings more exquisite than those which were inflicted on these helpless children. Indeed, were the facts not well attested by history, it would be difficult to credit the accounts which have reached us of their inhuman treatment. By the directions of the king, two iron cages were suspended from the roof of their apartment; they were low, and of a conicle shape, something like a tunnel, and so constructed that the little prisoners could neither lie down, stand upright, nor sit within them.
6. In these they were accordingly enclosed, and, as may be conceived, from morning till night their pain was most acute ; they could not possibly remain long in one position ; and when they changed it for another, that became in a few minutes equally painful : by day they had no relief, and by night neither rest nor sleep; and their time was almost all spent in weeping for their father, and bewailing the sorrows of their afflicted mother, from whom they feared they were now separated for ever. Their only solace arose from being confined in the same room, and their cages being hung so closely together that they could converse with and even touch each other. Henry, the eldest, was a fine, manly little fellow, and all his efforts were directed to console his poor little brother, who was much weaker and more delicate than him. self.
7. Their only source of amusement, if, in such a situation, anything could be called amusement, was the gambols of a little mouse, who used to descend from the ceiling into the cages, and eat the crumbs which were left from their scanty repasts. He came, day after day, till he at last grew so familiar as to become quite a companion, and play for hours with the
poor little boys without being in the least afraid of them. As evening came on, it used to end its welcome visit, and retire to its nest in the ceiling.
8. In this manner the two brothers spent some months, without, however, being permitted to see, or even hear from their mother, and scarcely knowing whether she were still living. And at length, such is the force of custom, they were beginning to grow inured to their lot, and to suffer less pain from their confinement, when the cruel king, understanding such to be the fact, gave orders that a tooth should be drawn from each of the unfortunate children every eighth day.
9. No sooner was the command issued, than the surgeon of the prison arrived to put into execution this new barbarity; and having stated his orders, he was about to commence with Francis, when Henry, regardless of his own sufferings, threw himself upon his knees, and with tears implored him not to add to their distress by fulfilling this cruel mandate. My mother,” said he, "will die with sorrow, should she know that you
have inflicted any injury on my poor little brother." 10. The person appointed to perform the barbarous office, represented to the affectionate child, "that in complying with his entreaties he should run the risk of losing his own life; and beside,” said he, “ I am so narrowly watched, that I must of necessity produce the two teeth to the king."
“Oh! then," replied Henry, “let me implore you to take them both from me, and to spare those of my brother; for I am very strong and can endure the pain, but poor Frank is so weak and so young, that I know it will kill him.”
11. Struck with such a display of brotherly affeetion, the surgeon, who was not in reality a cruel man, could not refrain from tears. His first idea was to renounce altogether a commission so revolting to his feelings; but this notion he quickly abandoned, on considering that a successor would be found who might not be induced to spare the younger child, who was in reality too delicate and weak to undergo the operation. He therefore acceded to the wishes of Henry; and arming himself with courage, absolutely extracted the two teeth, and bore them to the king.
12. Henry uttered a faint scream when the teeth were about to be extracted, but in a moment after, he declared that he was content to suffer for his brother; whilst the poor
little Francis, on his part, could only weep, and lament the agony which the affectionate boy was undergoing for his sake. For many weeks the torture was repeated at stated periods, and the
young Duke of Nemours (for that was the title to which
Henry was the heir) absolutely paid to his last tooth, the penalty demanded of him and his innocent companion.
13. In the mean time, this excellent and courageous child could not long resist the evils which were pressing upon him. The want of air, of exercise, and those attentions requisite at so tender an age—the heart-rending recollections of the fate of his father-his sorrowful separation from his mother, and the continual pain which he endured ; all conspired to produce decline; a slow fever ensued; it gained upon, and consumed him by degrees; and the innocent victim of so much barbarity, descended in a few months to the grave.
14. On the evening of the last day he lived, he said to his brother, “ My dear, dear Frank, I arn about to leave you
forOh, that I could but see my dear mother before I die ; but alas ! I shall never behold her again. But my heart tells me that you will, ere long, be restored to her; and oh! when you do see her, tell her, that when dying, I loved her far more dearly than when we were all so happy together.” A sudden spasm seized him, from which he only sufficiently recovered to utter these words : “ Give me your hand, my dear Frank, and let me feel mine clasped once more in yours.” These were the last words of this model of fraternal affection, and in a few minutes more he closed his eyes forever.
·15. The presentiment which he had formed, and to which he gave utterance in his last moments, proved correct. Little Francis survived under all the agonies of his situation ; and Louis XI. having died some time afterwards, this last scion of the Dukes of Nemours was set at liberty by Charles VIII., his successor. During the remainder of his lise, however, he continued bent and deformed, in consequence of his privations and sufferings in the Iron Cage.
16. At the period of the revolution in France, in 1789, when the populace of Paris assaulted and destroyed the Bastile, in one of the apartments were discovered the two cages in which Henry and Francis had been so long confined: they were constructed with the utmost ingenuity, and admirably adapted to fulfill the cruel purposes for which they were intended.; but the mob having torn them down, dashed them into a thousand pieces, with just and generous indignation.
No. 1. Why was Louis disliked by his subjects? What caused the death of the Duke of Guyenne ? What can you say of James of Armagnac? How many children did the nobleman leave ? What did the king order to be done to them? What can you say of the residences of the Bastile ? What were made ? What can you say of Henry? What was their amusement? What other punishment was put upon them? What did Henry do? What did the officer reply? What were his thoughts when he saw the conduct of Henry? How many teeth did Henry lose? Why did he not live long? What were bis last words? What did the populace do in 1701 ?
Punctuate the first verse.
FRANCESCO AND HIS SISTERS;
OR, THE LITTLE FOWLER OF TEMPIO.
A TRUE STORY.
1. FRANCESCO MIcheli was the only son of a carpenter, in
easy circumstances, who resided at Tempio, a town situated in the north of the island of Sardinia : he had two sisters younger than himself, and had only attained his tenth year, when a fire, which broke out in the house of his father, reduced it to ashes, and consumed the unfortunate carpenter in the ruins. This accident was occasioned by the carelessness of the youngest sister of Francesco, who had been playing with some pieces of lighted paper, and by chance suffered the flame to fall upon a heap of shavings which had been swept up in one corner of her father's workshop.
2. The blaze spread rapidly over every quarter of the little dwelling; in vain, Micheli exerted himself to arrest its progress. The dry state of the wood of which the cottage was built
, rendered it an easy prey to the flames; and whilst the unfortunate man was trying to secure a small box, containing the little savings of many years, the sudden fall of the roof buried him in the ruins, and ere any assistance could be rendered, life was quite extinct; whilst his wife, having secured the safety of her children, contrived to escape through the flames, but was so much scorched and injured, as to be rendered incapable of any exertion during the remainder of her life.
3. Totally ruined by this frightful event, the whole family were left destitute on the world, and were forced to implore the charity of strangers, in order to supply the urgent necessities of each succeeding day. Every morning little Francesco was despatched to seek relief from the numerous friends of his father; but alas! it is but a weak resource, and an uncertain support, which is founded on the commiseration of others.
4. In many instances, he returned unrelieved and disappointed, and the unhappy widow was unable to give bread to her starving children, from the alms bestowed upon their little brother. Francesco had a certain innate pride, which shrunk from asking a favor of another. The least inquiry into his circumstances, the shadow of hesitation, the slightest repulse, or an air of coldness and reserve, disconcerted him at once; and at such times, he could but return to weep and to lament with his unhappy mother.
5. At length tired of his vain attempts to support his indigent parent by the extorted kindnesses of others, and grieved at seeing her and his sisters pining in destitution before his eyes, necessity and tenderness conspired to urge him to exertion and ingenuity.
6. He made with laths, and with some little difficulty, a cage, or aviary, of considerable dimensions, and furnished it with every requisite for the reception of birds ; and when spring returned, he proceeded to the woods in the vicinity of Tempio, and set himself industriously to secure their nests of young. As he was skillful at the task and of great activity, he was not long before he became tolerably successful ; he climbed from tree to tree, and seldom returned without his cage being well stored with chaffinches, linnets, black-birds, wrens, ringdoves, jays, and pigeons.
7. Even in the most trifling business, one has always need of a companion, and in this, Francesco found his two sisters invaluable assistants ; whilst he was abroad in the wood, they sought in the marshes for reeds and bulrushes, of which to make little cages ; they fed the young birds which he brought home on his return, and they trained with great care such as they found capable of receiving instruction. Every week, Francesco and his sisters carried their little favorites to the market of Sassari, and generally disposed of those which were the most attractive and beautiful,