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the cleanliness of Holland. Possessing in a remarkable degree the turn for mechanical pursuits, of which trophies are preserved in every part of his dominions, he yet, with a largeness of mind very rarely found in company with such pursuits (contrast the unfortunate Louis XVI.5), used them all for reconstructing the fabric of his empire. “He is mechanically turned,” was Bishop Burnet's observation of him, "and seems to be designed by nature rather for a ship carpenter than a great prince." But the Bishop was mistaken; and the remarkable point of Peter's career is that he was both.
One instance may suffice to remind us of the difficulties which he had to overcome alike in himself and in his empire. Inheriting-apparently it was all that he did inherit from his family—the unhappy tendency to cataleptic fits, he was specially subject to them from his earliest years whenever he came in sight of water, in consequence of a fright which he had had when, at the age of five, he was suddenly wakened from sleep by the sound of a cascade in the river Yaousa. In spite of this, in spite of all other obstacles presented by the inland character of his enormous empire, he determined to render himself a sailor, and his country a maritime power. He overcame his own infirmity by incessant efforts, first on the little stream of the Mosqua, then on the wide lake of Pereslav, then by serving as a ship-boy on board a Dutch vessel ; till finally the water which had been his early terror became his natural element. The new capital on the Neva was to be built without bridges, that he and his people might be always on its waters, passing and repassing: The boat which he first built remains still, “The Little Grandsire," to which once a year the Russian navy does homage. “My ships," he said, “shall make ports for themselves.” His own life is filled with anecdotes of hairbreadth escapes by water. In the storm in the Gulf of Finland, he reassured the terrified sailors : “Never fear! Who ever heard of a Czar being lost at sea ?" On another occasion le rebuked the ambassador who asked what account could be rendered to his master if he were shipwrecked: “Make yourself easy; if we go down we shall all go down together, and there will be no one to answer for your Excellency." His last illness was fatally aggravated by the generous rashness vith which, on a raw winter day, he dashed into She water to save a distressed crew.
A. P. Stanley.
A NATURALIST AT SCHOOL.*
EDWARD 1 had been accustomed to bring many of his “beasts” with him to school. The scholars were delighted with his butterflies; but few of them cared to be bitten or stung by his other animals, And to have horse-leeches crawling about them was unendurable. Thus Edward became a source of dread and annoyance to the whole school. He was declared to be a "perfect mischief.” When Bell Hill was informed of the beasts he brought with him, she used to say to the boy, "Now, do not bring any more of these nasty and dangerous things here again.” Perhaps he promised, but he generally forgot."
* From The Life of a Scotch Naturalist.
At last he brought with him an animal of a much larger sort than usual. It was a Kae, or jackdaw. He used to keep it at home, but it made such a noise that he was sent out with it one morning, with strict injunctions not to bring it back again. He must let it go or give it to somebody else.' But he was fond of his kae, and his kae was fond of him. It would follow him about like a dog. He would not part with the kae. So he took it to school with him. But how could he hide it? Little boys' trousers were in those days buttoned over their vests; and as Edward's trousers were pretty wide, he thought he could get the kae in there. He got it safely into his breeks before he entered the school.
So far so good. But when the schoolmistress gave the word “ Pray,” all the little boys and girls knelt down, turning their backs to Bell. At this movement the kae became fractious. He could not accommodate himself to the altered position. But seeing a little light overhead, he made for it. He projected his beak through the opening between the trousers and the vest.
He pushed his way
upwards; Tom squeezed him downwards to where he was before. But this only made the kae furious. He struggled, forced his way upwards, got his bill through the opening, and then his head. The kae immediately began to cre-waw! cre-waw!
“The Lord preserv's a'! Fat's this noo?” cried Bell, starting to her feet.
"It's Tam Edward again!" shouted the scholars, “ wi' a craw stickin' oot o' his breeks !"
Bell went up to him, pulled him up by his collar, dragged him to the door, thrust him out, and locked the door after him. Edward never saw Bell Hill again.
THE OLD OAK-TREE AT HATFIELD
Whattell you that tale! Come, a tale with a sting
A MIGHTY growth! the country side
For England loves her trees :
His acorns to the breeze!
Who struck a thousand roots in fame,
Will not be soon forgotten :
His very props are rotten!
Elate, the thunderbolt he braved,
A welcome to the blast;
What time has fellid at last.
The Monarch wore a leafy crown, —
Found shelter in his gloom;
From stem to topmost bloom.
It's hard to say, 'twere vain to seek,
Petitioner for dew;
And valiantly he grew,
And show'd some inches from the ground
Us very proper Vandals :
And measured time by candles.