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the envy of my boyhood. He crossed my path in the sweetest weather, and the sweetest season of the year, when all Nature called to the fields, and the rural feeling throbbed in every bosom; but when I, luckless urchin, was doomed to be mewed up, during the livelong day, in a school-room, it seemed as if the little varlet mocked at me, as he flew by in full song, and sought to taunt me with his happier lot. Oh, how I envied him! No lessons, no tasks, no school; nothing but holiday, frolic, green fields, and fine weather.
Farther observation and experience has given me a different idea of this little feathered voluptuary, which I will venture to impart, for the benefit of my school-boy readers, who may regard him with the same unqualified envy and admiration which I once indulged.
I have shown him only as I saw him at first, in what I may call the poetical part of his career, when he in a manner devoted bimself to elegant pursuits and enjoyments, and was a bird of music, and song, and taste, and sensibility, and refinement. While this lasted, he was sacred from injury; the very school-boy would not fling a stone at him, and the merest rustic would pause to listen to his strain.
But mark the difference. As the year advances, as the clover blossoms disappear, and the spring fades into summer, his notes cease to vibrate on the air. He gradually gives up his elegant tastes and habits, doffs his poetical and professional suit of black, assumes a russet, or rather a dusky garb, and enters into the gross enjoyments of common, vulgar birds.
He becomes a bon vivant, a mere gormand; thinking of nothing but good cheer, and gormandising on the seeds of the long grasses, on which he lately swung and chanted so musically. He begins to think there is nothing like "the joys of the table,” if I may be allowed to apply that convivial phrase to his indul. gences. He now grows discontented with plain, every-day fare, and sets out on a gastronomical tour, in search of foreign luxuries.
He is to be found in myriads among the reeds oft ne Delaware, banqueting on their seeds ; grows corpulent with good feeding, and soon acquires the unlucky renown of the Ortolan. Wherever
he goes, pop! pop! pop! the rusty firelocks of the country are cracking on every side; he sees his companions falling by thousands around him; he is the reed-bird, the much-sought-for tit-bit of the Pennsylvanian epicure.
Does he take warning and reform ? Not he! He wings his flight still farther south in search of other luxuries. We hear of him gorging himself in the rice swamps; filling himself with rice almost to bursting; he can hardly fly for corpulency. At the last stage of his career, we hear of him spitted by the dozen, and served up on the table of the gormand, the most vaunted of · southern dainties, the rice-bird of the Carolinas.
Such is the story of the once musical and admired, but finally sensual and persecuted bobolink. It contains a moral, worthy the attention of all little birds, and little boys, warning them to keep to those refined and intellectual pursuits which raised him to such a pitch of popularity, during the early part of his career; but to eschew all tendency to that gross and dissipated indulgence which brought this mistaken little bird to an untimely end.
CHARLES THE TWELFTH. COURAGE and determination formed the basis of this monarch's character. In his tenderest years he gave instances of both. When he was get scarcely seven years old-being at dinner with the queen, his mother-intending to give a bit of bread to a great dog he was fond of, the hungry animal snapped greedily at the morsel, and bit his hand in a terrible manner. The wound bled freely, but our young hero, without offering to cry, or taking the least notice of his pain, tried to hide what had happened, lest his dog should be brought into trouble; and he wrapped his bloody kand in the napkin.
The queen seeing that he did not eat, asked him the reason. He replied, that he thanked her; he was not hungry. They thought he had taken ill, and so repeated their solicitations. But all was in vain, though the poor child had already grown pale from the loss of blood. An officer who attended at table at last perceived it; for Charles would sooner have died than betrayed his dog, that he knew intended no injury.
This boy became king when he was but fifteen years old. The kings of Denmark, Poland, and Russia, who lived near him, thought Charles was so young that they should be able to take his kingdom from him. While they were preparing to attack him, Charles suddenly raised a small army of brave men, and marched into Denmark.
Here he was met by an army of Danes, and a fierce battle was fought between the Swedes and Danes; but the Swedes gained the victory, and Charles made the Danish king promise to undertake no more mischief against him. Charles now marched his army into Poland, drove the king of Poland from his throne, and placed another in his stead.
Charles was so animated by this success that he determined to march against the Russians. At a town called Pultowa the army of Charles met the army of the Russian czar, and here they fought a bloody battle. The army of Charles was beaten, and nearly all were killed.
Charles fled from the field with a few followers, but he was closely pursued by his enemies. After a long and weary journey he arrived in Turkey, and sought the protection of the Turkish ruler.
To save himself from his enemies, Charles now pretended to be sick, and lay ten months in bed. At length he determined to escape to his own country, if possible. He was surrounded with enemies, and, being in Turkey, he was many hundred miles from Sweden, as you may see by looking at a map.
But, taking two friends with him, he escaped from his enemies, and, after many dangers, he reached Sweden. When Charles invaded Norway with 20,000 men, he made his last throw for empire. During an engagement he was killed by a cannon shot.
The march begins in military state,
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. NAPOLEON BONAPARTE was one of the greatest warriors that the world ever saw. He was born about ninety years ago, on a little island in the Mediterranean sea, called Corsica. He was at first a lieutenant in the French army, and by degrees he became a general. At the age of twenty-six years, having fought many battles and obtained many victories, he conquered the whole of Italy. After this he went back to France; and the people having killed their king, they made him emperor. Thus Bonaparte, who was a few years before a poor soldier, was now a mighty emperor, and lived in a palace, surrounded by magnificence!
But he was not contented; he wanted more power, and accordingly he made war on other nations. For a long time he was successful. The most powerful kingdoms were subdued by his armies, and the proudest kings were humbled at his feet. The world looked on with wonder and fear; and Bonaparte, intoxicated with success, foolishly imagined that a turn of fortune could never come. But in this he was mistaken. In an attempt to overthrow Russia he failed, and his army was almost wholly lost.
In vain did he now attempt to recover his power. All the nations of Europe came with their armies against him. He made prodigious efforts, and struggled like a lion to restore himself, but without success.
After the famous battle of Waterloo, won, in the year 1815, by Wellington, he fled from France, and, now an exile, he sought protection on board an English ship. He was then sent by the English king to the lonely island of St. Helena, where he landed on the 16th of October, 1815. Here he was placed under the control of the governor of the place, and strictly watched. He was, however, allowed a space of twelve miles around his residence, called Longwood, through which he might range at pleasure, but beyond this he could not go without being accompanied by a British officer.
After living on this island a few years, Bonaparte died, in the year 1821, and was buried there. His remains were subsequently conveyed to Paris by order of Louis Philippe, and there they rest in a splendid mausoleum.