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placed on a high pole in the market-place, and ordered that every Swiss who passed it should bow to it. The poor Swiss people did not like this, but they were afraid to disobey the order, as imprisonment or death would be the consequence of their disobedience.
There was, however, one noble-minded man, who was afraid neither of prison nor death, and who refused to bow to Gesler's hat. His name was William Tell. He not only refused to bow : to the hat, but incited his fellow.countrymen to throw off the Austrian yoke.
He was soon seized, and brought into the presence of the tyrant. William Tell was a famous bowman, and had his bow and arrows upon his person when he was seized. Gesler told him that he had forfeited his life, and proposed that he should exhibit a specimen of his skill as an archer, promising that, if he could hit an apple at a certain distance, he should be free.
Tell was glad to hear this, and began to have a better opinion of the governor than he deserved; but the cruel tyrant called forward Tell's only son, a boy seven years of age, and placed the apple on his head, bidding his father to shoot it off.
When Tell saw this he nearly fainted, and his hand trembled so much that he could scarcely place the arrow in the string.
There was, however, no choice : he must attempt the feat or die; but that which unnerved his arm was the fear that his skill might fail him, and that he might kill his only son.
His child, seeing his father's distress, sought to console him. “I am sure you will not hit me, father,” said lie. “I have seen you strike a bird on the wing at a great distance, and I will stand quite still. O father! do you not remember the weathercock ?" Tell had, on one occasion, struck off, at four successive. shots, the letters N, S, E, and W, from the vane of the church. steeple. He did remember it, and the tears came into his eyes.
The ground was now measured, and the boy was placed against the tree. It is impossible to understand what the unfortunate Tell felt as he prepared to shoot. Twice he levelled his arrow, but dropped it again. His eyes were so blinded by his tears, that he could not see the apple.
The assembled spectators, of whom there were great numbers, seemed to hold their breath. At length, Tell summoned up all ar
his courage. He dashed the tears from his eyes, and bent his bow. Away went the arrow, and piercing the apple, cut it in two, and imbedded itself in a tree! · The spectators shouted and applauded. Tell was taken to Gesler, who was about to set him free, when he observed another arrow sticking under his girdle. “Ha!” said he, "another arrow! Why that concealed weapon ?" "It was destined for you," replied Tell, “if I had killed my son.” · Upon this daring threat, Tell was again seized by the tyrant's soldiers, and was hurried away to be put to death. But being a strong and resolute man, he made his escape, and fleeing away into the mountains, incited the people to throw off the tyrant's yoke. They accordingly took up arms, and made Tell their leader.
But he was again taken prisoner, and put into a boat with Gesler and his men, for the purpose of rowing over one of the lakes. A violent storm arose, and Gesler, knowing that Tell was a bold and expert sailor, ordered his men to release him from his chains, that he might guide the boat safely through the storm, and save their lives.
No sooner did Tell take the command, than he steered the boat towards the shore. As soon as it reached the rock, he leaped out, before any one else could land, and snatching a concealed arrow from his person, took aim at the tyrant, and shot him dead as he sat in the boat.
After this Tell roused the people, and they soon gained their freedom; and Switzerland is a free country to this day. Tell has never been forgotten, but the people always think of himn with gratitude, and consider him as the deliverer of his country.
AVARICE PUNISHED. A GREEDY merchant in Turkey having lost a purse containing 200 pieces of gold, had it cried by the public crier, offering half its contents to whomsoever had found and would restore it. A sailor who had picked it up, went to the crier and told him that he had found it, and that he was ready to restore it on the proposed conditions. The owner having thus learned where his purse was, thought he would try to get it back without losing anything. He therefore told the sailor that if he wished to get the reward, he must restore also a valuable emerald which was in the purse. The sailor declared that he had found nothing in the purse except the money, and refused to give it up without the reward.
The merchant went and complained to the cadi, who summoned the sailor to appear, and asked him why he kept the purse he had found.
“Because,” replied he, “the merchant has promised a reward of 100 pieces, which he now refuses to give, under pretence that there was a valuable emerald in it, and I solemnly declare that I found nothing in the purse but gold.”
The merchant was then desired to describe the emerald, and how it had come into his possession; which he did, but in so confused a manner that the cadi was convinced of his dishonesty. He accordingly gave the following judgment:-"You have lost a purse with 200 pieces of gold and a valuable emerald in it; the sailor has found one with only 200 pieces in it: therefore it cannot be yours. You must then have yours cried again, with a description of the precious stone.” “You," said the cadi to the sailor, "will keep the purse during forty days without touching its contents, and if, at the end of that time, no person shall have justified a claim to it, you may justly consider it yours.”
THE FIERY TORCH, OR ANCIENT TELEGRAPH. Long ago, in the Highlands of Scotland, there were chiess who had each a large extent of country under their authority. The people were arranged in clans, and were subject to these chiefs, and bound to come at their call, and to fight under them against any enemy. Each chief was a little king in his own country. There were often feuds amongst the clans. One chief with his clan would invade the boundaries of another, and carry off cattle and other things he could lay his hands upon. This caused a retaliation; and often the feud was handed down from generation to generation. Many a terrible battle there was; many a noblehearted clansman fell, and many a lovely glen was filled with wailing and woe.
It was sometimes necessary to call the clan together in great haste. Another clan would make a foray into the district, and they must be met, else they would lay all waste with fire and sword. On such an occasion, or on any other that required an immediate muster of the clan, the chief slew a goat, and making a cross of light wood, burnt the ends of it in the fire, and extin. guished them in the blood of the goat. This was called the fiery cross, or the cross of shame. It was given into the hand of a swift messenger, who ran with it, at full speed, to the next hamlet, where he gave it to the principal person, with a single word, telling where the clan was to assemble. The person who got it was bound to tell it to all in the locality, and to send it forward to the next village or cluster of houses; and thus it went on, the bearer telling as he went the place of rendezvous. In this way, the whole district of country could be roused in a very short time.
At sight of the fiery cross, every man, from sixteen years old to sixty, was obliged to hasten to the place appointed, fully armed. If any one failed to appear, and could not give a sufficient reason, shame rested on him, and he was doomed to the extremities of fire and sword, which were indicated by the blood and burnt marks upon the cross. Generally the answer to such a call was given at once, and most heartily; and the chief soon found him. self at the head of his whole clan, ready to go or do what he required of them.
AN EMPEROR TURNED PHYSICIAN. It is pretty well known that the Emperor Joseph the Second, of Austria, was a wise and a liberal man; but few people are aware that he once played the part of a physician, and that with distinguished success. This is all the more surprising, seeing that he had had no medical training. The following is a description of the case :
A poor widow, feeling very ill, said to her little boy, “Hans, my dear, go and fetch a doctor; I fear I am dying, and ought not to go longer without medical help.” Hans went to the first doctor, and then to the second, but neither would come; for you must know, that in Vienna the smallest fee of a medical man is a florin. The boy had nothing to offer but tears, which few persons—and the fewer the greater's the pity-are disposed to accept in lieu of “filthy lucre.” On his way to a third doctor his last chance-the boy noticed a gentleman driving slowly past him in an open carriage. The boy knew none but a man of wealth could afford so handsome an equipage, though it did not enter his head that the gentleman before him was the emperor. However, he took heart, and thought “I shall try.”
"Sir," said he, approaching the carriage, "pray do give me a fiorin.” The emperor thought, "A cool beggar this ! But he is of a practical turn; he has probably calculated that if he gets a florin at once, he will be saved the trouble of asking for twenty. four pence successively.” “What say you to sixpence or a shilling?” smilingly asked the emperor. “No! that would be of po use," said the little boy; and he told the emperor for what purpose he wanted the florin. Willingly did the emperor give him the florin, but not before Hans had told him his mother's name and address.
Whilst the little boy is continuing his search for the third doctor, and the sick widow at liome is praying to God not to forsake her, the emperor drives to the lodgings indicated. On entering the little room, which looked as clean as it was poor, he stepped to the bedside of the patient. The widow, taking him for the doctor, told him all about her complaint, and how she was unable to take proper care of herself. The emperor said, “I must write a prescription for you.” She told him where the boy's inkhorn and pens were. He wrote out the prescription, and desired her to be very particular about sending her boy as soon as he came back to the address he had put down, and left her.
He had not long been gone when the real doctor arrived. The woman was astonished on hearing who he was. She said there must be some mistake, for a doctor had been with her already, and she had only been waiting for her boy to send him with the prescription to the chemist's. The doctor, on hearing this, took up the slip of paper to see what medicine his supposed colleague had prescribed. Judge of his surprise when he found it to be a bank.cheque. He exclaimed, "My good woman, you could not have fallen in with a better medical