Tales for Young and Old eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 230 pages of information about Tales for Young and Old.
on promising not to repeat it, the complaint was dismissed.  It would appear that his experiments were not altogether useless; for at a trial of newly-invented shells before the Board of Ordnance at Woolwich, the duke’s missiles were declared either second or third, we forget which, in point of efficiency.  Indeed he seems to have occupied himself almost exclusively with scientific pursuits whilst in England.  At Chelsea, whither he removed, the duke constructed a set of work-shops and laboratories, in which he, with his assistants and pupils, diligently wrought.  In what his scientific labours and experiments would have resulted, it is impossible to say, for they were interrupted by a third attempt on his life.  While alone in one of his work-shops, late at night, a bullet was fired at him from a hidden and still undiscovered enemy.  The shot missed him; but, afraid to remain in this country any longer, he retired to Delft, in Holland, where it seems he died a natural death on the 10th of August 1845.

Whatever opinions may be formed of the truth of this individual’s story of his birth, it is certain that a great many persons in France, whose opinions are entitled to respect, believed him to have been Louis XVII.  Amongst the notices in the French papers to which his decease gave rise, was a note written by M. Herbert, once director of the military posts in Italy.  It appears that when in that office, the man Neuendorf was, in 1810, arrested at Rome, and interrogated by M. Radet, chief of police in that city:  the latter, pronounced him to be in reality the son of Louis XVI.  Than M. Radet, there could not be a better judge of the matter, for he happened to be one of the five persons who arrested Louis and his family when they tried to quit France, and were intercepted at Varennes.  Our own impression is, notwithstanding this and all other circumstances to the contrary, that the man was an impostor, and such we believe will also be the impression generally among our readers.


It was shortly after the outbreak of the French Revolution that the humble heroine of this story made her appearance in my native village.  Dutch Anna (for so she was called by the country people) was, as the name implies, a native of Holland; and at that time she might be about twenty-five years of age.  She was of the middle size, stoutly and firmly built, with a round, good-humoured face, dark hair, clear, honest-looking hazel eyes, and a mouth which, though wide, was expressive of decision and firmness.  Her dress, which never varied in style, consisted of a coloured petticoat of a thick woollen material, a short bed-gown of striped cotton, confined round the waist by the strings of a snow-white apron, a close-fitting, modest cap, underneath the plaited border of which appeared her glossy hair, neatly braided over her low, broad forehead; add to this a pair of well-knit stockings, which the shortness

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Tales for Young and Old from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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