The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 45 pages of information about The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction.

He soon approached the Prussian dominions, where his examination was still more strict; and on answering that his only designs were to eat, and to drink, and to smoke—­“To eat! and to drink! and to smoke!” exclaimed the officer with astonishment.  “Sir, you must he forwarded to Postdam—­war is the only business of mankind.”  The acute and penetrating Frederick soon comprehended the character of our traveller, and gave him a passport under his own hand.  “It is an ignorant, an innocent Englishman,” says the veteran; “the English are unacquainted with military duties; when they want a general they borrow him of me.”

At the barriers of Saxony he was again interrogated.  “I am a soldier,” said our traveller, “behold the passport of the first warrior of the age.”—­“You are a pupil of the destroyer of millions,” replied the sentinel, “we must send you to Dresden; and, hark’e, sir, conceal your passport, as you would avoid being torn to pieces by those whose husbands, sons, and relations have been wantonly sacrificed at the shrine of Prussian ambition.”  A second examination at Dresden cleared him of suspicion.

Arrived at the frontiers of Poland, he flattered himself his troubles were at an end; but he reckoned without his host.

“Your business in Poland?” interrogated the officer.

“I really don’t know, sir.”

“Not know your own business, sir!” resumed the officer; “I must conduct you to the Starost.”

“For the love of God,” said the wearied traveller, “take pity on me.  I have been imprisoned in Holland for being desirous to keep my own affairs to myself;—­I have been confined all night in a French guard-house, for declaring myself a merchant;—­I have been compelled to ride seven miles behind a German dragoon, for professing myself a man of pleasure;—­I have been carried fifty miles a prisoner in Prussia, for acknowledging my attachment to ease and good living;—­I have been threatened with assassination in Saxony, for avowing myself a warrior.  If you will have the goodness to let me know how I may render such an account of myself as not to give offence, I shall ever consider you as my friend and protector.”

M—­A—­NS.

* * * * *

RETROSPECTIVE GLEANINGS.

SPEECH OF KING HENRY THE FIRST.

(To the Editor.)

The following speech of Henry the First will, no doubt, be thought by some of your numerous readers curious enough to deserve a corner in your valuable Mirror.  It is the first that ever was delivered from the throne; —­is preserved to us by only one historian (Mathew Paris), and scarcely taken notice of by any other.  Henry the First, the Conqueror’s youngest son, had dispossessed his eldest brother, Robert, of his right of succession to the crown of England.  The latter afterwards coming over to England, upon a friendly visit to him, and Henry, being suspicious that this circumstance might turn to his disadvantage, called together the great men of the realm, and spoke to them as follows:—­

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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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