A Modern Telemachus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about A Modern Telemachus.

Since writing the above I have by the kindness of friends been enabled to discover Mr. Scott’s authority, namely, a book entitled Voyage pour la Redemption des captifs aux Royaumes d’Alger et de Tunis, fait en 1720 par les P.P.  Francois Comelin, Philemon de la Motte, et Joseph Bernard, de l’Ordre de la Sainte Trinite, dit Mathurine.  This Order was established by Jean Matha for the ransom and rescue of prisoners in the hands of the Moors.  A translation of the adventures of the Comtesse de Bourke and her daughter was published in the Catholic World, New York, July 1881.  It exactly agrees with the narration in The Mariners’ Chronicle except that, in the true spirit of the eighteenth century, Mr. Scott thought fit to suppress that these ecclesiastics were at Algiers at the time of the arrival of Mademoiselle de Bourke’s letter, that they interested themselves actively on her behalf, and that they wrote the narrative from the lips of the maitre d’hotel (who indeed may clearly be traced throughout).  It seems also that the gold cups were chalices, and that a complete set of altar equipments fell a prey to the Cabeleyzes, whose name the good fathers endeavour to connect with Cabale—­with about as much reason as if we endeavoured to derive that word from the ministry of Charles Ii.

Had I known in time of the assistance of these benevolent brethren I would certainly have introduced them with all due honour, but, like the Abbe Vertot, I have to say, Mon histoire est ecrite, and what is worse--printed.  Moreover, they do not seem to have gone on the mission with the Marabout from Bugia, so that their presence really only accounts for the Te Deum with which the redeemed captives were welcomed.

It does not seem quite certain whether M. Dessault was Consul or Envoy; I incline to think the latter.  The translation in the Catholic World speaks of Sir Arthur, but Mr. Scott’s ‘M.  Arture’ is much more vraisemblable.  He probably had either a surname to be concealed or else unpronounceable to French lips.  Scott must have had some further information of the after history of Mademoiselle de Bourke since he mentions her marriage, which could hardly have taken place when Pere Comelin’s book was published in 1720.

C. M. Yonge.

CHAPTER I—­COMPANIONS OF THE VOYAGE

’Make mention thereto
Touching my much loved father’s safe return,
If of his whereabouts I may best hear.’ 
Odyssey (Musgrave).

’Oh! brother, I wish they had named you Telemaque, and then it would have been all right!’

’Why so, sister?  Why should I be called by so ugly a name?  I like Ulysses much better; and it is also the name of my papa.’

’That is the very thing.  His name is Ulysses, and we are going to seek for him.’

’Oh!  I hope that cruel old Mentor is not coming to tumble us down over a great rook, like Telemaque in the picture.’

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A Modern Telemachus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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