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CHARLES THE TWELFTH OF SWEDEN.
HARLES the Twelfth of Sweden, when scarcely
seven years old, being at dinner with the queen his mother, and handing a bit of bread to his favourite dog, the animal, snapping at it too eagerly, bit his hand in a serious manner. The blood flowed copiously; but the hero, without crying, or appearing to take any notice of what had happened, merely wrapped his hand in his napkin. The queen inquired why he did not eat, and he answered that he was not hungry: at length, however, he grew pale from the loss of blood, and an officer, who attended at table, discovered the cause; but the prince would sooner have died than have betrayed his dog.
PRINCE HENRY, SON OF HENRY THE
URING the reign of Henry the Fourth, a riotous companion of the Prince of Wales had been indicted before the chief justice Gascoigne, for some disorders, and the prince was not ashamed to appear at the bar with the criminal, in order to give him countenance and protection. Finding that his presence had not overawed the chief justice, he proceeded to insult that
magistrate on his tribunal; but Gascoigne, mindful of the character which he then bore, and the majesty of the sovereign, and the laws which he sustained, ordered the prince to be carried to prison for his rude behaviour. The spectators were astonished and pleased, when they saw the heir to the crown submit peaceably to this sentence, making reparation for his error by acknowledging it, and checking his impetuous nature in the midst of its extravagant career.
When this transaction was reported to the king, who was an excellent judge of mankind, he exclaimed, in words to the effect of those which Shakspeare gives us :
Happy am I, that have a man so bold,
That dares do justice on my proper son;
SIR PHILIP SYDNEY.
IR Philip Sydney, at the battle near Zutphen, displayed the most undaunted courage. He had two horses killed under him; and whilst mounting a third, was wounded by a musket-shot out of the trenches, which broke the bone of his thigh. He returned about a mile and a half, on horseback, to the camp; and, being
faint with the loss of blood, and parched with thirst, through the heat of the weather, he called for drink. Some water was presently brought him; but as he was putting the vessel to his mouth, a poor wounded soldier, who happened to be carried by him at that instant, looked up to it with wishful eyes. The gallant and generous Sydney took the bottle from his mouth, just when he was going to drink, and delivered it to the soldier, saying, "Thy necessity is yet greater than
ALEXANDER THE GREAT.
URING Alexander's long and laborious pursuit after Darius, the army often suffered more for want of water, than by fatigue, and many of the cavalry were unable to hold out. While they were upon the march, some Macedonians had filled their bottles at a river, and were bringing the water upon mules. These people seeing Alexander greatly distressed with thirst, for it was the heat of the day, immediately filled a helmet with water, and presented it to him. He asked them to whom they were carrying it they said, "To our sons: but if our prince does but live, we shall get other children, if we lose them." Upon this, he took the helmet in his hands;
but looking round, and seeing all the horsemen bending their heads, and fixing their eyes upon the water, he returned it without drinking. However, he thanked the people that offered it, and said, "If I drink alone, these good men will be dispirited." The cavalry, who were witnesses to this act of temperance and magnanimity, cried out, "Let us march! We are neither weary nor thirsty, nor shall we even think ourselves mortal, while under the conduct of such a king." At the same time, they put spurs to their horses.
HEN Alexander the Great was, on one occasion, sacrificing to the gods, one of the noble youths who waited upon him, was so severely burned by a piece of hot coal which fell upon his arm from the censer he carried, that the smell of the scorched flesh was sensible to all who stood by. Yet the boy shrunk not, exhibited no symptom of pain, but kept his arm immoveable, lest by shaking the censer he should interrupt the sacrifice, or by his groaning, give Alexander any disturbance.
THE TWIN-SONS OF SABINUS.
ABINUS, a noble Gaul, headed a revolt of his
countrymen, in the time of Otho and Vitellius. Vespasian, as soon as he was made Emperor, marched against him, and Sabinus, finding it impossible to resist the great army that was approaching, set fire to his house, and causing it to be reported that he had perished in the flames, fled with his wife and his faithful freedman, taking refuge, at length, in those vast quarries of white marble, that still exist, at some little distance from Rome.
Here the unfortunate but courageous Eponina gave birth to twin sons: the one was named Fortis, from his superior strength, the other Blandus, on account of his gentleness of disposition. The faithful Martial was the only purveyor to these illustrious fugitives: he waited upon them, and watched over their safety with indefatigable attention. Now and then he went by night to Rome, to purchase provisions, and other necessaries, returning by the least frequented roads.
But the greatest disquietudes that the unhappy parents experienced, were from the cries of the infants, which resounded through these gloomy caverns: countless echoes repeated these sounds, and terrified the anxious mother, lest they should guide occasional tra