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Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or
good, Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood. And all I remember is, friends flocking round As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground, And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine, As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine, Which (the burgesses voted by common consent) Was no more than his due who brought good news from
EXERCISE.-9. PARSING, ETO 1. Turn the first and last verse into prose.
2. Write out the nouns and pronouns in the nominative in the first two verses.
3. What verbs are plural in the first four verses ? 4. Analyse the first three lines of the third verse.
5. Give the plurals of the words :-voice, Roland, I, he, noise, you, news, burgess, foot, sky, edge, cattle, Aix.
6. What are the roots (with meanings) of :-echoed, postern, girths, twilight, intelligence, remember, horrible, dome-spire, moment, burgess ?
7. Write out the story of the ride from Ghent to Aix in your own words. Where is Ghent ? Where is Aix ?
an-ces-tor (L. ante, before ; cedo, to go], one of our forefathers, one who has lived before us. cen-tral (Gk. kentron, a point], placed in the midst of others. de-scent (L. de, from ; scando, to climb], progress, passage from one point to another, motion downwards. de-gree (L. de, from ; gradus, a step), position, rank. In the midst of that vast ocean, commonly called the South Sea, lie the islands of Solomon. In the centre of those, lies one not only distant from the rest, which are immensely scattered round it, but also larger beyond proportion. An ancestor of the prince, who now reigns absolute in this central island, has, through a long descent of ages, entailed the name of Solomon's Islands on the whole, by the effect of that wisdom wherewith he polished the manners of his people.
A descendant of one of the great men of this happy island, becoming a gentleman to so improved a degree
as to despise the good qualities which had originally ennobled his family, thought of nothing but how to support and distinguish his dignity by the pride of an ignorant mind, and a disposition abandoned to pleasure. He had a house on the sea-side, where he spent great part of his time in hunting and fishing; but found himself at a loss in pursuit of these important diversions, by means of a long slip of marsh-land, overgrown with high reeds, that lay between his house and the sea. Resolving, at length, that it became not a man of his quality to submit to restraints in his pleasures, for the ease and conveniency of an obstinate mechanic; and having often endeavoured, in vain, to buy out the owner, who was an honest, poor basket-maker, and whose livelihood depended on working up the flags of those reeds in a manner peculiar to himself, the gentleman took advantage of a very high wind, and commanded his servants to burn down the barrier.
The basket-maker, who saw himself undone, complained of the oppression in terms more suited to his sense of the injury than the respect due to the rank of the offender; and the reward this imprudence procured him was the additional injustice of blows and reproaches, and all kinds of insult and indignity.
There was but one way to a remedy, and he took it. For going to the capital, with the marks of his hard usage upon him, he threw himself at the feet of the king, and procured a citation for his oppressor's appearance; who, confessing the charge, proceeded to justify his behaviour by the poor man's unmindfulness of the submission due from the vulgar to gentlemen of rank and distinction.
“But pray,” replied the king, “what distinction of rank had the grandfather of your father, when, being a cleaver of wood in the palace of my ancestors, he was raised from among those vulgar you speak of with such contempt, in reward of an instance he gave of his courage and loyalty in defence of his master ? Yet his distinction was nobler than yours; it was the distinction of soul, not of birth; the superiority of worth, not of fortune! I am sorry I have a gentleman in my kingdom who is base enough to be ignorant that ease and distinction of fortune were bestowed on him but to this end, that, being at rest from all cares of providing for himself, he might apply his heart, head, and hand for the public advantage of others."
Here the king, discontinuing his speech, fixed an eye of indignation on a sullen resentment of mien which he observed in the haughty offender, who muttered out his dislike of the encouragement this way of thinking must give to the commonalty, who, he said, were to be considered as persons of no consequence,
in comparison of men who were born to be honoured. Where reflection is wanting," replied the king, with a smile of disdain, “men must find their defects in the pain of their sufferings. Yanhumo,” added he, turning to a captain of his galleys, * strip the injured and the injurer; and, after conveying them to one of the most barbarous and remotest of the islands, set them ashore in the night, and leave them both to their fortune.”
The place in which they were landed was a marsh, under cover of whose flags the gentleman was in hopes to conceal himself, and give the slip to his companion, whom he thought it a disgrace to be found with. But the lights in the galley having given an alarm to the savages, a considerable body of them came down, and discovered, in the morning, the two strangers in their hiding-place. Setting up a dismal yell, they surrounded them; and advancing nearer and nearer, with a kind of club, seemed determined to dispatch them, without sense of hospitality or mercy.
Here the gentleman began to discover that the superiority of his blood was imaginary; for between a consciousness of shame and cold, under the nakedness he had never been used to; a fear of the event, from the fierceness of the savages' approach; and the want of an idea whereby to soften or divert their asperity, he fell behind the poor sharer of his calamity, and with an unsinewed, apprehensive, unmanly sneakingness of mien, gave up the post of honour, and made a leader of the
very man whom he had thought it a disgrace to consider as a companion.
The basket-maker, on the contrary, to whom the poverty of his condition had made nakedness habitual ; to whom a life of pain and mortification represented death as not dreadful; and whose remembrance of his skill in arts of which these savages were ignorant gave him hopes of becoming safe, from demonstrating that he could be useful, moved with bolder and more open freedom; and, having plucked a handful of the flags, sat down without emotion, and making signs that he would show them something worthy of their attention, fell to work with smiles and noddings; while the savages drew near, and gazed in expectation of the consequence.
It was not long before he had wreathed a kind of coronet, of pretty workmanship; and rising with respect and fearfulness, approached the savage who appeared the chief, and placed it gently on his head; whose figure under this new ornament so charmed and struck his followers, that they threw down all their clubs, and formed a dance of welcome and congratulation round the author of so prized a favour.
There was not one but showed the marks of his impatience to be made as fine as his captain; so the poor basket-maker had his hands full of employment; and the savages observing one quite idle, while the other was so busy in their service, took up arms in behalf of natural justice, and began to lay on arguments in favour of their purpose.
The basket-maker's pity now effaced the remembrance of his sufferings; so he arose and rescued his oppressor, by making signs that he was ignorant of the art; but might, if they thought fit, be usefully employed in waiting on the work, and fetching flags to his supply, as fast as he should want them.
This proposition luckily fell in with a desire the savages expressed to keep themselves at leisure, that they might crowd round, and mark the progress of a work they took such pleasure in. They left the gentleman therefore to his duty in the basket-maker's service;
and considered him, from that time forward, as one who was and ought to be treated as inferior to their benefactor.
Men, wives, and children, from all corners of the island, came in droves for coronets; and setting the gentleman to work to gather boughs and poles, made a fine hut to lodge the basket-maker; and brought down daily from the country, such provisions as they lived upon themselves ; taking care to offer the imagined servant nothing till his master had done eating.
Three months' reflection in this mortified condition, gave a new and just turn to our gentleman's improved ideas; insomuch that, lying weeping and awake one night, he thus confessed his sentiments in favour of the basket-maker. “I have been to blame, and wanted judg. ment to distinguish between accident and excellence. When I should have measured nature, I but looked to vanity. The preference which fortune gives is empty and imaginary: and I perceive, too late, that only things of use are naturally honourable. I am ashamed, when I compare my malice, to remember your humanity. But if the gods should please to call me to a repossession of my rank and happiness, I would divide all with you ic atonement of my justly punished arrogance."
He promised, and performed his promise ; for the king, soon after, sent the captain who had landed them with presents to the savages, and ordered him to bring both back again. And it continues to this day a custom in that island, to degrade all gentlemen who cannot give a better reason for their pride than that they were born to do nothing; and the word for this due punishment is, “ Send him to the basket-maker's.”
EXERCISE.-10. MEANINGS OF WORDS. 1. Give the meaning of the following: ancestor, oppressor, originally, citation, loyalty, asperity, mortification, apprehensive, congratulation, coronet, arrogance, humanity.
2. Distinguish between the meanings of :-their, there; rest, wrest; seen, scene; been, bean; not, knot; night, knight ; pain, pane; done, dun; boughs, bows.
3. Illustrate the different meanings the following words may have :post, kind, club, round, flags, down, lying.