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knight of La Mancha ; yet the author had not interest enough to obtain even the smallest pension from the court. Friendless and indigent, however, as Cervantes was, he retained his incomparable humour and facetiousness to the end of his life.
How happens it, that although the manners, customs, proverbs, and allusions in Don Quixote are so strictly Spanish, yet it is such a general favourite with readers of all nations ? The answer seems to be, that the delineation of the characters, and the lively humour and burlesque, are so conformable to nature, that the subject is rendered. by the power of genius, universally interesting and pleasant.
Every anecdote of such a genius as Cervantes, however trifling in itself, cannot be so to his admirers.
M de Boulay attended the French ambassador to Spain, while Cervantes was yet alive. He said, that the ambassador one day complimente Cervantes on the reputation he had acquired by his Don Quixote, and that Cervantes whispered in his ear, ‘Hid it not been for the Inquisition; I should have made my book much more entertaining.'
Some of his courtiers advised him to demolish the tomb of the great John, duke of Bedford, the regent in the minority of Henry VI. who had gained so many victories in France. · Let us leave,' said Charles, this hero to remain in peace now he is dead, who, when he was alive, made all Frenchmen tremble.'
CHARLES XII. OF SWEDEN.
He carried all the virtues of a hero to excess, so as to make them as culpable as the opposite vices. By his contempt of danger, and his ardent pursuit of glory, he cannot fail to command the admiration of mankind. When his horse was killed under him, at the battle of Narva, he leaped nimbly upon a fresh one, saying jocosely, · These people will keep me in exercise.
As he was dictating a letter to his secretary, a bomb fell through the roof into the next roon in the house where they were sitting. The terrified secretary let the pen drop from his hand. “What is the matter' ?' said Charles calmly. The secretary replied, " Ah, sir, the bomb • But what has the bomb to do,' said Charles, ' with what I am dictating to you?-go on.'
A peasant threw himself at his feet, with a complaint against one of his grenadiers, that had robbed him and his family of their dinner. 'Is it true,' said Charles sternly to the grenadier, that you have robbed this man?' The soldier replied, 'Sir, I have not done so much harm to this man, as your majesty has done to his master; for you have taken from Augustus a kingdom, but I have only taken from this peasant a dinner.' Charles made the peasant amends ; and he pardoned the grenadier for his bold remonstrance, saying, "My friend, you will do well to recollect, that if I took Poland from Augustus, I did not take it for myself.'
Although his temper was severe, the following anecdote will prove that he was a generous eneny. He touk the fort of Dunamond after a smart siege,
as the governor, Colonel Canitz, held it out against him for some time. Charles was so well pleased witis his determined conduct, that, as he marched out of the fort, he said to him, “ You are my enemy and yet I love you as well as my best friends, for you have behaved yourself like a brave soldier in defence of this fort against my troops: and to show you that I can esteem and reward valour even in mine enemies, I make you a present of these tive thousand ducats."
He once went early in the morning to consult his prine minister. He was in bed, and Charles was obliged to wait till he rose. Charles passed the time in talking with a soldier, whom he found in the ante-chamber. At last the minister appeared, and made many apologies. The soldier, extremely confused for having accosted his sovereign with so much freedom, threw himself at his feet, and said, “Sire, forgive me, for I really took you for a man.” “ You have done no harm, friend,” said the king;
your mistake is natural ; for nothing is, I assure you, so much like a man as a king."
One of his old officers, who was suspected of avarice, complained to him, that he conferred all his favours upon Grothusen.“ I give my nioney," said he pointedly, "to those only who know how to make a good use of it."
FERNANDO CORTEZ, A Spaniard of a good family. He subdued the kingdom of Mexico, but not without exercising great cruelties against the sovereign and people of that country. When he returned to Spain, he was coolly received by the emperor Charles V. One day he
suddenly presented himself to that monarch." Who are yon?" said the emperor haughtily. “The man," said'Cortes, as haughtily, “ who has given you more provinces than your ancestors left you cities.”
OLIVER CROMWELL. Lord Clarendon thus concludes his character : “He had some good qualities, which have caused the memory of some men in all ages to be celebrated; and he will be looked upon by posterity as a brave wicked man.”
When he made his public entry into London, his companions remarked to him the great concourse of people who came fron all parts to see him.“ There would be just as many,” said he, “ if I was going to the scaffold.”
He wore the mask of hypocrisy to the last. When he was nearly at the point of death, he gave out, that God had revealed to him things to come, and that he should recover. He confessed to his friends that this was only a pretended revelation. “ If I recover,” said he, “the silly people will think me a prophet; and if I die, what does it signify if they think me ani mpostor.”
HENRY CROMWELL, The youngest son of Oliver Cromwell. Like his brother, he was a man of an excellent character, well disposed, and unambitious. He was appointed by his father lord lieutenant of ireland, and acquitted himself in that government with great credit.He rejoiced in the Restoration, and received some
favours from Charles II. for which he was indebted to Lord Clarendon. He declared to his brother Richard, “ I will rather submit to any sufferings with a good name, than be the greatest man upun earth without one.
What a virtuous declaration ! what a just and severe censure of the guilty ambition of his father!
When Philip II. of Spain equipped the invincible armada which threatened England with invasion, Elizabeth appeared on horseback at the camp at Tilbury; and riding through the ranks of her army with an air which expressed the coolness and intrepidity of her mind, she exhorted her soldiers to remember their duty, their country, and their religion. “I will myself,” said this heroic queen, “ lead you to the enemy, if they dare to land in this realm. I know I have only the weak arms of a woman; but I have the heart of a king; and, what is more, of a king of England. Believe me, I will rather die in battle, than live to see the ruin and slavery of my country !”
KIEN LONG, EMPEROR OF CHINA. Sir George Staunton used to relate a characteris tic anecdote of this emperor. He inquired of sir George the manner in which physicians were paid in England When his majesty was made to comprehend what the practice was, he exclaimed, “can any man in England afford to be ill? Now I will inform you,” said he, “how I deal with my physicians. I have four, to whom the care of my health is committed, and a certain weekly salary allowed