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that afternoon, they would devote it to one of the rambles Charles had expressed a wish for, “as that will,” added he, “ not only amuse, but, at the same time, instruct us." - Charles expressed his thanks, and both waited with impatience until their father was ready ; and the weather being clear and dry, all preferred walking to the use of the carriage. “And “ now, Charles," said Mr. Richardson,
you shall dictate the pursuits of this day ; Mary and I will fix the next walk.”
“ Then, Sir," replied he, “I have long wished to see the Tower ; will you favour me by taking us there ?"
“ With all my heart; but as this is your first wish, you, doubtless, are informed, by reading, of every historic circumstance respecting it. Will me by relating a few ; it will entertain us as we go along?
“ It was first built, I think, Sir, by William the Conqueror ; but many alterations and additions have taken place in the reigns of the succeeding kings: it is
you oblige a place of defence, and a repository for arms, the crown-jewels, curiosities, wild beasts, and many other things that I cannot enumerate.”
* Is that all ?" interrupted Mary: “I don't think I shall like it at all; for there is nothing to amuse one in old guns, or ugly beasts."
Mr. Richardson smiled ; but replied to his son, "you have forgotten to inform me of the width of the ditch that surrounds it; the compass on the outside, or that within the walls." “ I do not recollect it, Sir," answered
" but will read with more attention in future.”
“ You will do well,” replied his father. “ The compass, on the outside the ditch, is one thousand and fifty-two feet; the ground comprehended within the walls and ditch, twelve acres and five roods; it was inclosed by William Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, in the reign of Richard the First. That haughty prelate, having a quarrel with John, third brother of
Richard, under pretence of guarding against his designs, surrounded the whole with embattled walls, and made on the outside a vast ditch; into which, at aftertimes, the Thames water was introduced.
You also forgot that it is a state-prison, and has been the scene of much bloodshed.”
“ I had not forgotten that, Sir, though I do not remember particulars.”
“ Nor do I entirely," answered his father ; “but the first person, if I mistake not, who suffered there by the axe, that is beheading, was Sir Simon de Burley, the most accomplished man of his time, and tutor to Richard the Second. Since that period the executions have been innumerable; or to speak more properly, too many for me to remember; though I shall recollect anecdotes of several, on viewing the chapel.”
“ Yes, papa,” said Mary, “and I re. inember reading, a long time ago, that many people had been killed within the Tower.”
“True, my love; even several known murders have disgraced this ancient for, tress: Henry the Sixth fell by the dagger of the assassin Gloucester, afterwards Richard the third ; there also died by hired ruffians, his brother Clarence, and the young
innocents Edward the Fifth, and his brother the Duke of York, victims of their remorseless uncle Richard. In the reign of James the First, Sir Thomas Overbury was poisoned there; whose murderers, at least the principals, escaped with life, though their wretched instruments met their deserved punishment; and among whom was Sir Gervis Elways, lieutenant of the Tower, who was hanged near the spot, for being concerned in this abominable action. — Nor must I neglect to tell you, that at his death he made a solemn admonition to the spectators, counselling them against appealing to Heaven by idle or rash vows: for, having, as he said, been greatly addicted to gaming, he had seriously said in his prayers, - Lord, let me be hanged if ever I play more; and yet he perpetually broke it. Thus, my children, he felt that his life was a deserved forfeit to the violated laws of God and man, and that he had peculiarly called it on himself.”
This discourse brought them to Towerhill; where having walked some time, they entered the fortress. Charles's attention was greatly attracted by the weapons placed in the armory in different forms, and Mary was equally pleased with the splendour of the crown-jewels; but nothing interested either so much as the lions which Charles observed, that he had read were the most noble and courageous of all animals, and that he now truly believed it from their ap. pearance.
“ They may, perhaps, be so, Charles, ” replied his father, “ in their natural state ; but in the captivity in which they are here immured, their real character is destroyed, and I have heard they become inactive and even pusillanimous; but this I speak from report, not from my own