صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني






CHARLES and Mary remained for some time silent ; at length the latter said, “Dear papa, how sorry am I for that poor unhappy boy; I hope, however, he will be good now."

“I hope he will," answered the father; “ in which case, how salutary will his misfortunes have been to him! it is not given to our contracted understanding to judge properly of the goodness of God in all that befalls us; for what frequently appears a grievous calamity, is in reality kindness and mercy ;--for example, had this lad remained at home, his evil habits would have continued in full force; and in all probability he would have grown up a drunkard, and an idler, or perhaps worse. On the contrary, he has now, by correction, been forced into a habit of industry, and will know the value of the lighter labour required of him ; and for the loss of his limb, it will be a lasting memorial of his past errors, and the goodness of his Creator, who suffered the ball only to strike his leg, when it might, in an instanty have deprived him of life, with all his follies unrepented.”

“ But what a good creature William appears,” said Charles ; “ did you observe, Sir, how tenderly he spoke of his master, and how kind he is to his cousin ?”

“ It was not lost on me," answered he; 66 and I have no doubt he will meet with his reward.--A good and faithful servant is a jewel that cannot be too much estimat. ed; they should be treated with kindness in their youth, and respect in their age, if they grow old in our service; for where “ Perform your

a man or a woman has devoted their whole life to labour for us, they have surely a strong claim both on our humanity and generosity.”

With such discourse they reached home; when Mr. Richardson dismissed them to their apartments, saying, lessons early, and if the day be fine to: morrow, we will take a ramble.”

The children had the satisfaction to see a clear frosty morning; and their duties being fulfilled, Mr. Richardson was not unmindful of his promise ; and addressing Mary, he said, “ You, my love, are to direct the amusement of this day."

Mary paused awhile, then said, “ I have long wished to see London-bridge, papa; may we walk thither ?"

Undoubtedly," answered he, pleased that her curiosity was not attracted by some more frivolous subject; “ an object of such general utility is well worthy our inspection.”

Mary was pleased that her choice had met her father's approbation, and they

proceeded cheerfully until they reached Fish-street-hill, when the' Monument struck their attention and Mr. Richardson, willing to gratify them, drew near to observe it, informing them it was erected in commemoration of the great fire of London in the year 1666; and which, dreadful to relate, in four days consumed the whole of the city within the walls, and also extended without as far as the Tem. ple and Fetter-lane. " The damage sustained by this dreadful element," continued he, "was estimated at ten millions seven hundred and sixteenthousand pounds: but by the singular inercy of God, very few lives were lost. Great as this calamity was, it put a stop to one of a more tremendous nature; for the plague, which had before visited our capital, with very short intervals, never appeared after the rebuilding of the city in a more open and airy manner, that removed several nuisances, which if they did not absolutely breed the plagué, at least increased the contagion.

“ The monument was built by Sir Christopher Wren; it is a Doric column, and measures two hundred and two feet high; the bas relief was cut by Gabriel Cibber, and denotes, as you see, the destruction and restoration of the city.”

These observations made, they walked to London-bridge, where Mr. Richardson continued his information, saying, “ This bridge was first erected by a college of priests of St. Mary Overie's, supposed about the year 1098, previous to which it had been a ferry; the interest in which was bequeathed by the old boatman to his daughter; who, out of the profits, found. ed a nunnery, and endowed it. This was afterwards converted into a college of priests, who not only built the bridge, but kept it in repair ; but you must understand it was then only of timber, and very rudely put together. About the

year 1136 it was burned down, and though renewed by the year 1163, became so ruinous as to occasion its being re-built; but again becoming damaged, about the year 1176, it was determined to build it of stone, which

« السابقةمتابعة »