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in gay dresses.
The golden lily, the golden violet, and the golden rose, were carried on separate cushions; and the whole procession marched to the Cathedral, where, according to the custom of the country, the prizes were blessed.
On one occasion, among the many candidates for the honours of this festival was a youth, of poor but industrious parents, who had from his earliest years exhibited an extraordinary talent. This youth's name was Marmontel. He had a pious and affectionate mother, whose whole heart and soul seemed set on the future welfare of her son. He, on his part, returned her warm affection, and desired more for her sake than for his own to fulfil her hopes. He knew nothing of the world or its glories, and cared not for fame or the applause of men ; but to make his mother happy, to give pleasure to her in her failing years, and to give proofs of his affection for her, was his one and only aim. So it was that, having been inspired by two of these festivals, he determined to become a candidate for one or more of these prizes, and devoted himself to study those three branches of art to which honour was awarded.
After studying for some time, he thought himself ready to compete for at least one of the three golden prizes; and, having obtained permission to present himself as a candidate, he spent three weeks in preparations, and in the mastering of the subjects chosen for the competition. Each competitor had to send in a poem, a painting, and a piece of sculpture or modelling. Marmontel had a taste for painting, and had already painted a picture representing the Greek matron feeding her imprisoned father from her own breast; but he had never tried his hand at sculpture or modelling. He now determined to try to make a model; and, after three weeks' hard work, he produced the figure of a Sleeping Nymph, which he sent in to the judges, together with his poem on “Filial Affection” and his painting of the “Grecian daughter.”
The long-looked-for day of award came at last. Three judges from Paris presided, and the chief magistrates and corporation of the city of Rouen were present in their robes. The hall, in the form of an amphitheatre, was filled with the chief citizens, and the students of the University were seated in the centre of the audience. The compositions and the paintings were now
formally submitted to the judges: there were only twenty-five poems, thirteen paintings, and seven models in clay or marble. When the ciphers given in with the poems were examined by the judges, Marmontel was found to be the successful competitor for this prize, and a buzz of applause filled the hall.
Again the judges opened the ciphers, and again the name of Marmontel appeared as the successful competitor. His drawing plainly excelled those of his compeers. The applause was repeated, the judges looked astonished, and Marmontel himself could scarcely maintain his composure, for all eyes were fixed
A third time the ciphers were examined, and for the third time Marmontel was declared the victor. The whole assembly rose, hats were thrown up, scarves were waved in the air, and a tumult of applause resounded from one end of the hall to the other.
In the midst of this triumph an aged man appeared at the lower end of the hall supporting a poor woman : they pressed through the crowd, which made way as soon they heard the old man say, “It is my son !” and in a few moments, mother, father, and son, were clasped in each other's arms.
The spectators honoured those who were not ashamed to show their love for each other. The successful Marmontel retired, amid the applause of the assembly, with his father and mother ; his father carrying the golden rose, his mother the golden lily, and Marmontel himself the golden violet.
From this hour Marmontel rose to fame and consequence ; he became one of the best and sweetest writers of the times in which he lived, and was admired for the vigour and delicacy of
Four Good POINTS IN WOMAN.—A Chinese maxim says : “We require four things of woman : That virtue dwell in her heart; that modesty play on her brow; that sweetness flow from her lips; that industry occupy her hand.”
For age and want save while you may,
Napoleon and the Sailor.
From all his homicidal glory-
'Twas when his banners at Boulogne
Armed in our island every freeman, His navy chanced to capture one
Poor British seaman.
They suffered him, I know not how,
Unprisoned on the shore to roam ; And aye was bent his youthful brow
On England's home.
His eye, methinks, pursued the flight
Of birds to Britain, half way over, With envy--they could reach the white
Dear cliffs of Dover.
A stormy midnight watch, he thought,
Than this sad state would have been dearer, If but the storm his vessel brought
To England nearer.
At last, when care had banished sleep,
He saw one morning, dreaming, doating, An empty hogshead from the deep
Come shoreward floating.
He hid it in a cave, and wrought
The live-long day, laborious, lurking, Until he launched a tiny boat,
By mighty working.
Oh dear me ! 'twas a thing beyond
! Description—such a wretched wherry, Perhaps, ne'er ventured on a pond,
Or crossed a ferry.
For ploughing in the salt sea field,
It would have made the Loldest shudder ; Untarred, uncompassed, and unkeeled
No sail—no rudder.
From neighbouring woods he interlaced
His sorry skiff with wattled willows ; And thus equipped he would have passed
The foaming billows.
A French guard caught him on the beach,
His little Argo sorely jeering; Till tidings of him chanced to reach
With folded arms Napoleon stood,
Serene alike in peace and danger, And, in his wonted attitude,
Addressed the stranger.
“ Rash youth, that wouldst yon channel pass
On twigs and staves so rudely fashioned, Thy heart with some sweet English lass
Must be impassioned.”
I have no sweetheart," said the lad :
“ But, absent years from one another, Great was the longing that I had
To see my mother.
"And so thou shalt,” Napoleon said,
“ You've both my favour justly won ; A noble mother must have bred
So brave a son."
the tar a piece of gold, And, with a flag of truce, commanded He should be shipped to England old,
And safely landed.
Our sailor oft could scantly shift
To find a dinner, plain and hearty ; But never changed the coin and gift
OME of the chief characteristics of the great rivers of
Asia and America are their rafts or floating islands. When the soil of the banks has become loosened by the spring floods and periodical inundations, much of it—sometimes several acres at a time—is borne away by the rapid stream. Whole trees may
be seen floating with their tops above the water, their branches and roots interlaced so as to form one compact mass of vegetable matter. These floating islands very often form a refuge for animals during the floods; their natural antipathy for each other softened by their common danger. A tigercat, or puma, will be seen in close companionship with an alligator or serpent. These animals are often thus borne down to the towns and villages along the banks of the river to the no small consternation of their inhabitants. When these islands become stationary, they often impede the navigation of the river. One in a branch of the Mississippi was so large that it took four years to clear it away. The Rio de la Plata, in South America, is said to be filling up gradually by the vast quantity of vegetable matter annually poured into it.
The Chinampas, or floating gardens of Mexico, are justly considered objects of the greatest curiosity. Their invention is said to have arisen out of the extraordinary situation in which the Aztecs were placed on the conquest of their country by the Tepanecan nation, when they were confined, in great numbers, to the small islands on the lake, and were driven to exercise great ingenuity in order to provide themselves with sufficient food. Humboldt conjectured that the first idea of them may have been suggested by nature herself, for, on the marshy banks on the lakes of Xochimilco and Chalco, the agitated waters, in the time of the great floods, carry away pieces of earth, covered with herbs, and bound together with roots. The first Chinampas were mostly fragments of ground artificially joined together and cultivated. Following up this suggestion, it would not be difficult, by means of wicker-work, formed with marine plants, and a sub