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head of his troops. Another consul was now to be elected, and, after much deliberation, the choice fell on Cincinnatus; in consequence of which, the senate sent deputies to him, to invite him to come and take possession of the magistracy. He was then at work in his field, and being his own ploughman, he was dressed in a manner suitable to that profession. When he saw the deputies coming towards him, he stopped his oxen, very much surprised at seeing such a number of persons, and not knowing what they could want with him.
One of the company approached him, and requested him to put on a more suitable dress. He went into his hut, and having put on other clothes, he presented himself to those who were waiting for him without doors. They immediately saluted him consul, and invested him with the purple robe; the lictors ranged themselves before him, ready to obey his orders, and begged him to follow them to Rome. Troubled at this sight, he for some time shed tears, in silence. At last, recovering himself, he said only these words : “My field will not be sown this year!” and then repaired to Rome.
The conduct of Cincinnatus during his consulship, fully showed what patriotism and greatness of soul had inhabited a poor wretched cottage. By the vigour and prudence of his measures, he appeased the tumult, and reinstated judiciary proceedings, which had been interrupted during many years. So peaceful a government could not fail of applause; and the people, in consequence, expressed their entire satisfaction with it. But what charmed them was, that, upon the expiration of his term, he refused to be continued in office, with no less constancy than he had pain at first in accepting it. The senate, in particular, forgot nothing that might induce him to comply with being continued in the consulship; but all their entreaties and solicitations were to no purpose.
No sooner had this great man resigned his office, than domestic troubles again embroiled the state; and the Roman senate were forced to declare, that the commonwealth required a dictator. Cincinnatus was immediately nominated to the office; and the deputies sent to announce it to him, again found him at his plough. He, however, accepted the office, and a second time saved his country.
Cincinnatus afterwards received the honour of the most splendid triumph that ever adorned any general's success, for having, in the space of sixteen days, during which he had been invested with the dictatorship, saved the Roman camp from the most imminent danger, defeated and cut to pieces the army of the enemy, taken and plundered one of their finest cities, and left a garrison in it, and, lastly, gratefully repaid the Tusculans, who had sent an army to their assistance.-Such were a few of the advantages which this great patriot rendered his country.
Sensible of their obligations, and desirous to convince him of their regard and gratitude, the senate made him an offer of as much of the land he had taken from the enemy as he should think proper to accept, with as many slaves and cattle as were necessary to stock it. He returned them his thanks, but would accept of nothing but a crown of gold, of a pound weight, decreed him by the army. He had no passion or desire beyond the field he cultivated, and the laborious life he had embraced; more glorious and contented with his poverty, than others with the empire of the world.
THE PLEASURES OF RETIREMENT.
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound;
In his own ground.
Whose flocks supply him with attire ;
In winter fire.
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away,
Quiet by day.
Together mixed; sweet recreation,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown ;
Thus unlamented let me die,
Tell where I lie.
ANGLO-SAXON COURTS. The punishments inflicted by the Anglo-Saxon courts of judicature, as well as the proofs employed, were different from those which prevail amongst all civilized nations in the present age. Indemnity for all kinds of wounds received, and for death itself, was fixed by the Saxon laws at a regular price. A wound of an inch long, under the hair, was recompensed by one shilling; a scar, of equal size, upon the face, by two shillings; thirty shillings were received for the loss of an ear; and other scars were compensated in proportion.
Their mode of evidence was still further dissimilar to the modern practice. When any controversy about a fact became too intricate for their judges to unravel, they had recourse to (what they called) the judgment of God; that is, to fortune ; and their methods of consulting this oracle were various.
The most remarkable custom was by the ordeal. It was practised generally by boiling water, or red-hot iron. The water or iron being consecrated by many ceremonies, the person accused either took up a stone immersed in the former a certain depth, or carried the iron a certain distance: and his hand being then wrapped up, and the covering sealed for three days, if there appeared, on examination, no marks of burning, he was pronounced innocent; if otherwise, guilty.
The trial by cold water was different. Into this the culprit was thrown, his feet and his hands being tied. If he swam, he was guilty ; if he sunk, he was considered innocent; though, to us, it appears extraordinary, that any innocent person could ever be acquitted by the one trial, or any criminal be convicted by the other.
This purgation by ordeal seems to have been very ancient, and universal in the times of superstitious barbarity. It was known to the ancient Greeks; and there is also a
very peculiar species of water ordeal, said to prevail amongst the Indians on the coast of Malabar; where a person accused of any enormous crime is obliged to swim over a broad river, abounding with crocodiles; and, if he escapes unhurt, he is reputed innocent.
In Siam too, besides the usual methods of fire and water ordeal, both parties are sometimes exposed to the fury of a tiger, let loose for that purpose : and, if the beast spares either, that person is accounted innocent; if neither, both are held to be guilty ; but, if he spares both, the trial is incomplete.
The trumpet's voice hath roused the land,
Light up the beacon-pyre!
And waved the sign of fire.
Their gorgeous folds have cast-
A king to war went past.
The peasant by his hearth ;
And rises from the earth.
Looks with a boding eye-
Whose young hearts leap so high.
The falchion to his side;
The lover quits his bride.
By earthly clarion spread!
The blast that wakes the dead ?
KING RICHARD AND THE MINSTREL.
The singular manner of discovering the situation of King Richard the First, when a prisoner to Leopold, duke of Austria, which Fauchet relates from an ancient chronicle, is thus related in Mrs Dobson's Literary History of the Troubadours.
A minstrel, called Blondel, who owed his fortune to Richard, animated with tenderness towards his illustrious master, was resolved to go over the world tiii he had discovered the destiny of this prince. He had already traversed Europe, and was returning through Germany, when, talking one day at Lintz, in Austria, with the innkeeper, in order to make this discovery, he learned that there was near the city, at the entrance of a forest, a strong and ancient castle, in which there was a prisoner, who was guarded with great care.
A secret impulse persuaded Blondel that this prisoner was Richard. He went immediately to the castle, the sight of which made him tremble. He got acquainted with a peasant, who went often there to carry provisions ; questioned, and offered him a considerable sum to declare who it was that was shut up there; but the good man, though he readily told all he knew, was ignorant both of the name and quality of the prisoner.
He could only inform him that he was watched with the most exact attention, and was suffered no communication with any one but the keeper of the castle, and his servants. He added, that the prisoner had no other amusement than looking over the country through a small grated window, which served also for the light that glimmered into his apartment.
He told him that this castle was a horrid abode ; that the staircase and the apartments were black with age, and so dark, that, at noon-day, it was necessary to have a lighted flambeau to find the way along them. Blondel listened with eager attention, and meditated several ways
of coming at the prison, but all in vain.
At last, when he found that, from the height and narrowness of the window, he could not get a sight of his dear master, who, he firmly believed, was there, he bethought himself of a French song, the last couplet of which