Historical Children's Literature Collection

The travels and adventures of Wm. Lithgow, in Europe, Asia, and Africa, during nineteen years [between 1840 and 1857?]

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 TH E
TRAVELS
AND
ADVENTURES  OF
Wm.   LITHGOW,
IN
EURO V E, A S1 A, and A E K1C A,
DURING
NINETEEN  YEARS.
GLASGOW ,
PRINTED FOR THE BOOKSELLERS.
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T
HE
TRAVELS AND ADVENTURES
OF
WILLIAM LITHGOW.
n U
THE sufferings and perigrinations of this Scots
man, who far out walked the late famous Cor
yater H seem," says Mr. Granger, " to raise him
almost to the rank of a martyr,, and a hero." His
book being very scarce, and little known, a short
abridgment may be acceptable; in which we shall,
in general, omit his description and insert only
his adventures, After making two voyages to the
Orkney and Shetland islands, and walking, over
all Germany, Bohemia, Switzerland, and the
Low Countries, our author visited Paris, where
he resided ten months.
From thence, on March 7th 1609, he set out
on foot for Italy and in forty dlys passing through
Savoy, and over the Alps arrived at Rome.
There probably being too free and unguarded
in speech, and not observing the advice given to
Milton by Sir Henry Wotton, I pensieri
strelli, ed it viso scioitc ; after a stay of
twenty-eight days he could not have escaped the
"■■•blood- sucking inquisitors." most of whom were
 4
his own countrymen, had it not been for the assistance of Robert Meggat, a Scotsman also,
then residing in Burgo di Roma with the old
Earl of Tyrone, who concealed him three days
at the top of his lord's palace, and on the fourth
at midnight when all the streets and gates were
watched for him, conveyed him away, and leaped the wall with him. He then visited Naples,
Virgil's tomb, &c. Having walked four times
from one end of Italy to the other, viz, from
Vallese, the first town in Piedmont, to Caje
Blaneho in Calabria, he affirmed it to be 900 Italian miles in length, and in breadth 240, from
the Adriatic coast to the Riviera of Genoa, by
the sea side, Campagna di Roma and the duchy
of Spoleto, he returned to Loretto. Here he met
with a countryman named Mr. Js. Arthur, whose
company was most acceptable to him. One day,f
as they were viewing the image of the Virgin, a
lusty young woman, busy at her beads, overpowered by the Mat of the throng fainted away ;
at which the woman near her exclaimed, that
"our blessed lady had appeared to her." immediately she was carry'd out, and laid on the
steps that led from the chapel to the church door,
some hundreds more saluting her with tf Saint,
saint, O ever blessed saint!" This being Friday,
the woman   having travelled  all   night, to save
xi
the expense of fish, had privately eaten a bitM
her own cold meat, and drank half a buckale of
red wine in a tavern. At last said our author,
" Brother Arthur, I will go and open that mother's bosom." He did so, and raising up her head,
a flood or vingarba, of sour wine, sprung down
the alabaster stairs, mixed with lumps of indigested meat; at which the people being amazed
from the saint swore she was a devil; and, had not
our travellers carried her in haste from the church
to the tavern, they would doubtless have stoned
her to death. Embarking in a frigate at Ancpna.
Arthur and Lithgow in three days arrived at Venice, where as soon as they landed at St. Mark's
Place, perceived a great crowd of people, and in
the midst of them a great smoke, inquiring the
cause, they were told, that a grey-friar of the
Franciscan order was burning alive at St, Mark's
Pillar, for debauching fifteen noble nuns, and
all within a year. Pressing forward, they came
to the Pillar, just as half his body and his right
hand fell into the fire.    This  friar was fortv-six
•'■.■'
years old, and had been confessor of that nunnery
of Sancta Lucia five years. Most of these nuns
were Senitors' daughters.—-—Fifteen (all pregnant) were sent home to their father's palaces;
the lady prioress and the rest weie banished for
ever; the nunnery was razed to the ground; the
 evenues were given to the poor, and the churcn
converted into an hospital.    Here our travellers
separated.      Arthur   returned  homeward,   and
Lithgow proceeded to Greece and Asia; but first
visiting Padua, Verona, and Ferrara.    At Padua
lie staid three months learning Italian of on§ of
his countrymen. Dr. John Wedderburn, an eminent mathematician, who  afterwards settled in
Moravia.    At his return to Venice, he embarked
in a carmoesalo Zara Nova, in Dalmatia; but
meeting with a violent storm, they were driven
for shelter into the port of Parenzo,   in Istria,.
Thence sailing by the isles Briani, the ruins of Po-
la, the isles Sangego, Osero, on the 8th day they
arrived at Zira where our traveller got a passage
into a Greek carmoesalo for Lesina, the largest
island in Adriatica.    He afterwards sailed successively to Ragusa, and the island of Corfu, Near
the island of St. Maure the vessel was attacked
by a Turkish galley of Biserta, from which after
a long and doubtful fight they escaped by favour
of a storm, and took shelter in Copholonia (formerly Ithaca, ) having seven of the crew killed,
and eleven wounded; among the latter  our traveller,  in his right arm.     Over this island he
travelled, and  on  the second day hired a little
boat to carry him to Zant, (anciently Zacynthus, )
twentyfive miles distant, where a Greek surgeon
cured 1
^is wound. He there embarked in a frigate
for Peterasso, (or Patras, ) the capital of the
Morea, where quitting the sea, he joined a caravan of Greeks bound for Athens, passing
through Laeonia, and the hilly and now barren
country bf Arcadia, encamping one night in the
uninhabited villages of Argos and Mycense; and
finding in short no remains of ancient Greece,
bttt the name. In seven days he arrived at
Athens from whence he took shipping for the
isle of Serigo, where during his stay at Capsalo,
the captain of that fortress having killed a priest,
whom he had found one night in a brothel, the
governor of the island deposed and banished him.
In the same boat Lithgow also embarked, and
sailed to Candia, or Crete. Thioiigh this whole
island he travelled twice, which no traveller in
f Christendom had done before. On setting out
for Canea, being informed of the danger of robbers, he put his money in exchange, and had
scarce got twelve miles, when he was beset by
three Greeks andan Italian, who beat him cruelly,
robbed him of all his clothes, and striped him
naked, adding many threats; till at length, the
Italian perceiving he was a stranger, and could
not speak the Cretan tongue, asked him in his
own language, where was his money ? He repli-
ed, he had  only 80   byzantinos,  which  scarce
 -s
9
amounted to eightpence English Not crediting was a young French gentleman, a protestant born
these words, the robbers, searched all his clothes jn Languedoc, who had been condemned by the
and budget, but found nothing except his linen genate to the gallies for life, for being accessary
and recommendatory letters from several princes, t0 tj,e death of a young noble Venetian, in a quar-
particularly the Doge of Venice, whose subjects rei concerning a courtezan. Having leave from
they were: this moved the Italian to compassion, ^ captain to come on shore with a keeper wear*!}
and he earnestly intreated the others to save our [ng an jron DOit on his leg, our author commen-
traveller's life, at length they restored to him his ced an acquaintance with him, and greatly com-
pilgrim's clothes and letters, but kept his blue passi0nating his misfortune, (being at Venice
gown and byzantinos, and as a passport gave, when the accident happened,) contrived his es«d
him a stamped piece of clay, to shew to any ,of cape at the hazard of his own life, by means of
their companions, if he met them, the band con- an Gld Greek woman, his laundress, who lent him
sisting of twenty. Travelling that day thirty- an 0ld gown and a black veil for a disguse, Ac-
seven miles, he reached at night the miserable Cordingly, Lithgow invited the keeper to a tav-
village of Pickehorno, where he could find neither ern} where, with deep draughts of .Leatic, he in-
meat, drink, lodging, nor any refreshment. The t0xicated this Argus, and left him asleep. Then
Candiots, a barbarous people thronging round disburdening his friend of his irons, he clothed
him, seeming amaxed at his wanting both com-Jhim in a female habit, and sent him out of the
pany and their language, a compassionate female town? conducted by the Greek woman, and when
having privately made him signs that his death past the guard and gate, our traveller followed
was concerted, he stole away from them in the him with his clothes, and, interchanging them,
night, and lay till morning in a cave by the sea- directed him over the mountains to a Greek con-
side hungry and thirsty, and his heart fainting vent, where he might be entertained till the MaJog
m nun.      [ ^ {[jj tese gallies or men-of-war should touch there, on
At sun-rising, he quitted his lurking piace, and  their way to the Levant* bsvloavt wo^rfiiJ ,c
about noon  reached   Canea, the second city of       jn his way back our author was met by two
Crete, anciently Cydon.    While he was there,   soldiers of his nation, Smith and Hurgrave, who
six gallies arrived t'rmx Venice, in one of which   were coming to inform him that the officers of
 10
11
the gallies, and several soldiers were searching
the city and the fields for him. Advising with
them how to reach the Julian monastery, St. Salvador, where they lodged, they conducted him
in at the eastern the least frequented gate of
the city, where three other Englishmen of the
garrison were that day on guard, and with them
happened to be eight French soldiers, their
friends, who also agreed to escort him. Near
his lodgings, four officers and five galley soldiers
lan to seize him, when the English and French
drawing their swords., desperately wounded two
of the officers. Meantime, a reinforcement coming from the gallies, Smith, leaving the rest engaged, ran with Lithgow to the monastery. At
length the officers, of the garrison relieved their
own soldiers, and drove back the others to the
gallies. Soon after, the general of the gallies I
came to the monastery, and examining our traveller concerning the fugitive, he made such a
defence that nothing could be proved against
him. Nevertheless, he chose to remain in safeguard in the cloister till the gallies were gone.
Being disappointed of a passage to the Archipelago, Lithgow resolved to visit the city of Can-
dia; and in his way passed by the famous haven
and through the pleasant valley of Suda, by the
city of Reshimos, the labyrinth of Daedalus, and
mount Ida ; near which, he disproved the assertion of there being no venomous creaturein Crete,
by killing two serpents and a viper. Being disappointed at Candia, he was forced to return to
Canea the same way he went, where, soon after,
an English renegado, named Wilson arrived from
Tunis, in his way to Phodes; and, after some conversation with his countrymen, the English
soldiers, hearing that Lithgow was a Scotsman,
he spoke as follows. " My elder brother, the
master of a ship, was killed at Brunt island in,
Scotland, by one Keere; and though he was beheaded, I have long since sworn to be revenged
on the first Scotsman I should see or meet, and
therefore I am determined to stab this man to
night as he goes home to his lodging;" desiring
their assistance, which two of them promised,
but the other three refused, meantime Smith
found him at supper in a cutler's house, where,
acquainting him with this conspiracy, he was escorted to his lodging by Smith and three Italian
soldiers, passing by the ruffian and his confederates, who, seeing his treachery discovered, made
his escape. &Mhw
Smith having thus most eminently served him
twice, first in freeing him from the danger of galley slavery, and now in saving his life, Lithgow
resolved to return the obligation, by discharging
 12
13
his debt to the captain, which was -only forty-eight
shillings Sterling and thereby procuring him his
liberty j after having served three captains fifteen
years. This our traveller happily accomplished, and embarked him for Venice.
Lithgow staid in Canea near a month, before
he could procure a passage for the Archipelago,
i nd at last left the monastery he says, with regret, as the four friars his hosts, gave him frequent and large draughts of malmsey, though
often against his will. Every night, too, they
forced him to dance with them; but their music
was drunkenness, and these beastlv swine were
every night so drenched, that they had not power
to go to their beds, but where they fell, they lay
till next morning. In short, during the twenty
days of his being there, he never sawr any of them
truly sober.
In this island, he travelled on foot about 400
miles, and, after a stay of fifty-eight days, he embarked in a fishing-boat for Milo, one of the
Cyclades, distant 100 miles, yd 'gni Ahloz
From Milo our traveller proceeded to Zephano,
another small island, from whence Lueullus first
transported marble to Rome ; and to Angusa,
where he was wind bound sixteen days, and all
that time was never in bed, but lodged on the
stones in a little chapel the Greeks intreating
him not to enter their sanctuary, because he was
not of their religion : however, as the nights were
long and cold, he was forced every night" to creep
into the midst of it to keep himself warm. From
thence he went to Mecano, anciently Delos, the
chief of the fifty-four Cyclades, where the custom
still continues of never suffering men to die, or
children to be born in it; but when the men are
sick and the woman big-bellied they are sent to
Rhena, two miles distant, Zea, Tino, and Pal-
mosa, once Patmos, where St. John wrote his
Revelation, were the next islands which he visited : and thence sailing to Nicaria, his vessel, in
sight of it was chaced by two Turkish galliots
into a bay, where, leaving the loaded boat, he
and eight more fled to the rocks, from whence
they annoyed the Turks with huge stones. The
master and two other old men were taken and
made slaves, and the boat and goods seized. In
his way from Nicaria to Sio, they were driven
by a storm into a creek between two rocks, where
the shore being shelfy and the anchors coming
home a great lake was made, and seven of the
crew drowned: the other eleven just before the
boat sunk, by hasty rowing reached a cave
within the mountain; Lithgow disembarked the
last, as the rest had sworn if he pressed to escape
before they were all in safety they would throw
 if
14
him into the sea. Nothing was saved but his
coffer made of reeds in which he carried his papers and linen, and held it always in his arms.
In this cave, which was 30 paces long, they abode
three days without meat and drink, till, on the
fourth, the tempest ceasing some fishing boats relieved them. Seventeen other boats were cast
away on this coast and not a man saved. Through
this island Lithgow travelled with a thankful
heart to Sio the capital, where, passing by an old
castle, he was told that Homer's sepulchre was
still extant there; and being desirous to see it,
he descended by sixteen steps into a dark cell,
and through that to another square room, where
he saw an ancient tomb on which were engraven
some ancient Greek letters, which he could not
understand. By Mitylene, or Lesboa he next
sailed in a carmoesalo to Negrppoint (of old Eu-
boea,) and in their way they were chased by two
Turkish galliots into a long creek, where the
Turks were deterred from attacking them, by bonfires made by the Greeks for six succeeding
nights, our traveller, as a stranger, being exposed
every night to stand centinel in the midst of frost
and snow, on the top of a high promontory,
which however invited his mule to bewail his toilsome life, his solitary wandering, and his long distance from his native country.
15
On the 7th day, two Venetian gentlemen, who
had been ten years banished for murder, came
down to see them with two servants, all well
armed ; and hearing our traveller's complaints a-
gainst the Greeks for detaining his budget, and
forcing him to endanger his life for their good,
they soundly drubbed the master, and forced him
to restore Lithgow's things ; carrying him within
five miles of the town where they then resided,
kindly entertaining iilm ten days, and, at his departure, made him a present of forty gold sequins ; the first gift he- ever received in all his
travels.
From thence he proceeded to Salonica in Macedonia, and then sailed along the Thessalian
shore, saw the " Two topped hill" Parnassus^
and a little more east, a ruinous village and castle, once the city of Thebes. In three days
from Ralonica he arrived at Tenedos, when meeting with two French merchants of Marseilles
bound to Constantinople he and they resolving
to view Troy, hired a janizary for their conductor and guard, and a Greek for their interpreter. Landing there, they saw many relicts of
old walls, and many ruined tombs some of which
were pointed out to them as the the tombs of
Hector, Ajax, Achilles, Troilus, &c. and also
those in Hecuba,  Cressida, and other Trojan
 16
dames, They were shown also the ruins of King
Priam's palace, and where old Anchises dwelt*
On a piece of a high wall, at the N. E. corner
of Troy, oui author found three pieces of rusted
money; two of which he afterwards gave to the
younger brothers of the Duke of Florence, then
studying at Pratolina ; the third and fairest, with
a large picture on one side, he bestowed, at Aix
in province, on his countryman Mr. Strachan
then mathematician to the Duke of Guise, who
presented it to his Lord.
On discharging their covenant with the janizary, who was not contented with the former
condition, the Frenchmen objected to pay the
same that Lithgow did, the Turk belaboured
them both with a cudgel till the blood sprang
from their heads, and compelled them to double
his wages. Such is the extortion of those rascals, who regard Christians no more than dogs;
and it is always best for a travaller to content
them at first, or he will be forced with blows, to
pay twice as much. At Sutos and Abydos, so
famed for the loves of Hero and Leander, but
now called the castles of Gallipoli (at present
the Dardenelles,) they arrived in a small frigate,
where, two days after, eighty Christians, slaves,
having murdered their captian, and the other
TurltSj and run away with the galley, passed the
17
straits at mid-night, with little hurt, though
the cannon thundered incessantly for two hours;
and at last arrived in the road to Zante. Another galley attempting the same the year following: the poor slaves, in passing, were so
wounded and galled with the great shot, and the
galley ready to sink that they were forced to run
on shore: where, being apprehended, they were
miserably put to death.
Leaving the Frenchman with a Greek bar-
oer. Lithgow embarked in a Turkish frigate
for Constantinople, " a little world, which he
describes as yielding at a distance such an outward splendour to the amazed beholder, of good-
ly churches, stately towers, gallant steeples &e.
that the world cannot equal it." At his landing
however, he " had a hard welcome .;" for on leaving the boat the master saying Adio Christiano,
four French rengenadoes standing on the quay
and hearing these wrords fell desperately upon
him, blaspheming the name of Jesus, and throwing
him down, beat him cruely, so that had not his
friendly Turks leaped out of their boat and re-
leived him, they would doubtless have murdered
him. The other infidels standing by, said to
him. ■•" Behold what a Saviour thou hast,-when
those that were Christians, now turned Mahometans, cannot abide nor regard the   name of thy
 18
God ■!" Entering into a Greek lodging, he was
much eased of his blows, by their anointing him
with divers oils, and kindly received and refreshed gratis, because he had suffered so much for
Christ's sake. Next day he went to pay his
duty to Sir Thomas Glover, the English ambassador, who courteously entertained him three
months in his house
" A more complete gentleman," he says. " he
never met with, nor one in whom true worth did
more illustrate virtue." His mother was a Polish
lady who coming from Dantzick to London was
delivered of him at sea. Afterwards he was
brought up at Constantinople, and spoke and
wrote the Selavonian tongue perfectly; and
thence returning to London he was the first ambassador sent there by king James I. after his
coming to the crown of England. The duke of
Moldavia, being deprived of his principalities by
Achmet was received and chargeably maintained
by Sir Thomas, in his house, for two years, but
his embassy being expired and Sir Paul Pindar
being expected in his place this prince stole away
from him, turned Turk, and was circumcised receiving only, for his dukedom, a palace, and a
yearely pension of 121,000 gold sequins for life.
He owed the ambassador about 151,000 half of
19
which in half an year, he recovered the other half
he was forced to forgoe,
*fo fThe winter being expired, Lithgow sailed in
an English ship to Smyrna? and thence to
Rhodes, where he saw the remains of the Col-
lossus, and to Limisso, in Cyprus, from whence
he went with an interpreter to visit Nioosia, the
capital; and, on his return, meeting four Turks,
they would have his mule to ride upon, which
his interpreter refused, they pulled him off its
back, beat him pitifully, and left him almost dead.
His companion fled and escaped; and had not
some Greeks accidently come by and relieved
him, he must have perished. He sailed from
thence to Tripoli, in Syria, and while he waited
there for a caravan to Aleppo, being mindful to
visit Babylon, he agreed with three Venetian
merchants to go a days journey to see the cedars
of Libanus. Ascending the mountain, their
guide mistaking their way amidst an intricate path
of the rocks, two of their asses fell over a bank,
and broke their necks; and had they not met, by
chance, with a Christian Amaronite, they must
have been lost among the rocks, heaps of snow,
and violent torrents. At the place where the
cedars giow, they saw but twenty-four in all;
and nine miles eastward, there are seventeen
more.    He was there shown the tomb of Joshua,
 30
all of one stone, seventeen feet long, ana was
kindly entertained by the Bishop, or Patriarch
at Eden, and the Amaronites, or Nazaritans, of
the other villages.
Returning to Tripoli, he set out with a caravan of Turks for Aleppo, but before his arrival
there, the caravan for Babylon, to his great grief
was departed: but, being told that it staid at
Beershack on Euphrates, on account of some
Arabs who w7aylaid them in the desarts, he hired
ajannizary and three soldiers to overtake them.
But though they had stayed they were gone three I
days before he got there. Beershack is by
some supposed to be Padenarium. To Aleppo,
therefore, he was forced to return. While he
was there, the Bashaw, having the year before
rebelled against the grand Signor, he sent him
a chiaux and janizaries in ail embass, proffering,
that if he would acknowledge his rebellion, and
for that treason send Achmet his head, his eldest
son should inherit his possessions and Bashaw-
ship; otherwise the Sultan would come in person
and utterly eraze him and all his from the face
of the earth. The messengers met the Bashaw
on horseback, accompanied by his two sons and
500 horsemen. Hearing this he dismounted consulting with his sons and friends, he and they concluded, that it wras best for hiin being an old man
21
i,o die to save his race from destruction and pre*
serve his son in his authority and inheritance.
This done, he went to prayer; and taking leave
of them all and sitting down on his knees, the
chiaux struck off his head, and put it Into a box
to carry to Constantinople. The corpse was
honourably buried at Aleppo, of which Lithgow
was an eye-witness.
And immediately the chiaux by proclamation, fully invested the son in his father's lands,
offices &c. .T7 hfLG
Being disappointed going with the caravan to
Babylon in the autumn, as has been already related, our traveller returned to Aleppo where he
staid till the spring, when he joined a caravan of
Armenians and Turks, well guarded, bound to
Jerusalem, hiring a mule from a Turk to carry
his victuals.
Their number was about 600 Armenians,
Christian pilgrims, men and women. 600 Turks
trafficking for their own business, 100 soldiers
three chiauses, and six janizaries. The confusion
of this multitude he describes as most grevious,
on account of the extreme heat and scarcity of
water, and narrow stony passages in -which they
often fell one over another in great heaps, and
the Christians wrere often well beatoi by the
conducting Turks.    The owner of his mule was
 22
for three days very favorable to him, in order to
have a share (he found) of his tobacco, of which
he then freely gave him a pound, which he always carried with him, to procure the good-will
of the Turks.    At his walking, which he often
did at dismounting, to streach his legs that were
stiffned by  a stumbling beast they laughed and
mocked him, it being their custom, at alighting
to sit down immediately, and fold their feet under them.    On  the  ninth day  they arrived at
Damascus, and were lodged three days there in
a great khan, at the grand signior's ?xpence; a
privilege allowed to all strangers who come with
a caravan.
to mOn Palm Sunday, in the morning, 1612, the
caravan entering Jerusalem, and at the gate, they
were   all   searched   forr arms and   ammunition.
The Amenians were  obliged to deliver up t&4ir
wepons, and Lithgow's name was written in the
clerks book,   that his tribute   for the gates, and
for seeing the sepulchre, might before his departure, be, paid together.    The gates were of iron
inwardly, and above each gate was planted brazen
cannon.
Taking his leave of his companions, who
lodged with their own Patriarch, our author was
met and received in the streets by the guardian,
and twelve friars, each carrying a lighted  wax
23
candle, and one for him also, and singing Te
Deum all the way to their Monastery, they greatly rejoiced that a Christian had come from such
a far country as Scotland to visit Jerusalem.
But, when they knew afterwards, that he was no
Popish Catholic, they sorely repented of their
labour. He found there ten branks, just come
from Venice, six of then Germans, and also good
Protestants, who were wonderfully pleased to
hear him flatly tell the guardian, that he was no
Roman Catholic, nor never thought to be so.
After staying some days at Jerusalem, and seeing every thing wortEy of his notice, he made
the best of his way to Joppa, where, after seeing
the remains of the house in whichs Peter fell into
a trance, and saw heaven opened, he embarked
in a small vessel for Alexandria. He arrived
there in safety, and soon sailed for his native
land.
ANECDOTE OF HENRY IV. OF FRANCE.
Henry had seduced the daughter of an officer
at Rochelle, which had disgraced a worthy family, and given great offence to the people of that
city. Just befere a battle, when prayers were
going to be read in front of the line, a protestant
minister, his chaplain, took the liberty to remon-
 m
strate to him, that he could not expect that th
Divine Being would favour his arms, if he did
not previously ask pardon for this offence, and
repair the scandal which he had given by the
most public satisfaction. The King heard this
remonstrance with "the greatest humility, fell upon his knee, implored forgiveness of God, and
desired all to witness his contrition, and his solemn assurance that, if Providence spared his life,
he would repair as much as possible, the injury
he had clone. All who were present at this uncommon scene, were melted into tears; and there
was scarce one who would not have devoted his
life for a prince, who thus evinced such instant
readiness to do justice to his inferiors.
bn£ <yj>:
SlTOdO^V *■
i
r> edi bssuhos bnd rn v. aH
lom-gzib bud xloidw ^Ibrfoofl in
ig bm eyli
110 jiioii ni br -\ -gciio-g

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