BLTC Press Titles

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Some Experiences of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

Vanity Fair

William Thackery

The canary bird

by Christoph von Schmid


In addition to the m6st important subject of all, religion, Mr. D'Erlau instructed his children in every other useful and necessary science; nor did he even overlook

those things which are but ornamental, and serve to add to the enjoyments of life. He himself, among other accomplishments, played admirably upon the harpsichord, and sang so extremely well, that few, except his wife, could excel him. He taught little Charles, therefore, to play the harpsichord, and gentle little Lina to sing.

One gloomy and terrific evening in the end of winter, the father and mother, with Charles and Lina, were sitting together at the harpsichord, in their warm and brilliant saloon; for music and singing was their ordinary relaxation at this season of the year. Mr. D'Erlau had written a little hymn to God's protecting Providence, specially for the two children, set it to an easy, pleasing air, and composed for it an accompaniment so simply arranged that the little fellow could compass it with his tiny fingers. Their mother did not know anything of it

as yet, for the children wished to give her an agreeable surprise with their hymn. After she had sung several beautiful airs, therefore, with her own matchless voice, her husband accompanying her on the instrument, he called upon the children to give a specimen of their little skill; and the little ones, modestly, but yet with great sweetness, sang the air which he had composed. Their mother was charmed with this first performance of her darling children. No concert at the king's court could have given her so much pleasure. "Yes," she cried, "God, who has yet protected you, will still be your powerful Protector."

But lo!—on a sudden the door was flung violently open,—a body of the National Guard, in full uniform, pressed forcibly into the apartment—the leader of the troop produced an order for Mr. D'Erlau's arrest: he was taken prisoner, and

informed that, without remonstrance or delay, lie must accompany them to the town prison. He was charged with being a royalist, and an enemy of liberty—this was the ground assigned in the order for his arrest. The mother threw herself at the feet of the rude man who stood before her, with dark flashing eyes, tangled black hair hanging dishevelled on his forehead, and a fierce-looking bushy beard.—She wrung her hands; the scalding tears streamed down her cheeks, pale with terror; her two little ones, too, held up their tender little hands, praying and beseeching them not to take away their father.— The tears chased each other down their cheeks, and in a short time they could not articulate for sobbing. All was in vain! They did not even obtain a delay till the morrow, not even for a single hour, to enable him to pack up a few necessaries

for his dreary residence in the prison. They were immovable. He was ordered to proceed upon the spot; and while the mother embraced him with tears and loud lamentations, and the children clung to his knees, he was violently torn from them and led away.

It would be idle to attempt a description of the sorrow of the mother and her children. They were guarded in the apartment, in order to prevent all further exeitement in the village, in which D'Erlau was very much loved. The mother had fainted away with terror; and now she sat in an arm-chair, weeping, wringing her hands, and raising her streaming eyes to heaven, the children sobbing and wailing around her. In a short time, however, this pious and high-souled woman recovered her firmness. "Let us not so soon, my dearest children," she cried, "abandon -our hope in God! 'Tis He who has sent us this dreadful trial: He, too, will give us grace to support it; He will turn it to our advantage, and change it hereafter into joy. Let us say to Him cheerfully and confidently,'Lord, Thy will be done.'"

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