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(See the Frontispiece.)
THE French government having thought proper to establish a consul at Mossoul, chose for this post M. Botta, who set out at the beginning of the year 1842. He had already visited different eastern countries, and now resolved to make researches upon the eastern bank of the Tigris, opposite Mossoul, in those places where ancient authors and historians, confirmed by traces still evident, coincide in placing Nineveh.
It was the original intention of M. Botta to carry on his researches at the mound on which the village of Niniouah is built. But the number and importance of the dwellings by which it is covered, prevented this proceeding, especially as the putative tomb of the prophet Jonas, one of these buildings, is regarded with superstitious veneration by the Mussulmen. He accordingly chose the mound of Koyoundjouk, situate farther northward, and in December, 1842, commenced operations with indifferent success. But his labors having attracted notice, one of the inhabitants of Khorsabad brought him two large bricks with cuneiform inscriptions, which turned his attention toward the last named locality. Here he soon found some sculptures and remains of much interest.
Aided by funds from the French government, who at his request also sent out an artist, he prosecuted his investigations with vigour and success, at one time employing no less than three hundred workmen. A palace, embellished with numerous sculptures and inscribed stones, was exhumed; and before the close of 1844 his discoveries were completed, and 'preparations made for transporting to France, the beautiful works of art he had brought to light, among which were the magnificent human-headed bulls figured in our Frontispiece.
THE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY.
(Concluded from page 458.)
My birth-day had been gone by a week, and still the shilling and the penny lay folded in their silken shrines.
I had quite recovered my spirits, and was beginning to think how I should spend them, particularly the shilling, for I scarcely thought any good could be done with such a small sum as a penny. Now there was a poor Irish boy in our neighbourhood, who had come with the reapers, and been left behind with a hurt in his leg.
My mother had often been to see him; while he was confined to his bed, she went regularly to read with him, and sometimes she sent me with our nurse-maid to take him a dinner.
He was now much better, and could get about a little. To my mother's surprise, she found that he could read perfectly well. One day, when she met him, he thanked "her honour for all favours," and said he should be soon well enough to return to old Ireland,
As we walked home that day, my mother said to me, “Orris, if you like, I will tell you of a good way to spend your shilling. You may buy poor Tim a Testament."
I was delighted, and gave my immediate assent. "Well then," said my mother, "that is settled. I should have given one myself to Tim, if you had wished to spend your shilling in something else. And now, remember, you must not change
your mind; papa is going to the town to-morrow, you may go with him and get one then.”
To-morrow came, and with it a note to me from my two cousins, saying that they were coming over to spend the afternoon with me, and see my Indian corn, and my tobacco plants, which I had planted myself.
I was very proud of my corn, and still more proud that my cousins should think it worth while to come and see it, for they, were three or four years older than myself, and did not often take part in my amusements.
By dint of great industry I finished my lessons an hour earlier than usual, and ran into the garden to see how my corn looked. Old gardener himself admitted that it was beautiful, the glossy green leaves fell back like silken streamers, and displayed the grain with its many shades of green, gold, and brown.
I thought how delightful it would be if I could build a kind of bower over against it, in which my cousins could sit and admire it at their leisure. There were some hop plants growing just in the right place, I had only to untwist them; and there was a clematis which could easily be pressed into the service.
I set to work, and with a little help from him, soon made two or three low arches over which I carefully trained the flowering hops, and mingled them with festoons of clematis, The bower seemed to be worthy of a queen at the least; and no doubt it was really pretty.
I was just carrying some pots of balsams in flower to set at the entrance, when my father came up. Well, Orris," he said, "Mamma tells me you want to go to the town. Be quick if you do, for I am just ready to start."
"Just ready! O papa, surely it is not one o'clock? If I go, this bower will never be finished by three."
"Certainly not, we shall scarcely be home by three; but why need it be finished?"
"Don't you remember, papa, that Elsy and Anne are coming?"
"Oh, I had forgotten that important fact. Well then, if they are to sit in this bower, I think you must stay at home and finish it; you can go with me some other day."
Now my father knew nothing about the Testament, or he would doubtless have given different advice. While I hesitated, anxious to stay, and yet afraid not to go, my mother drew near, and I thought I would leave it to her to decide.
"The child wants to finish her bower, my dear," said my father, "therefore, as it is not particularly convenient to me to have her to-day, she may stay at home if she like, for, I presume, her errand was of no great consequence.”
My mother made no answer: in another moment he was gone, and I was left with a long hop tendril in my hand, and a face flushed with heat and agitation.
I thought my mother would speak, and advise me to run after my father, but she did not; and I went on with my work, conscious that her eyes were upon me.
Presently, to my great relief, gardener came up, and asked her some question about the flower-beds. She went away with him, and I breathed more freely, comforting myself with the thought that I could easily buy the Testament another day.
I worked faster than ever, partly to drive away reproachful thoughts. The little bower was lovely-it was scarcely high enough for me to stand upright in, but it would be delightful I knew for us to sit under. Gardener had been mowing, and when I had brought a quantity of sun-dried grass, and spread it thickly over the floor, I thought my bower quite an eighth wonder of the world. My cousins came shortly, and confirmed me in this opinion; they spent a very happy afternoon seated under it, and but for remembering the Irish boy, I might have been happy also. We were very quiet till after tea, and then I am sorry to say our high spirits quite carried us away; we got into mischief, and my share of it was throwing an apple into the greenhouse and breaking two panes of glass. This was on a Saturday.
On Sunday, no one mentioned either this or the Irish boy; but on Monday, just as I had finished my lessons, I saw my father pass the window, and ventured to ask mamma if he was going to the town, and whether I might walk with him.
Why do you wish to go, Orris ?" she enquired."
"To buy the Testament, mamma, for poor Tim."
"He is gone," said my mother; "he went away early this morning."
I put on my garden bonnet, and went out with a curious sensation as if, when I did wrong, all circumstances conspired to punish me. I turned the corner of the green-house, and then stood by my father, looking at the broken panes.
"Orris," he said, "did you do this mischief?"
"This is the third time it has happened. I have repeatedly forbidden you to play in this part of the garden."
"I am very sorry, papa."
"Your sorrow will not mend the glass, and I am afraid it will not make you more obedient another time."
He spoke so gravely that I knew he really was displeased. After a pause, he said
"Have you got any money?"
"I have a shilling, papa, and a penny."
"It will cost more than that to repair this damage; I shall be obliged to claim forfeit of the shilling."
I wiped away two or three tears, and produced my little silk bag. My father took the bag, turned it over, and bit his lips: perhaps its elaborate workmanship made him understand that a shilling was much more for me to give up than for him to receive.
"Is this all you have got?" he enquired.
Excepting the penny, papa," I replied; and child as I was, I perfectly understood his vexation at having to take it from He remained so long looking at it, as it lay in his palm, that I even hoped he would return it, and say he would excuse me that once. But no, he was too wise; he put it at last into his waistcoat pocket and walked away, saying, "I hope this will make you more careful another time."
He went towards the house, and I watched him till he entered. Then I ran to my bower, sat down upon the dried grass, and began to cry as if my heart would break.
Repentance and regret, though they may be keenly felt by a child, are not reasoned on very distinctly. I had often been very sorry before, but whether for the fault, as distinct from the punishment, I had scarcely enquired. I was heartily sorry now, not only for my disobedience and because my father had forfeited the shilling, but because I saw it had vexed and hurt