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COMMON JOYS.

THE STRANGE CLAIMANT; OR,…

MINIE, THE MISER'S DAUGHTER.

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FLOGGED BY MISTAKE.-The custom of order- ing punishments (says Count Segur, French Ambassa- dor to the Court of Russia, in his interesting "Memoirs and Recollections") at the caprice of the moment, which are no sooner commanded than in- flicted,-and for faults condemned without examina- tion, by an absolute master,—leads to the strangest mistakes, even with those who are the least severe. The following is one, of which the result was sum- ciently ludicrous-thanks to the person who had been the object of it—although the commencement was both harsh and cruel. One morning a man entered my house with the greatest precipitation; he seemed confused and agitated, at once by fear, pain, and passion; his hair was standing on end, his eyes red and full of tears, his voice tremulous, and his clothes in disorder. I found he was a Frenchman, and on inquiring the cause of bis agitation he replied—" I entreat the protection of your Excellency against a dreadful act of injustice and violence. I have this moment, and by order of a powerful noble, been outraged, without the least cause, and received a hundred lashes." Such treatment," I answered, would be inexcusable if even a serious fault had called for its inniction if j*aa no motive, as you assert, it ia not only inexpli- cable, but very improbable; but who could have given S|Ui?- aQ orc^er It wasi" replied the complainant, h«,Excellency the Count de Bruce, governor of the city. You are mad," said I; "it is impossible that 50 estimable enlightened, and generally respected a man as the Count de Bruce could allow himself bo commit such an act of violence on a French- man, unless you had personally attacked and insulted him.' Why, sir," rejoined the sufferer, I never knew the count. I am a cook; and having heard bhau the governor wished for one, I presented myself at his house, and was ordered to go into his closet. As soon as I was announced to his Excellency, he ordered me to receive a hundred lashes, which were instantly inflicted. My story may appear improbable, but too true, as my eboulde-a can testify." Listen," said I, at length. If, contrary to all ap- pearances, you have told the truth, I will obtain re- paration for the injury nor shall I suffer my countrymen, whom it is my duty to protect, to be treated in this manner. But reflect well that, if you tttve told me an untruth, I shall also know how to make you repent the imposture. You shall yourself take a letter to the governor, which I will write, undone of my attendants fehall accompany you." I instantly wrote to the count, informing him of the strange denunciation that had been made to me. I told him that, although it was impossible to give it credit,, yet the obligation to pro- teot French subjects made it my duty to request some explanation of so singular an act, since it was not j possible that any subordinate agent would have so un- i worthily made use of his name to commit this act of i violence. I added that I should wait with impatience for his answer, in order that measures might be taken to punish the complainant if he had made a false as- sertion, Or to obtain prompt justice for him if he had told the truth. Two hours passed without my receiv- ioga»y answer. I began to get impatient, and pre- pared to go out myself, in order to procure the explanation I demanded, when I observed the complainant come suddenly into the room. He no longer appeared the same person; his hair was calm, his mouth smiling, while his eyes seemed to sparkle with joy.^ Well," said I, have you brought back a reply? ''No, sir; his Excellency will make one him- self immediately, but I have no longer any cause of complaint; I am sa.tlsfied-well satisfied; and the whole of the affair has been a mistake. It only re- mains for me to thank you. for your kindness." « Sow ia this ? I Mked him. Have you got rid of the hundred lashes already ? r "No, sir, I have not, for they are well engraved on my shoulders but, faith, they have been perfectly well dressed, and in such a way as to make me take things very quietly now. The whole matter has been explained to me; it oflgmated as follows: Count Bruce had a cook who was born on one of his estates; this man deserted a few days before, and committed a theft. gia Excellency, in giving orders to have him sought for,* determined that, if overtaken, he should be Such were the circumstances under which J presented myself to apply for the vacant place. When the door of the governor's closet was thrown open, he Was sitting with bis back towards me, very much occapied- On entering, the servant, who went before, said, 4 Monseigneur, here is the cook;'upon which his Excellency, without turning his head, replied, Very well, let him be taken into the courtyard, and give him the 100 lashes, as I have ordered.' The order was scarcely given when the door was shut, and I was seized by the servant. He called his comrades, who, without pity, as I have told you, applied the 100 lashes on a poor French cook instead of a Russian cook and a deserter. His Excellency," added the poor unfortunate cook, "in pitying my case, condescended to explftin the cause of the mistake, and terminated his consoling words by the gift of this purse of gold. as you may see." I now dismissed the poor fellow, whose just anger, I could not help thinking, was much too easily appeased. THE DEATH OF JOAN OF ABC.—At daybreak on the 30th of May, 1431, a priest entered the cell of a young woman at Rouen, and announced that he was come to prepare her for death. Not that the prisoner was ill—she was young, healthy, and in the fnll possession of her faculties; the death she was to suffer was a violent one—she was to be burned alive! Burned alive at one-and-twenty! What could the poor wretch have done ? She had shirred the power of the English in France; she had, by means of an enthusiasm which rendered her obnoxious to the clergy, roused the French nation from the torpor into which it had been thrown by the stunning blows dealt to it by Henry V. of England, and she had dared to thwart the purposes and brave the anger ef vindictive church- men like the Bishop of Beauvais, and the Bishop of Winchester, Cardinal Beaufort. The prisoner's name was Jeanne Dare, or as she has been more coinnionly, but erroneously, called, Joan of Arc. The priest a announcement took the poor maiden entirely by surprise. A week before she had been led out into a public place in Rouen, and compelled, in a moment of weakness, when surrounded by enemiea—not one kindly face among the crowd—and under circum- gtanses of great excitement, to sign a document dis- avowing and solemnly abjuring certain cnarges of heresy which were preferred against her; and she had been told on that occasion that her life would now be spared, though she must resign herself to a sentence of perpetual imprisonment. The excuse for breaking faith with the poor girl was this, tbtt since her abjuration she had said that St. Catherine and St. Margaret, with whom she asserted she was frequently in direct communion, had appeared to her and rebuked her for her weakness in yielding to the threats of violence. On first hearing the announcement of the priest Jeanne's firmness gave wayshe wept and gave vent to piteous cries, tore her hair, and appealed to the great Judge against the cruel wrongs done to her; but by degrees her self- pesseesion returned, and she listened to the ministra- tions of the priest, received the last sacrament from him. &nd announced herself ready to submit to the will of God. At nine o'clock in the morning she was carried away in the hangman's cart to the market-place of Rouen, where had been already laid the funeral pyre on which the young victim was to be sacrificed. The Bishop of Beauvaia, Cardinal Beaufort, and several other prelates, with the English military commanders, were there, and a vast crowd had come out to see "the maid of Orleans die. In the centre of the market-place, about the spot where now stands a fountain surmounted by a figure of Jeanne Dare, the stake was reared, and around it were piled the fagota. Soldiers guarded the place of execution. The ceremonial of death was begun on that beautiful May morning by a sermon in which the crime of heresy was vehemently denounced, then the sentence pronounced by the shepherds of, the. flock on the ewe lamb before them was published, and the signal was given to proclaim the last act of the tragedy. A soldier's staff was broken and formed into a rough cross which the Maid elapsed to her breast. She was then bound to the stake, the fagots were lighted, the fire leaped up areund her, and after suffering the agony indispensable to death by burning her spirit returned to God who gave it. The English cardinal watched the whale proceedings with unmoved face, and when his victim's life was beyond his reach he ordered her ashes and bones to be gathered up and to be cast into the Beine.- CastelVe Few Popular Educator,

LADIES' COLUMN.

USEFUL HINTS.I

THE OLD SEXTON.

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/URIETIE*.I