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Title: The Book of Three Hundred Anecdotes - Historical, Literary, and Humorous—A New Selection
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Book of Three Hundred Anecdotes - Historical, Literary, and Humorous—A New Selection" ***

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Abernethy, 26

Abon Hannifah, 39

ACTORS, 27-33

Adam, Dr., and the Schoolboy, 106


Aguesseau, D', Chancellor of France, 115

Alban's, Duchess of, and the Sailor, 28

Algerine Captain, 119

Alphonsus, King of Naples, 39

American Heroines, 135

Amour, St., General, 1

André, St., Marquis de, 90


Astley Cooper, 26

Atterbury, in the House of Peers, 113

Bakers, The, of Lyons, 18

Bailly, Miss--Escape of the Pretender, 94

Bannister, 19

Bautru and the Spanish Librarian, 77

Bayard, The Chevalier, 80

Beauvais, Ladies of, 118


Belmont, Countess de, 45

Benbow and the Wounded Sailor, 101


Ben Jonson at Dinner, 21

Bernard, Father, 88

Bishop and Clerks, 104

BOOKS, 13-16

Boufflers, Marshal, 120

Bouille, Marquis de, 121

Boutteville, Count de, and the Soldier, 81

Boutibonne, M., Imaginary Accident, 58

Breton Peasants, 48

Brougham, Lord--Examination of a Witness, 70

Budæus, 76

Buffon and his Servant, 115

Busby, Dr., and the Scholar, 106

Cajeta, Siege of, 51

Camden, Lord, in the Stocks, 73

Camerons and Christians, 117

Campo, Marquess del, and George III., 93

Candle Light, War by, 120

Canning and the Preacher, 125

Carteret, Lady, and Dean Swift, 132

Carving Accident, 90

Catalogue Making, 15

Chamillart the French Lawyer, 70

Chantrey--First sculpture, 9


Charles II. and Killigrew, 63

Charles V. of France, 64

Charles VI. of Austria, 122

Charles XII. and his Secretary, 119

Charlotte, Princess, 54

Chatillon, Admiral, and the Beggar, 10

Cherin, General, 109

Child and Goat, 103

China Ware, 129

Christmas Pudding Extraordinary, 20

Clerambault and La Fontaine, 126

Cobbler of Leyden, The, 114

Cochrane, Sir John, 46

Cochrane, Lord, 56

Coleridge's "Watchman", 107

Coleridge and his Dinner Companion, 126

Conjugal Affection--French Troops in Italy, 4

Cornwallis, Admiral, and the Mutineers, 105

Crimean Captain, 111

  and Dr. Boyse, 40
  and the Jockey, 67
  and the Farmer, 69
  his Witty Replies, 70

Cuvier and his Visitors, 116

Day, Thomas, and Sir W. Jones, 72

Deaf and Dumb Mother, 1

Denon and Defoe, 16

Dey of Algiers and Admiral Keppel, 104

Dickens--Origin of "Boz", 15

Dictionaries, 14

Dieppe Pilot, 43

DINNERS, 19-22

DOCTORS, 22-27

Domat, Judge, and the Poor Widow, 11

Douglas, The, 47

DRAMA, The, 27-33

Dreaming, 129

Drummond, Provost, 52

Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Pitt--a Dispute in Bed, 86

Duncan, Admiral, 121

DUTY, 34

Duval, the Librarian, 77

Edinburgh--Spoiled Street, 130

Erskine and Lord Kellie, 126

Erskine, Legal Anecdotes of, 67-68

Eveillan, Archdeacon of Angers, 57

Faithful Depositary, 37

Faithful Domestic, 36

Falkland, Lord, and the House of Commons, 86

Family Sacrifice--French Revolution, 4

Fear of Death, 58

Fenelon, Archbishop--his Humanity, 56


Fielding, Sir J., and the Irishman, 71

Filial Affection--French Boy, 2

Fletcher, of Saltown, and his Footman, 113

Fontenelle, 37, 38

Fools, 38

Foote, the Actor, 33


Fouché and Napoleon, 91

Francis I. and his Fool, 38

Frederick the Great
  and the Page, 61
  and the Soldier, 62
  and the Deserter, 62
  his Arguments, 62

  Curate--Forgiveness, 39
  Peasant Girl, 45
  Officer in Flanders, 77
  Officer in Spain, 77
    at Noyon, 95
    of La Vendée, 91


Gainsborough--Picture of the Pigs, 6

Garrick and Rich, 33

Garrick and Sir J. Reynolds, 115

Gendarmes and Priest, 91

  I. and the Lieutenant, 121
    and the Dutch-Innkeeper, 64
    and the Court Martial, 122
    --Punctuality, 64
    Carbonel the Wine Merchant, 65
    The Horse Dealer, 66
    Memorial to a Servant, 66
    Treatment of a Caricature, 66
    and Lord Lothian, 102

Ghosts, 42

Gibbet, Sight of a, 117

Gin _versus_ Drugs, 25

Glynn, Dr., and the Magpie, 12

Gonsalvo de Cordova, 119

Goldsmith's Marlow, 32

Gooch, Sir W., and the Negro, 90


Gregory, Dr., a Militiaman, 38

Granby, Marquis of, and the Lord-in-Waiting, 108

Grancé, Count de, and the Cannon Ball, 112

Grenadier, French, 121

Grog, 103

Guise, Colonel, 24

H., Letter, Use of, 14

Haddock, Admiral, 102

Handel, 82

Hanging Judge, The, 73

Hanway, Jonas, and the Coachman, 107

Hawker, Colonel, and the French Officer, 77

Haydn, 84

Heavy Play, A, 28

Heber's Palestine, 14

Henderson and the Actor, 113

Henri IV. and D'Aubigné,  40


  Sergeant, 75
  Rowland, 101

Hogarth--Picture of the Red Sea, 9

Hood, Sir S., 57


Hough, Dr., and the Barometer, 114

Housemaid, Presence of mind of a, 92

Hulet, the Comedian, 31


Hume's Speeches, 86

Huntly, Marquis of, and James VI., 95

Ice, Custom-house doubt, 70


James I.
  and the Courtier, 38
  in Westminster Hall, 60
  and the Earl of Scarborough, 96

James IV. of Scotland and the Robbers, 92

John Gilpin, Origin of, 14

Johnson, Dr.,
  and the Hare, 49
  and Wilkes, 60
  and Lord Elibank, 60
  reply to Miller, 60

Judge, A Benevolent, 11

Kaimes, Lord, and the Sheepstealer, 75

Kean, Charles, 29

Kennedies, The, 36

Keppel, Admiral, at Algiers, 104


Kirwan, Dr., 20

Kosciusko, 19

Labat, Mons. of Bayonne, 47

Lady and Highwayman, 100

Lamb, Counsellor, 72

Lamb, Charles, and the Farmer, 116


Lely the Painter, and the Alderman, 6

Lessing, 130

Lettsom, Dr., and the Highwayman, 101


Lisieux, Bishop of, 53

Liston, 27

Long and Short Barristers, 74

Longueville, Duke of, 40

  St., 78
  XII. and the Composer, 63
  XIV. and the Comte de Grammont, 62
  and Lord Stair, 63
  and the Eddystone Workmen, 63

Lyndhurst, Lord,--Retirement from Office, 87

Mackenzie, General, 34

Maclaurin and his Pupils, 130


Mariè Antoinette, 40

Maximilian I. and the Beggar, 11

  An English, 89
  A French, 89

Memory, Artificial, 127

Mimicry, 30

Miner, Swedish, 3

Molière and the Doctors, 23

Monkey, A Grenadier, 123

Montaigne on Doctors, 23

Montesquieu, M. de, 55

Morand and the Critics, 33

Morland the Painter, 6

Morvilliers and Charles IX., 34

Motte, M. de la, and the Critics, 28

Mozart, 84

Mungo Park and the African Woman, 50


Mysterious Benefactor, 19

Napoleon Bonaparte, 17, 18, 91, 110

Nash and the Doctor, 25

Navy Chaplains, 104

Neckar and the Corporation of Paris, 51

Nelson, Lord--Punctuality, 98

Nena Sahib and the Devil, 107

Nevailles, Marshal de, 48

Norton, Sir F. and Lord Mansfield, 72

O'Brien, Lieutenant, 102

Old Age secured--the Irish Beggar, 11

Old Ambrose, 35

O'Neil, Sir Phelim, 78

Orkney, Countess of, 1

Orleans, Duke of, 39

Ossuna, Duke of, and the Felon, 100

Parisian Stockbroker, 128

Parisian Ragman, 127



Pepusch, Dr., 116

Peterborough, Lord, and the Mob, 91

Peter the Great, 71, 113

Philadelphian Lady, 128

Philip II. of Spain, 88

Physicians in China, 23

Pitt, and the Duke of Newcastle, 86

Pius IX., and the Attorney, 12


Polignac, Compte de, 17

Politeness, 89

Poor-man-of-mutton, 21

Pope the Poet, 125

Presence of Mind, 90-95

Prideaux--Life of Mahomet, 13


Quartering upon the Enemy, 111

Quick the Actor, 32

Racine and his Family, 3

Ragged Regiment, 118


Reclaimed Robbers, 101

Rejected Addresses, The, 125

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 5

Richardson--opinion of a Picture, 5

Rivardes and the Wooden Leg, 111


Robert, King of France, 114

Ross, Lord, 124

SAILORS, 101-105

Savage Dr., and the Pope, 132

Savoie, Magdeline De, 110

Schaumbourg, Count, 117


Scott, Sir W.
  --Punctuality, 99
  and the Beggar, 11
  and the Inn-keeper, 109

Scott, Mr., of Exeter, 98

Selwyn, G., and the Traveller, 116

Senesino and Farinelli, 30

Sentinel on the Stage, 31


Shaving a Queen, 27

Sheridan, Dr., and the Scholar, 105

Sheridan, 88, 132, 133

Sidney, Sir Philip, 53

Signboards, 109

Sion College, and George III., 131

Sir and Sire, 17

Sisters of Charity, 129

Smith, Sydney, Charity Sermon, 125

Smiths, The Two, 126

SOLDIERS, 109-112

Sporting, 134

Stackelberg, Baron Von, 54

Steele and Addison, 124

Sterne and the Old Woman, 134

Strasburgh Lawyer, A, 68

Suwarrow, Marshall, 110

Swift, Dean, 10, 21, 22, 109, 131

Talleyrand, Madame de, 16

Tantara, and the Landscape, 9


Tenterden, Lord, 74

Thelwall and Erskine, 71

"They're all Out", 87

Thomson the Poet, and Quin, 15

Thurot, Admiral, 79

TIME, Value of, 115


Turenne, Marshal, 112

Turner, The Painter, 6

Tyrolese Heroine, 136

Van Dyke, 40

Vendean Servant, 91

Vernet--Picture of St. Jerome, 8

Villars, Marshal, 110

Villecerf, Madame de, 22

Voisin, Chancellor of Louis XIX., 34

Wager, Sir C., and the Doctors, 25

WAR, 117-124

Wardlaw, Archbishop of St. Andrew's, 49

Weeping at a Play, 31

Welch Dispute, A, 97

West, the Painter, 7

William III., and St. Evremond, 131

Willie Law, 22

Wise, Dr., and the Parliament, 131

Ximenes, Cardinal, 123

"Yellow Cabriolet," The, 28

York, Duke of, and the Housekeeper, 108

Zimmerman, 23



General St. Amour.--This officer, who distinguished himself in the Imperial
service, was the son of a poor Piedmontese peasant, but he never forgot his
humble extraction. While the army was in Piedmont, he invited his principal
officers to an entertainment, when his father happened to arrive just as
they were sitting down to table. This being announced to the general, he
immediately rose, and stated to his guests his father's arrival. He said he
knew the respect he owed to them, but at the same time he hoped they would
excuse him if he withdrew, and dined with his father in another room. The
guests begged that the father might be introduced, assuring him that they
should be happy to see one so nearly related to him; but he replied, "Ah,
no, gentlemen; my father would find himself so embarrassed in company so
unsuited to his rank, that it would deprive us both of the only pleasure of
the interview--the unrestrained intercourse of a parent and his son." He
then retired, and passed the evening with his father.

The Deaf and Dumb Mother.--The late Countess of Orkney, who died at an
advanced age, was deaf and dumb, and was married in 1753 by signs. She
resided with her husband at his seat, Rostellan, near Cork. Shortly after
the birth of her first child, the nurse saw the mother cautiously approach
the cradle in which the infant lay asleep, evidently full of some deep
design. The Countess, having first assured herself that her babe was fast
asleep, took from under her shawl a large stone, which had purposely been
concealed there, and, to the utter horror of the nurse, who largely shared
the popular notion that all dumb persons are possessed of peculiar cunning
and malignity, raised it up, as if to enable her to dash it down with
greater force. Before the nurse could interpose to prevent what she
believed would bring certain death to the sleeping and unconscious child,
the dreadful stone was flung, not at the cradle, however, but upon the
ground, and fell with great violence. The noise awakened the child. The
Countess was overjoyed, and, in the fulness of a mother's heart, she fell
upon her knees to express her thankfulness that her beloved infant
possessed a blessing denied to herself--the sense of hearing. This lady
often gave similar indications of superior intelligence, though we can
believe that few of them equalled the present in interest.

Filial Affection.--A veteran, worn out in the service of France, was left
without a pension, although he had a wife and three children to share his
wretchedness. His son was placed at _L'Ecole militaire_, where he might
have enjoyed every comfort, but the strongest persuasion could not induce
him to taste anything but coarse bread and water. The Duke de Choiseul
being informed of the circumstance, ordered the boy before him, and
enquired the reason of his abstemiousness. The boy, with a manly fortitude,
replied, "Sir, when I had the honour of being admitted to this royal
foundation, my father conducted me hither. We came on foot: on our journey
the demands of nature were relieved by bread and water. I was received. My
father blessed me, and returned to the protection of a helpless wife and
family. As long as I can remember, bread of the blackest kind, with water,
has been their daily subsistence, and even that is earned by every species
of labour that honour does not forbid. To this fare, sir, my father is
reduced; and while he, my mother, and my sisters, are compelled to endure
such wretchedness, is it possible that I can enjoy the plenty which my
sovereign has provided for me?" The duke felt this tale of nature, gave the
boy three louis d'ors for pocket-money, and promised to procure the father
a pension. The boy begged the louis d'ors might be sent to his father,
which, with the patent of his pension, was immediately done. The boy was
patronised by the duke, and became one of the best officers in the service
of France.

Racine.--The celebrated French poet, Racine, having one day returned from
Versailles, where he had been on a visit, was waited upon by a gentleman
with an invitation to dine at the Hotel de Condé. "I cannot possibly do
myself that honour," said the poet; "it is some time since I have been with
my family; they are overjoyed to see me again, and have provided a fine
carp; so that I must dine with my dear wife and children." "But my good
sir," replied the gentleman, "several of the most distinguished characters
in the kingdom expect your company, and will be anxious to see you." On
this, Racine brought out the carp and showed it to his visitor, saying,
"Here, sir, is our little meal; then say, having provided such a treat for
me, what apology could I make for not dining with my poor children? Neither
they nor my wife could have any pleasure in eating a bit of it without me;
then pray be so obliging as to mention my excuse to the Prince of Condé and
my other illustrious friends." The gentleman did so; and not only His
Serene Highness, but all the company present, professed themselves
infinitely more charmed with this proof of the poet's affection as a
husband and a father, than they possibly could have been with his
delightful conversation.

Touching Recognition.--Some years ago, in making a new communication
between two shafts of a mine at Fahkin, the capital of Delecarlia, the body
of a miner was discovered by the workmen in a state of perfect
preservation, and impregnated with vitriolic water. It was quite soft, but
hardened on being exposed to the air. No one could identify the body: it
was merely remembered that the accident, by which he had thus been buried
in the bosom of the earth, had taken place above fifty years ago. All
enquiries about the name of the sufferer had already ceased, when a
decrepid old woman, supported on crutches, slowly advanced towards the
corpse, and knew it to be that of a young man to whom she had been
promised in marriage more than half a century ago. She threw herself on the
corpse, which had all the appearance of a bronze statue, bathed it with her
tears, and fainted with joy at having once more beheld the object of her
affections. One can with difficulty realize the singular contrast afforded
by that couple--the one buried above fifty years ago, still retaining the
appearance of youth; while the other, weighed down by age, evinced all the
fervency of youthful affections.

Family Sacrifice.--During the French revolution, Madame Saintmaraule, with
her daughter, and a youth, her son, not yet of age, were confined in prison
and brought to trial. The mother and daughter behaved with resolution, and
were sentenced to die; but of the youth no notice was taken, and he was
remanded to prison. "What!" exclaimed the boy, "am I then to be separated
from my mother? It cannot be!" and immediately he cried out, "_Vive le
Roi!_" In consequence of this, he was condemned to death, and, with his
mother and his sister, was led out to execution.

Expedient of Conjugal Affection.--Napoleon used to relate an anecdote
shewing the conjugal affection of some women who accompanied his troops
when he was at Col de Tende. To enter this mountainous and difficult
country, it was necessary for the soldiers to pass over a narrow bridge,
and, as the enterprise was a hazardous one, Napoleon had given orders that
no women should be permitted to cross it with them. To enforce this order,
two captains were stationed on the bridge with instructions, on pain of
death, not to suffer a woman to pass. The passage was effected, and the
troops continued their march. When some miles beyond the bridge, the
Emperor was greatly astonished at the appearance of a considerable number
of women with the soldiers. He immediately ordered the two captains to be
put under arrest, intending to have them tried for a breach of duty. The
prisoners protested their innocence, and stoutly asserted that no women had
crossed the bridge. Napoleon, on hearing this, commanded that some of the
women should be brought before him, when he interrogated them on the
subject. To his utter surprise they readily acknowledged that the captains
had not betrayed their trust, but that a contrivance of their own had
brought them into their present situation. They informed Napoleon, that
having taken the provisions, which had been prepared for the support of the
army, out of some of the casks, they had concealed themselves in them, and
by this stratagem succeeded in passing the bridge without discovery.


Sir Joshua Reynolds.--"What do you ask for this sketch?" said Sir Joshua to
an old picture-dealer, whose portfolio he was looking over. "Twenty
guineas, your honour." "Twenty pence, I suppose you mean?" "No, sir; it is
true I would have taken twenty pence for it this morning, but if _you_
think it worth looking at, all the world will think it worth buying." Sir
Joshua ordered him to send the sketch home, and gave him the money.

Ditto.--Two gentlemen were at a coffee-house, when the discourse fell upon
Sir Joshua Reynold's painting; one of them said that "his tints were
admirable, but the colours _flew_." It happened that Sir Joshua was in the
next box, who taking up his hat, accosted them thus, with a low
bow--"Gentlemen, I return you many thanks for bringing me off with _flying

Richardson, in his anecdotes of painting, says, a gentleman came to me to
invite me to his house: "I have," says he, "a picture of Rubens, and it is
a rare good one. There is little H. the other day came to see it, and says
it is _a copy_. If any one says so again, I'll _break his head_. Pray, Mr.
Richardson, will you do me the favour to come, and give me _your real
opinion of it?_"

Gainsborough.--A countryman was shown Gainsborough's celebrated picture of
"The Pigs." "To be sure," said he, "they be deadly like pigs; but there is
one fault; nobody ever saw three pigs feeding together but what one on 'em
had a foot in the trough."

Turner.--Once, at a dinner, where several artists, amateurs and literary
men were convened, a poet, by way of being facetious, proposed as a toast
the health of the _painters and glaziers_ of Great Britain. The toast was
drunk, and Turner, after returning thanks for it, proposed the health of
the British _paper-stainers_.

Lely and the Alderman.--Sir Peter Lely, a famous painter in the reign of
Charles I., agreed for the price of a full-length, which he was to draw for
a rich alderman of London, who was not indebted to nature either for shape
or face. When the picture was finished, the alderman endeavoured to beat
down the price; alleging that if he did not purchase it, it would lie on
the painter's hands. "That's a mistake," replied Sir Peter, "for I can sell
it at double the price I demand."--"How can that be?" says the alderman;
"for it is like nobody but myself."--"But I will draw a tail to it, and
then it will be an excellent monkey." The alderman, to prevent exposure,
paid the sum agreed for, and carried off the picture.

Morland.--It is well known that Morland the painter used to go on an
expedition with a companion sometimes without a guinea, or perhaps scarcely
a shilling, to defray the expenses of their journey; and thus they were
often reduced to an unpleasant and ludicrous dilemma. On one occasion the
painter was travelling in Kent, in company with a relative, and finding
their cash exhausted, while at a distance from their destination, they were
compelled to exert their wits, for the purpose of recruiting themselves
after a long and fatiguing march. As they approached Canterbury, a homely
village ale-house caught their eye; and the itinerant artists hailed, with
delight, the sign of the Black Bull, which indicated abundance of home-made
bread and generous ale. They entered, and soon made considerable havoc
among the good things of mine host, who, on reckoning up, found that they
had consumed as much bread, cheese and ale, as amounted to _12s. 6d._
Morland now candidly informed his host that they were two poor painters
going in search of employment, and that they had spent all their money. He,
however, added that, as the sign of the Bull was a disgraceful daub for so
respectable a house, he would have no objection to repaint it, as a set-off
for what he and his companion had received. The landlord, who had long been
wishing for a new sign (the one in question having passed through two
generations), gladly accepted his terms, and Morland immediately went to
work. The next day the Bull was sketched in such a masterly manner that the
landlord was enraptured; he supplied his guests with more provisions, and
generously gave them money for their subsequent expenses. About three
months after a gentleman well acquainted with Morland's works, accidentally
passing through the village, recognised it instantly to be the production
of that inimitable painter: he stopped, and was confirmed in his opinion,
by the history which the landlord gave of the transaction. In short, he
purchased the sign of him for twenty pounds; the landlord was struck with
admiration at his liberality; but this identical painting was some time
afterwards sold at a public auction for the sum of _one hundred guineas!_

When Benjamin West was seven years old, he was left, one summer day, with
the charge of an infant niece. As it lay in the cradle and he was engaged
in fanning away the flies, the motion of the fan pleased the child, and
caused it to smile. Attracted by the charms thus created, young West felt
his instinctive passion aroused; and seeing paper, pen and some red and
black ink on a table, he eagerly seized them and made his first attempt at
portrait painting. Just as he had finished his maiden task, his mother and
sister entered. He tried to conceal what he had done, but his confusion
arrested his mother's attention, and she asked him what he had been doing.
With reluctance and timidity, he handed her the paper, begging, at the same
time, that she would not be offended. Examining the drawing for a short
time, she turned to her daughter, and, with a smile, said, "I declare he
has made a likeness of Sally." She then gave him a fond kiss, which so
encouraged him that he promised her some drawings of the flowers which she
was then holding, if she wished to have them. The next year a cousin sent
him a box of colours and pencils, with large quantities of canvas prepared
for the easel, and half a dozen engravings. Early the next morning he took
his materials into the garret, and for several days forgot all about
school. His mother suspected that the box was the cause of his neglect of
his books, and going into the garret and finding him busy at a picture, she
was about to reprimand him; but her eye fell on some of his compositions,
and her anger cooled at once. She was so pleased with them that she loaded
him with kisses, and promised to secure his father's pardon for his neglect
of school. The world is much indebted to Mrs. West for her early and
constant encouragement of the talent of her son. He often used to say,
after his reputation was established, "_My mothers kiss made me a

Vernet relates, that he was once employed to paint a landscape, with a
cave, and St. Jerome in it; he accordingly painted the landscape with St.
Jerome at the entrance of the cave. When he delivered the picture, the
purchaser, who understood nothing of perspective, said, "the landscape and
the cave are well made, but St. Jerome is not _in_ the cave."--"I
understand you, sir," replied Vernet, "I will alter it." He therefore took
the painting, and made the shade darker, so that the saint seemed to sit
farther in. The gentleman took the painting; but it again appeared to him
that the saint was not actually in the cave. Vernet then wiped out the
figure, and gave it to the gentleman, who seemed perfectly satisfied.
Whenever he saw strangers to whom he showed the picture, he said, "Here you
see a picture by Vernet, with St. Jerome in the cave." "But we cannot see
the saint," replied the visitors. "Excuse me, gentlemen," answered the
possessor, "he is there; for I saw him standing at the entrance, and
afterwards farther back; and am therefore quite sure that he is in it."

Hogarth.--A nobleman, not remarkable for generosity, sent for Hogarth and
desired that he would represent on one of the compartments of his
staircase, Pharoah and his host drowned in the Red Sea. At the same time he
hinted that no great price would be given for the performance. Hogarth
however agreed. Soon afterwards he applied for payment to his employer, who
seeing that the space allotted for the picture had only been daubed over
with red, declared he had no idea of paying a painter when he had proceeded
no farther than to lay his ground. "Ground!" exclaimed Hogarth, "there is
no _ground_ in the case, my lord, it is all sea. The red you perceive is
the Red Sea. Pharoah and his host are drowned as you desired, and cannot be
made objects of sight, for the sea covers them all."

Tantara, the celebrated landscape painter, was a man of ready wit, but he
once met his match. An amateur had ordered a landscape for his gallery, in
which there was to be a church. Our painter did not know how to draw
figures well, so he put none in the landscape. The amateur was astonished
at the truthfulness and colouring of the picture, but he missed the
figures. "You have forgotten to put in any figures," said he, laughingly.
"Sir," replied the painter, "_the people are gone to mass_." "Oh, well,"
replied the amateur, "I will wait and take your picture _when they come

Chantrey's First Sculpture.--Chantrey, when a boy, used to take milk to
Sheffield on an ass. To those not used to seeing and observing such things,
it may be necessary to state that the boys generally carry a good thick
stick, with a hooked or knobbed end, with which they belabour their asses
sometimes unmercifully. On a certain day, when returning home, riding on
his ass, Chantrey was observed by a gentleman to be intently engaged in
cutting a stick with his penknife, and, excited by curiosity, he asked the
lad what he was doing, when, with great simplicity of manner, but with
courtesy, he replied, "I am cutting _old Fox's head_." Fox was the
schoolmaster of the village. On this, the gentleman asked to see what he
had done, pronounced it to be an excellent likeness, and presented the
youth with _sixpence_. This may, perhaps, be reckoned the first money
Chantry ever obtained in the way of his _art_.


Admiral Chatillon had gone one day to hear mass in the Dominican Friars'
chapel; a poor fellow came and begged his charity. He was at the moment
occupied with his devotions, and he gave him several pieces of gold from
his pocket, without counting them, or thinking what they were. The large
amount astonished the beggar, and as M. Chatillon was going out of the
church-door, the poor man waited for him: "Sir," said he, showing him what
he had given him, "I cannot think that you intended to give me so large a
sum, and am very ready to return it." The admiral, admiring the honesty of
the man, said, "I did not, indeed, my good man, intend to have given you so
much; but, since you have the generosity to offer to return it, I will have
the generosity to desire you to keep it; and here are five pieces more for

A Beggar's Wedding.--Dean Swift being in the country, on a visit to Dr.
Sheridan, they were informed that a beggar's wedding was about to be
celebrated. Sheridan played well upon the violin; Swift therefore proposed
that he should go to the place where the ceremony was to be performed,
disguised as a blind fiddler, while he attended him as his man. Thus
accoutred they set out, and were received by the jovial crew with great
acclamation. They had plenty of good cheer, and never was a more joyous
wedding seen. All was mirth and frolic; the beggars told stories, played
tricks, cracked jokes, sung and danced, in a manner which afforded high
amusement to the fiddler and his man, who were well rewarded when they
departed, which was not till late in the evening. The next day the Dean and
Sheridan walked out in their usual dress, and found many of their late
companions, hopping about upon crutches, or pretending to be blind, pouring
forth melancholy complaints and supplications for charity. Sheridan
distributed among them the money he had received; but the Dean, who hated
all mendicants, fell into a violent passion, telling them of his adventure
of the preceding day, and threatening to send every one of them to prison.
This had such an effect, that the blind opened their eyes, and the lame
threw away their crutches, running away as fast as their legs could carry

Old Age Secured.--As Sir Walter Scott was riding once with a friend in the
neighbourhood of Abbotsford, he came to a field gate, which an Irish beggar
who happened to be near hastened to open for him. Sir Walter was desirous
of rewarding his civility by the present of sixpence, but found that he had
not so small a coin in his purse. "Here, my good fellow," said the baronet,
"here is a shilling for you; but mind, you owe me sixpence." "God bless
your honour!" exclaimed Pat: "may your honour live till I pay you."

Maximilian I.--A beggar once asked alms of the Emperor Maximilian I., who
bestowed upon him a small coin. The beggar appeared dissatisfied with the
smallness of the gift, and on being asked why, he replied that it was a
very little sum for an emperor, and that his highness should remember that
we were all descended from one father, and were therefore all _brothers_.
Maximilian smiled good-humouredly, and replied: "Go--go, my good man: if
each of your brothers gives you as much as I have done, you will very soon
be far richer than me."


A Benevolent Judge.--The celebrated Anthony Domat, author of a treatise on
the civil laws, was promoted to the office of judge of the provincial court
of Clermont, in the territory of Auvergne, in the south of France. In this
court he presided, with general applause, for twenty-four years. One day a
poor widow brought an action against the Baron de Nairac, her landlord,
for turning her out of her mill, which was the poor creature's sole
dependence. M. Domat heard the cause, and finding by the evidence that she
had ignorantly broken a covenant in the lease which gave her landlord the
power of re-entry, he recommended mercy to the baron for a poor but honest
tenant, who had not wilfully transgressed, or done him any material injury.
Nairac being inexorable, the judge was compelled to pronounce an ejectment,
with the penalty mentioned in the lease and costs of suit; but he could not
pronounce the decree without tears. When an order of seizure, both of
person and effects was added, the poor widow exclaimed, "O merciful and
righteous God, be thou a friend to the widow and her helpless orphans!" and
immediately fainted away. The compassionate judge assisted in raising the
unfortunate woman, and after enquiring into her character, number of
children, and other circumstances, generously presented her with one
hundred louis d'ors, the amount of the damages and costs, which he
prevailed upon the baron to accept as a full compensation, and to let the
widow again enter upon her mill. The poor widow anxiously enquired of M.
Domat when he would require payment, that she might lay up accordingly.
"When my conscience (he replied) shall tell me that I have done an improper

Pope Pius IX.--An advocate, the father of a large family, fell into ill
health, and soon afterwards into want. Pius IX., hearing of this, sent a
messenger with a letter to the advocate, but he was at first refused
admittance, on the ground that the physician had enjoined the utmost quiet.
On the messenger explaining from whom he came he was admitted, and, on the
letter being opened, what was the surprise of the family on finding within
300 scudi (£62), with the words, "For the advocate ...--Pius IX.," in the
pontiff's own handwriting.

Dr. Glynn was remarkable for many acts of kindness to poor persons. He had
attended a sick family in the fens near Cambridge for a considerable time,
and had never thought of any recompense for his skill and trouble but the
satisfaction of being able to do good. One day he heard a noise on the
college staircase, and his servant brought him word that the poor woman
from the fens waited upon him with a _magpie_, of which she begged his
acceptance. This at first a little discomposed the doctor. Of all presents,
a magpie was the least acceptable to him, as he had a hundred loose things
about his rooms, which the bird, if admitted, was likely to make free with.
However, his good nature soon returned: he considered the woman's
intention, and ordered her to be shown in. "I am obliged to you for
thinking of me, good woman," said he, "but you must excuse my not taking
your bird, as it would occasion me a great deal of trouble." "Pray,
doctor," answered the woman, "do, pray, be pleased to have it. My husband,
my son, and myself have been long consulting together in what way we could
show our thankfulness to you, and we could think of nothing better than to
give you our favourite bird. We would not part with it to any other person
upon earth. We shall be sadly hurt if you refuse our present." "Well, well,
my good woman," said Dr. Glynn, "if that is the case, I must have the bird;
but do you, as you say you are so fond of it, take it back again, and keep
it for me, and I will allow you eighteenpence a week for the care of it. I
shall have the pleasure of seeing it every time I come." This allowance Dr.
G. punctually paid as long as the bird lived.


An Odd Fault.--It is said that when the learned Humphrey Prideaux offered
his Life of Mahomet to the bookseller, he was desired to leave the copy
with him for a few days, for his perusal. The bookseller said to the doctor
at his return, "Well, Mr. What's your Name, I have perused your manuscript;
I don't know what to say of it; I believe I shall venture to print it; the
thing is well enough; but I could wish there were a little more _humour_ in
it." This story is otherwise told in a note in Swift's works, where the
book is said to have been Prideaux's "Connexion of the History of the Old
and New Testament," in which, it must be confessed, the difficulty of
introducing _humour_ is more striking.

Dictionaries.--Dr. Johnson, while compiling his dictionary, sent a note to
the _Gentleman's Magazine_, to inquire the etymology of the word
CURMUDGEON. Having obtained the desired information, he thus recorded in
his work his obligation to an anonymous writer: "CURMUDGEON, _s._ a vicious
way of pronouncing _coeur mechant_. An unknown correspondent." Ash copied
the word into his dictionary, in the following manner: CURMUDGEON, from the
French, _coeur_, "unknown," and _mechant_, "correspondent!"

Heber's Palestine.--When Reginald Heber read his prize poem, "Palestine,"
to Sir Walter Scott, the latter observed that, in the verses on Solomon's
Temple, one striking circumstance had escaped him, namely, that no tools
were used in its erection. Reginald retired for a few minutes to the corner
of the room, and returned with the beautiful lines:--

    "No hammer fell, no ponderous axes rung;
      Like some tall palm, the mystic fabric sprung.
    Majestic silence," &c.

Use of H.--"What has become of your famous General _Eel?_" said the Count
d'Erleon to Mr. Campbell. "Eel," said a bystander, "that is a military fish
I never heard of;" but another at once enlightened his mind by saying to
the count, "General Lord _Hill_ is now Commander-in-Chief of the British

Cowper's "John Gilpin."--It happened one afternoon, in those years when
Cowper's accomplished friend, Lady Austen, made a part of his little
evening circle, that she observed him sinking into increased dejection. It
was her custom, on these occasions, to try all the resources of her
sprightly powers for his immediate relief, and at this time it occurred to
her to tell him the story of John Gilpin, (which had been treasured in her
memory from her childhood), in order to dissipate the gloom of the passing
hour. Its effects on the fancy of Cowper had the air of enchantment. He
informed her the next morning that convulsions of laughter, brought on by
his recollection of her story, had kept him waking during the greatest part
of the night! and that he had turned it into a ballad. So arose the
pleasant poem of "John Gilpin."

Catalogue Making.--Mr. Nichols, in the fourth vol. of his _Literary
Anecdotes_, mentions that Dr. Taylor, who was librarian at Cambridge, about
the year 1732, used to relate of himself that one day throwing books in
heaps for the purpose of classing and arranging them, he put one among
works on _Mensuration_, because his eye caught the word _height_ in the
title-page; and another which had the word _salt_ conspicuous, he threw
among books on Chemistry or Cookery. But when he began a regular
classification, it appeared that the former was "Longinus on the Sublime,"
and the other a "Theological Discourse on the _Salt_ of the World, that
good Christians ought to be seasoned with." Thus, too, in a catalogue
published about twenty years ago, the "Flowers of Ancient Literature" are
found among books on Gardening and Botany, and "Burton's Anatomy of
Melancholy" is placed among works on Medicine and Surgery.

Dickens' Origin of "Boz."--A fellow passenger with Mr. Dickens, in the
_Britannia_ steam-ship, across the Atlantic, inquired of the author the
origin of his signature "Boz." Mr. Dickens replied that he had a little
brother who resembled so much the Moses in the _Vicar of Wakefield_, that
he used to call him Moses also; but a younger girl, who could not then
articulate plainly, was in the habit of calling him Bozie or Boz. This
simple circumstance made him assume that name in the first article he
risked before the public, and as the first effort was approved of he
continued the name.

Thomson and Quin.--Thomson the poet, when he first came to London, was in
very narrow circumstances, and was many times put to shifts even for a
dinner. Upon the publication of his Seasons one of his creditors arrested
him, thinking that a proper opportunity to get his money. The report of
this misfortune reached the ears of Quin, who had read the Seasons, but
never seen their author; and he was told that Thompson was in a
spunging-house in Holborn. Thither Quin went, and being admitted into his
chamber, "Sir," said he, "you don't know me, but my name is Quin." Thomson
said, "That, though he could not boast of the honour of a personal
acquaintance, he was no stranger either to his name or his merit;" and
invited him to sit down. Quin then told him he was come to sup with him,
and that he had already ordered the cook to provide supper, which he hoped
he would excuse. When supper was over, and the glass had gone briskly
about, Mr. Quin told him, "It was now time to enter upon business." Thomson
declared he was ready to serve him as far as his capacity would reach, in
anything he should command, (thinking he was come about some affair
relating to the drama). "Sir," says Quin, "you mistake me. I am in your
debt. I owe you a hundred pounds, and I am come to pay you." Thomson, with
a disconsolate air, replied, that, as he was a gentleman whom he had never
offended, he wondered he should seek an opportunity to jest with his
misfortunes. "No," said Quin, raising his voice, "I say I owe you a hundred
pounds, and there it is," (laying a bank note of that value before him).
Thomson, astonished, begged he would explain himself. "Why," says Quin,
"I'll tell you; soon after I had read your Seasons, I took it into my head,
that as I had something to leave behind me when I died, I would make my
will; and among the rest of my legatees I set down the author of the
Seasons for a hundred pounds; and, this day hearing that you were in this
house, I thought I might as well have the pleasure of paying the money
myself, as order my executors to pay it, when, perhaps, you might have less
need of it; and this, Mr. Thomson, is my business." Of course Thomson left
the house in company with his benefactor.

Denon and De Foe.--M. de Talleyrand, having one day invited M. Denon, the
celebrated traveller, to dine with him, told his wife to read the work of
his guest, which she would find in the library, in order that she might be
the better able to converse with him. Madame Talleyrand, unluckily, got
hold, by mistake, of the "Adventures of Robinson Crusoe," by De Foe, which
she ran over in great haste; and, at dinner, she began to question Denon
about his shipwreck, his island, &c., and, finally, about his man Friday!


Possibility.--Bonaparte was passing along the dreadful road across the
Echelles de Savoie, with his engineer, when he stopped, and pointing to the
mountain, said, "Is it not possible to cut a tunnel through yonder rock,
and to form a more safe and commodious route beneath it?" "It is
_possible_, certainly, sire," replied his scientific companion, "but"--"No
buts;--let it be done, and immediately," replied the Emperor.

Sir and Sire.--A petition from the English _deténus_ at Valenciennes was
left for signature at the house of the colonel of gendarmerie, addressed in
a fulsome manner to Bonaparte, under his title of Emperor of the French,
and beginning with "_Sire_." Some unlucky wag took an opportunity of
altering this word into "_Dear Sir_," and nearly caused the whole party to
be imprisoned.

Polignac.--Monsieur le Compte de Polignac had been raised to honour by
Bonaparte; but, from some unaccountable motive, betrayed the trust his
patron reposed in him. As soon as Bonaparte discovered the perfidy, he
ordered Polignac to be put under arrest. Next day he was to have been
tried, and in all probability would have been condemned, as his guilt was
undoubted. In the meantime, Madame Polignac solicited and obtained an
audience of the Emperor. "I am sorry, madam, for your sake," said he, "that
your husband has been implicated in an affair which is marked throughout
with such deep ingratitude." "He may not have been so guilty as your
majesty supposes," said the countess. "Do you know your husband's
signature?" asked the Emperor, as he took a letter from his pocket and
presented it to her. Madame de Polignac hastily glanced over the letter,
recognised the writing, and fainted. As soon as she recovered, Bonaparte,
offering her the letter, said, "Take it; it is the only legal evidence
against your husband: there is a fire beside you." Madame de P. eagerly
seized the important document, and in an instant committed it to the
flames. The life of Polignac was saved: his honour it was beyond the power
even of the generosity of an emperor to redeem.


The Price of Bread.--Some years ago, the bakers of Lyons thought they could
prevail on M. Dugas, the provost of the merchants in that city, to befriend
them at the expense of the public. They waited upon him in a body, and
begged leave to raise the price of bread, which could not be done without
the sanction of the chief magistrate. M. Dugas told them that he would
examine their petition, and give them an early answer. The bakers retired,
having first left upon the table a purse of two hundred louis d'ors. In a
few days the bakers called upon the magistrate for an answer, not in the
least doubting but that the money had effectually pleaded their cause.
"Gentlemen," said M. Dugas, "I have weighed your reasons in the balance of
justice, and I find them light. I do not think that the people ought to
suffer under a pretence of the dearness of corn, which I know to be
unfounded; and as to the purse of money that you left with me, I am sure
that I have made such a generous and noble use of it as you yourself
intended. I have distributed it among the poor objects of charity in our
two hospitals. As you are opulent enough to make such large donations, I
cannot possibly think that you can incur any loss in your business; and I
shall, therefore, continue the price of bread as it was."

Kosciusko.--The hero of Poland once wished to send some bottles of good
wine to a clergyman at Solothurn; and as he hesitated to trust them by his
servant, lest he should smuggle a part, he gave the commission to a young
man of the name of Zeltner, and desired him to take the horse which he
himself usually rode. On his return, young Zeltner said that he never would
ride his horse again unless he gave him his purse at the same time.
Kosciusko enquiring what he meant, he answered, "As soon as a poor man on
the road takes off his hat and asks charity, the horse immediately stands
still, and will not stir till something is given to the petitioner; and as
I had no money about me, I was obliged to feign giving something, in order
to satisfy the horse."

Mysterious Benefactor.--In the year 1720, celebrated for the bursting of
the South Sea Bubble, a gentleman called late in the evening at the banking
house of Messrs. Hankey and Co. He was in a coach, but refused to get out,
and desired that one of the partners of the house would come to him, into
whose hands, when he appeared, he put a parcel, very carefully sealed up,
and desired that it might be taken care of till he should call again. A few
days passed away--a few weeks--a few months--but the stranger never
returned. At the end of the second or third year the partners agreed to
open this mysterious parcel, when they found it to contain £30,000, with a
letter, stating that it had been obtained by the South Sea speculation, and
directing that it should be vested in the hands of three trustees, whose
names were mentioned, and the interest appropriated to the relief of the


Bannister.--Charles Bannister dining one day at the Turk's Head Tavern, was
much annoyed by a gentleman in the adjoining box, who had just ordered fish
for dinner, and was calling on the waiter for every species of fish sauce
known to the most refined epicure. "Waiter," said he, "bring me anchovy
sauce, and soy; and have you got Harvey's? and be sure you bring me
Burgess's;--and waiter--do you hear?--don't omit the sauce _epicurienne_."
How many more he would have enumerated it is difficult to say, had not
Bannister stepped up to him, and bowing very politely, said, "Sir, I beg
your pardon for thus interrupting you, but I see you are advertised for in
the newspaper of this morning." "Me, sir, advertised for!" exclaimed the
gentleman, half petrified with surprise; "pray, sir, what do you mean?"
Bannister, taking the paper, pointed to an advertisement addressed to "The
Curious in Fish Sauces." The gentleman felt the rebuke, sat down, and ate
his dinner without further ceremony.

A Christmas Pudding Extraordinary.--When the late Lord Paget was ambassador
at Constantinople, he, with the rest of the gentlemen who were in a public
capacity at the same court, determined one day when there was to be a grand
banquet, to have each of them a dish dressed after the manner of their
respective countries; and Lord Paget, for the honour of England, ordered a
piece of _roast beef and a plum pudding_. The beef was easily cooked, but
the court cooks not knowing how to make a plum pudding, he gave them a
receipt:--"So many eggs, so much milk, so much flour, and a given quantity
of raisins; to be beaten up together, and boiled so many hours in so many
gallons of water." When dinner was served up, first came the French
ambassador's dish--then that of the Spanish ambassador--and next, two
fellows bearing an immense pan, and bawling, "_Room for the English
ambassador's dish!_" "Confound my stupidity!" cried his lordship; "I forgot
to tell them of the bag, and these stupid scoundrels have boiled it without
one; and in five gallons of water too. It will be good plum broth,

Dr. Kirwan, the celebrated Irish chemist, having one day at dinner with him
a party of friends, was descanting upon the antiseptic qualities of
charcoal, and added, that if a quantity of pulverised charcoal were boiled
together with tainted meat, it would remove all symptoms of putrescence,
and render it perfectly sweet. Shortly afterwards, the doctor helped a
gentleman to a slice of boiled leg of mutton, which was so far gone as to
shed an odour not very agreeable to the noses of the company. The gentleman
repeatedly turned it upon his plate, without venturing to taste it; and the
doctor observing him, said, "Sir, perhaps you don't like mutton?" "Oh, yes,
doctor," he replied, "I am very fond of mutton, but I do not think the cook
has boiled charcoal enough with it."

When the Archbishop of York sent Ben Jonson an excellent dish of fish from
his dinner table, but without drink, he said,--

    "In a dish came fish
    From the arch-bis-
    Hop was not there,
    Because there was no _beer_."

Poor-Man-of-Mutton is a term applied to a shoulder of mutton in Scotland
after it has been served as a roast at dinner, and appears as a broiled
bone at supper, or at the dinner next day. The late Earl of B., popularly
known as "Old Rag," being indisposed at a hotel in London, one morning the
landlord came to enumerate the good things in his larder, in order to
prevail on his guest to eat something, when his lordship replied,
"Landlord, I think I _could_ eat a morsel of a poor man;" which, with the
extreme ugliness of his lordship's countenance, so terrified the landlord,
that he fled from the room and tumbled down stairs, supposing the earl,
when at home, was in the habit of eating a joint of a vassal, or tenant
when his appetite was dainty.

Swift.--A gentleman, at whose house Swift was dining in Ireland, after
dinner introduced remarkably small hock glasses, and at length, turning to
Swift, addressed him,--"Mr. Dean, I shall be happy to take a glass of hic,
hæc, hoc, with you." "Sir," rejoined the doctor, "I shall be happy to
comply, but it must be out of a _hujus_ glass."

Swift, having a shoulder of mutton too much done brought up for his dinner,
sent for the cook, and told her to take the mutton down, and do it less.
"Please your honour, I cannot do it less." "But," said the dean, "if it had
not been done enough, you could have done it more, could you not?" "Oh,
yes, sir, very easily." "Why, then," said the dean, "for the future, when
you commit a fault, let it be such a one as can be mended."


Making Things Better.--A rich man sent to call a physician for a slight
disorder. The physician felt his pulse, and said, "Do you eat well?" "Yes,"
said the patient. "Do you sleep well?" "I do." "Oh, then," said the
physician, "I must give you something to take away all that."

Madame de Villecerf, who was brought to death in the flower of her age by
the unskilfulness of her surgeon, comforted him thus: "I do not look upon
you," she said, in dying, "as a person whose error has cost me my life, but
as a benefactor, who hastens my entry into a happy immortality. As the
world may judge otherwise, I have put you in a situation, by my will, to
quit your profession."

Willie Law, a half-witted man, was the descendant of an ancient family,
nearly related to the famous John Law, of Lauriston, the celebrated
financier of France. Willie on that account was often spoken to and taken
notice of by gentlemen of distinction. Posting one day through Kirkaldy,
with more than ordinary speed, he was met by Mr. Oswald, of Dunnikier, who
asked him where he was going in such a hurry. "Going!" says Willie, with
apparent surprise, "I'm gaen to my cousin Lord Elgin's burial." "Your
cousin Lord Elgin's burial, you fool! Lord Elgin's not dead," replied Mr.
Oswald. "Oh, never mind," quoth Willie; "there's six doctors out o'
Edinbro' at him, and they'll hae him dead afore I get there."

Physicians in China.--Caleb Colton, nephew of the late Sir George Staunton,
gives in a recent publication the following anecdote:--"My late uncle, Sir
G. Staunton, related to me a curious anecdote of old Kien Long, Emperor of
China. He was inquiring of Sir George the manner in which physicians were
paid in England. When, after some difficulty, his majesty was made to
comprehend the system, he exclaimed, 'Is any man well in England that can
afford to be ill? Now, I will inform you,' said he, 'how I manage my
physicians. I have four, to whom the care of my health is committed: a
certain weekly salary is allowed them; but the moment I am ill the salary
stops till I am well again. I need not tell you that my illnesses are
usually short.'"

Zimmerman, who was very eminent as a physician, went from Hanover to attend
Frederick the Great in his last illness. One day the king said to him, "You
have, I presume, sir, helped many a man into another world?" This was
rather a bitter pill for the doctor; but the dose he gave the king in
return was a judicious mixture of truth and flattery: "Not so many as your
majesty, nor with so much honour to myself."

Montaigne, who is great upon doctors, used to beseech his friends that if
he felt ill they would let him get a little stronger before sending for the

Molière, when once travelling through Auvergne, was taken very ill at a
distance from any place where he could procure respectable medical aid. It
was proposed to him to send for a celebrated physician at Clermont. "No,
no," said he, "he is too great a man for me: go and bring me the village
surgeon; he will not, perhaps, have the hardihood to kill me so soon."

Louis XIV., who was a slave to his physicians, asked Molière one day what
he did with his doctor. "Oh, sire," said he, "when I am ill I send for him.
He comes; we have a chat, and enjoy ourselves. He prescribes;--I don't take
it, and I am cured."

General Guise going over one campaign to Flanders, observed a raw young
officer, who was in the same vessel with him, and with his usual humanity
told him that he would take care of him, and conduct him to Antwerp, where
they were both going, which he accordingly did, and then took leave of him.
The young fellow was soon told by some arch rogues, whom he happened to
fall in with, that he must signalise himself by fighting some man of known
courage, or else he would soon be despised in the regiment. The young man
said he knew no one but Colonel Guise, and he had received great
obligations from him. "It is all one for that," said they, "in these cases.
The Colonel is the fittest man in the world, as everybody knows his
bravery." Soon afterwards the young officer accosted Colonel Guise, as he
was walking up and down the coffee room, and began, in a hesitating manner,
to tell him how much obliged he had been to him, and how sensible he was of
his obligations. "Sir," replied Colonel Guise, "I have done my duty by you,
and no more." "But Colonel," added the young officer, faltering, "I am told
that I must fight some gentleman of known courage, and who has killed
several persons, and that nobody"--"Oh, sir," interrupted the Colonel,
"your friends do me too much honour; but there is a gentleman (pointing to
a fierce-looking black fellow that was sitting at one of the tables) who
has killed half the regiment, and who will suit you much better." The
officer went up to him, and told him he had heard of his bravery, and that
for that reason he must fight him. "Who?--I, sir?" said the gentleman;
"why, I am the _apothecary_."

Dr. Moore, author of "Zeluco," used to say that at least two-thirds of a
physician's fees were for imaginary complaints. Among several instances of
this nature, he mentions one of a clothier, who, after drinking the Bath
waters, took it into his head to try Bristol hot wells. Previous, however,
to his setting off, he requested his physician to favour him with a letter,
stating his case to any brother doctor. This done, the patient got into a
chaise and started. After proceeding half way, he felt curious to see the
contents of the letter, and on opening it, read as follows:--"Dear
Sir,--The bearer is a fat Wiltshire clothier: _make the most of him_." It
is almost unnecessary to add that his cure was from that moment effected,
as he ordered the chaise to turn, and immediately proceeded _home_.

Sir Charles Wager had a sovereign contempt for physicians, though he
believed a surgeon, in some cases, _might_ be of service. It happened that
Sir Charles was seized with a fever while he was out upon a cruise, and the
surgeon, without much difficulty, prevailed upon him to lose a little
blood, and suffer a blister to be laid on his back. By-and-bye it was
thought necessary to lay on another blister, and repeat the bleeding, to
which Sir Charles also consented. The symptoms then abated, and the surgeon
told him that he must now swallow a few bolusses, and take a draught. "No,
no, doctor," says Sir Charles, "you shall batter my hulk as long as you
will, but depend on it, you shan't _board_ me."

Nash and the Doctor.--When the celebrated Beau Nash was ill, Dr. Cheyne
wrote a prescription for him. The next day, the doctor coming to see his
patient, inquired if he had followed his prescription? "No, truly, doctor,"
said Nash; "if I had, I should have broken my neck, for I threw it out of a
two-pair-of-stairs window."

Gin _versus_ Medicine.--The celebrated Dr. Ward was not more remarkable for
humanity and skill than for wit and humour. An old woman, to whom he had
administered some medicines proper for a disorder under which she laboured,
applied to him, with a complaint that she had not experienced any kind of
effect from taking them. "No effect at all?" said the doctor. "None in the
least," replied the woman. "Why, then you should have taken a bumping glass
of gin." "So I did, sir." "Well, but when you found that did not succeed,
you should have taken another." "So I did, sir; and another after that."
"Oh, you did?" said the doctor; "aye, aye, it is just as I imagined: you
complain that you found no effect from my prescription, and you confess
yourself that you swallowed gin enough to counteract any medicine in the
whole system of physic."

Abernethy.--A Chancery barrister having been for a long while annoyed by an
irritable ulcer on one of his legs, called upon Mr. Abernethy for the
purpose of obtaining that gentleman's advice. The counsellor judging of an
ulcer as of a brief, that it must be seen before its nature could be
understood, was busily employed in removing his stocking and bandages, when
Mr. Abernethy abruptly advanced towards him, and exclaimed in a stentorian
voice, "Halloo! what are you about there? Put out your tongue, man! Aye,
there 'tis--I see it--I'm satisfied. Quite enough;--shut up your leg,
man--shut it up--shut it up! Go home and read my book, p.--, and take one
of the pills there mentioned every night on going to bed." The lawyer
handed over the fee, and was about to leave the room, when Mr. A. thus
accosted him: "Why, look here;--this is but a shilling!" The barrister
sarcastically replied, "Aye, there 'tis--I see it--I'm satisfied. Quite
enough, man;--shut it up--shut it up!" and hastily decamped from the room.

A lady, who had received a severe bite in her arm from a dog, went to Mr.
Abernethy, but knowing his aversion to hearing any statement of
particulars, she merely uncovered the injured part, and held it before him
in silence. After looking at it an instant, he said in an inquiring tone,
"Scratch?" "Bite," replied the lady. "Cat?" asked the doctor. "Dog,"
rejoined the patient. So delighted was Mr. A. with the brevity and
promptness of her answers, that he exclaimed, "Zounds, madam! you are the
most sensible woman I ever met with in my life."

Astley Cooper.--Probably no surgeon of ancient or modern times enjoyed a
greater share of reputation during his life than fell to the lot of Sir
Astley, and that in all parts of the world. We cannot give a better example
of this than the fact of his signature being received as a passport among
the mountains of Biscay by the wild followers of Don Carlos. A young
English surgeon, seeking for employment, was carried as a prisoner before
Zumalacarrequi, who demanded what testimonials he had of his calling or his
qualifications. Our countryman presented his diploma of the College of
Surgeons, and the name of Astley Paston Cooper, which was attached to it,
no sooner struck the eye of the Carlist leader, than he at once received
his prisoner with friendship, and appointed him a surgeon in his army.


Shaving a Queen.--For some time after the restoration of Charles the
Second, young smooth-faced men performed the women's parts on the stage.
That monarch, coming before his usual time to hear Shakspeare's Hamlet,
sent the Earl of Rochester to know the reason of the delay; who brought
word back, that the queen was not quite shaved. "Ods fish" (his usual
expression), "I beg her majesty's pardon! we will wait till her barber is
done with her."

Liston, in his early career, was a favourite at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and
having applied to the manager for a remuneration equal to the increased
value of his services, he refused the request, adding, "If you are
dissatisfied you are welcome to leave me; such actors as you, sir, are to
be found in every bush." On the evening of the day when this colloquy
occurred, the manager was driving to another town, where he intended "to
carry on the war," when he perceived Liston standing in the middle of a
hedge by the road-side. "Good heavens! Liston," cried the manager, "what
are you doing there?" "Only looking for some of the actors you told me of
this morning," was the reply.

Good-natured Author.--The late M. Segur, among other literary productions,
supplied the French theatres with a number of pleasing trifles. If he was
not always successful, he was at least always gay in his reverses. When his
works were ill received by the public, he consoled himself for a failure by
a bon-mot; he made even a point of consoling his companions in misfortune.
A piece of his was once brought forward called the _Yellow Cabriolet_,
which happened to be condemned on the first representation. Some days
afterwards a piece, by another author, was presented, which was equally
unfortunate. The author, petrified at his failure, stood for a moment
immoveable. "Come, come, my dear sir," said M. Segur, "don't be cast down,
I will give you a seat in my _Yellow Cabriolet_."

A Heavy Play.--When Sir Charles Sedley's comedy of "Bellamira" was
performed, the roof of the theatre fell down, by which, however, few people
were hurt except the author. This occasioned Sir Fleetwood Shepherd to say,
"There was so much fire in his play, that it blew up the poet, house and
all." "No," replied the good-natured author, "the play was so heavy, that
it broke down the house, and buried the poor poet in his own rubbish."

Monsieur de la Motte, soon after the representation of his "Ines de
Castro," which was very successful, although much censured by the press,
was sitting one day in a coffee-house, when he heard several of the critics
abusing his play. Finding that he was unknown to them, he joined heartily
in abusing it himself. At length, after a great many sarcastic remarks, one
of them, yawning, said, "Well, what shall we do with ourselves this
evening?" "Why, suppose," said de la Motte, "we go to the _seventy-second_
representation of this bad play."

The Sailor and the Actress.--"When I was a poor girl," said the Duchess of
St. Albans, "working very hard for my thirty shillings a week, I went down
to Liverpool during the holidays, where I was always kindly received. I was
to perform in a new piece, something like those pretty little dramas they
get up now at our minor theatres; and in my character I represented a poor,
friendless orphan girl, reduced to the most wretched poverty. A heartless
tradesman prosecutes the sad heroine for a heavy debt, and insists on
putting her in prison unless some one will be bail for her. The girl
replies, 'Then I have no hope, I have not a friend in the world.' 'What?
will no one be bail for you, to save you from prison?' asks the stern
creditor. 'I have told you I have not a friend on earth,' is the reply. But
just as I was uttering the words, I saw a sailor in the upper gallery
springing over the railing, letting himself down from one tier to another,
until he bounded clear over the orchestra and footlights, and placed
himself beside me in a moment.' Yes, you shall have _one_ friend at least,
my poor young woman,' said he, with the greatest expression in his honest,
sunburnt countenance; 'I will go bail for you to any amount. And as for
_you_ (turning to the frightened actor), if you don't bear a hand, and
shift your moorings, you lubber, it will be worse for you when I come
athwart your bows.' Every creature in the house rose; the uproar was
perfectly indescribable; peals of laughter, screams of terror, cheers from
his tawny messmates in the gallery, preparatory scrapings of violins from
the orchestra, were mingled together; and amidst the universal din there
stood the unconscious cause of it, sheltering me, 'the poor, distressed
young woman,' and breathing defiance and destruction against my mimic
persecutor. He was only persuaded to relinquish his care of me by the
manager pretending to arrive and rescue me, with a profusion of theatrical

Kean.--In the second year of Kean's London triumph, an elderly lady, whose
sympathy had been excited by his forlorn condition in boyhood, but who had
lost sight of him in his wanderings till his sudden starting into fame
astonished the world, was induced, on renewing their acquaintance, to pay a
visit of some days to him and Mrs. Kean, at their residence in
Clarges-street. She made no secret of her intention to evince the interest
she felt in his welfare by a considerable bequest in her will; but, on
accompanying Mrs. K. to the theatre to see Kean perform _Luke_, she was so
appalled by the cold-blooded villany of the character, that, attributing
the skill of the actor to the actual possession of the fiendlike
attributes, her regard was turned into suspicion and distrust. She left
London the next day, and dying soon afterwards, it appeared that she had
altered her testamentary disposition of her property, which had once been
made in Kean's favour, and bequeathed the sum originally destined for him
to a distant relative, of whom she knew nothing but by name.

Mimic Reclaimed.--In the beginning of the last century, a comedian of the
name of Griffin, celebrated for his talents as a mimic, was employed by a
comic author to imitate the personal peculiarities of the celebrated Dr.
Woodward, whom he intended to be introduced in a comedy as _Dr. Fossil_.
The mimic, dressed as a countryman, waited on the doctor with a long
catalogue of complaints with which he said his wife was afflicted. The
physician heard with amazement diseases and pains of the most opposite
nature, repeated and redoubled on the wretched patient. The actor having
thus detained the doctor until he thought himself completely master of his
errand, presented him with a guinea as his fee. "Put up thy money, poor
fellow," cried the doctor, "thou hast need of all thy cash, and all thy
patience, too, with such a bundle of diseases tied to thy back." The mimic
returned to his employer, who was in raptures at his success, until he told
him that he would sooner die than prostitute his talents to render such
genuine humanity food for diversion.

Senesino and Farinelli, when in England together, being engaged at
different theatres on the same night, had not an opportunity of hearing
each other, till, by one of those sudden revolutions which frequently
happen, yet are always unexpected, they were both employed to sing on the
same stage. Senesino had the part of a furious tyrant to represent and
Farinelli that of an unfortunate hero in chains; but in the course of the
very first song, the latter so softened the heart of the enraged tyrant,
that Senesino, forgetting his assumed character, ran to Farinelli and
embraced him.

Weeping at a Play.--It is a prevailing folly to be ashamed to shed a tear
at any part of a tragedy, however affecting. "The reason," says the
Spectator, "is, that persons think it makes them look ridiculous, by
betraying the weakness of their nature. But why may not nature show itself
in tragedy, as well as in comedy or farce? We see persons not ashamed to
laugh loudly at the humour of a Falstaff,--or the tricks of a harlequin;
and why should not the tear be equally allowed to flow for the misfortunes
of a Juliet, or the forlornness of an Ophelia?" Sir Richard Steele records
on this subject a saying of Mr. Wilks the actor, as just as it was polite.
Being told in the green-room that there was a general in the boxes weeping
for Juliana, he observed with a smile, "_And I warrant you, sir, he'll
fight ne'er the worse for that_."

Dramatic Effect.--It is related in the annals of the stage, as a remarkable
instance of the force of imagination, that when Banks's play of the _Earl
of Essex_ was performed, a soldier, who stood sentinel on the stage,
entered so deeply into the distress of the scene, that in the delusion of
his imagination, upon the Countess of Nottingham's denying the receipt of
the ring which Essex had sent by her to the queen to claim a promise of
favour, he exclaimed, "'Tis false! she has it in her bosom;" and
immediately seized the mock countess to make her deliver it up.

Charles Hulet, a comedian of some celebrity in the early part of the last
century, was an apprentice to a bookseller. After reading plays in his
master's shop, he used to repeat the speeches in the kitchen, in the
evening, to the destruction of many a chair, which he substituted in the
room of the real persons in the drama. One night, as he was repeating the
part of Alexander, with his wooden representative of Clitus, (an elbow
chair), and coming to the speech where the old general is to be killed,
this young mock Alexander snatched a poker, instead of a javelin, and threw
it with such strength, against poor Clitus, that the chair was killed upon
the spot, and lay mangled on the floor. The death of Clitus made a
monstrous noise, which disturbed the master in the parlour, who called out
to know the reason; and was answered by the cook below, "Nothing, sir, but
that Alexander has killed Clitus."

Goldsmith's Marlow.--Mr. Lewis Grummit, an eminent grazier of Lincolnshire,
met late one night a commercial traveller who had mistaken his road, and
inquired the way to the nearest inn or public house. Mr. G. replied, that
as he was a stranger, he would show him the way to a quiet respectable
house of public entertainment for man and horse; and took him to his own
residence. The traveller, by the perfect ease and confidence of his manner,
shewed the success of his host's stratagem; and every thing that he called
for, was instantly provided for himself and his horse. In the morning he
called, in an authoritative tone, for his bill, and the hospitable landlord
had all the recompense he desired in the surprise and altered manners of
his guest. It was from this incident that Dr. Goldsmith took the hint of
Marlow mistaking the house of Mr. Hardcastle for an inn, in the comedy of
"_She Stoops to Conquer_."

Mr. Quick, while performing the part of Romeo, was seized with an
involuntary fit of laughter, which subjected him to the severe rebuke of
his auditors. It happened in the scene of Romeo and the apothecary, who,
going for the phial of poison, found it broken; not to detain the scene, he
snatched, in a hurry, a pot of soft pomatum. Quick was no sooner presented
with it, than he fell into a convulsive fit of laughter. But, being soon
recalled to a sense of his duty by the reproofs of the audience, he came
forward and made the following whimsical apology:--"Ladies and gentlemen, I
could not resist the idea that struck me when the pot of pomatum, instead
of the phial of poison, was presented. Had he at the same time given me a
tea-spoon, it would not have been so improper; for the poison might have
been made up as a lenitive electuary. But, if you please, ladies and
gentlemen, we will begin the scene again without laughing."

Garrick and Rich.--Soon after the appearance of Garrick at the theatre of
Drury Lane, to which he, by his astonishing powers, brought all the world,
while Mr. Rich was playing his pantomimes at Covent Garden to empty
benches, he and Mr. Garrick happened to meet one morning at the Bedford
coffee-house. Having fallen into conversation, Garrick asked the Covent
Garden manager, how much his house would hold, when crowded with company.
"Why, master," said Rich, "I cannot well tell; but if you will come and
play Richard for one night, I shall be able to give an account."

Morand, author of _Le Capricieuse_, was in a box of the theatre during the
first representation of that comedy; the pit loudly expressing
disapprobation at the extravagance and improbability of some traits in this
character, the author became impatient; he put his head out of the box, and
called, "Know, gentlemen, that this is the very picture of my
mother-in-law. What do you say now?"

Foote, on his last journey to France for the recovery of his health, while
waiting for the packet, entered the kitchen of the Ship tavern at Dover,
and, addressing the cook, who prided herself in never having been ten miles
out of town, exclaimed, "Why, cookee, I understand you have been a great
traveller." She denying the charge, Foote replied, "Why, they tell me up
stairs that you have been all over _Grease_, and I am sure I have seen you
myself at _Spithead_."

A person talking to Foote of an acquaintance of his, who was so avaricious
as even to lament the prospect of his funeral expences, though a short time
before he had been censuring one of his own relations for his parsimonious
temper--"Now is it not strange," continued he, "that this man would not
remove the beam from his own eye, before he attempted to take the mote out
of other peoples?" "Why, so I dare say he would," cried Foote, "if he were
sure of selling the timber."


General Mackenzie, when commander-in-chief of the Chatham division of
marines, during the late war, was very rigid as to duty; and, among other
regulations, would suffer no officer to be saluted on guard if out of his
uniform. It one day happened that the general observed a lieutenant of
marines in a plain dress, and, though he knew the young officer quite
intimately, he called to the sentinel to turn him out. The officer appealed
to the general, saying who he was; "I know you not," said the general;
"turn him out." A short time after, the general had been at a small
distance from Chatham, to pay a visit, and returning in the evening in a
blue coat, claimed entrance at the yard gate. The sentinel demanded the
countersign, which the general not knowing, desired the officer of the
guard to be sent for, who proved to be the lieutenant whom the general had
treated so cavalierly.--"Who are you?" inquired the officer.--"I am General
Mackenzie," was the reply.--"What, without an uniform?" rejoined the
lieutenant; "oh, get back, get back, impostor; the general would break your
bones if he knew you assumed his name." The general on this made his
retreat; and the next day, inviting the young officer to breakfast, told
him--"He had done his duty with very commendable exactness."

Morvilliers, keeper of the seals to Charles the Ninth of France, was one
day ordered by his sovereign to put the seals to the pardon of a nobleman
who had committed murder. He refused. The king then took the seals out of
his hands, and having put them himself to the instrument of remission,
returned them immediately to Morvilliers, who refused to take them again,
saying, "The seals have twice put me in a situation of great honour: once
when I received them, and again when I resigned them."

Louis the Fourteenth had granted a pardon to a nobleman who had committed
some very great crime. M. Voisin, the chancellor, ran to him in his
closet, and exclaimed, "Sire, you cannot pardon a person in the situation
of Mr. ----." "I have promised him," replied the king, who was always
impatient of contradiction; "go and fetch the great seal." "But sire--."
"Pray, sir, do as I order you." The chancellor returned with the seals;
Louis applied them himself to the instrument containing the pardon, and
gives them again to the chancellor. "They are polluted, now, sire,"
exclaimed the intrepid and excellent magistrate, pushing them from him on
the table, "I cannot take them again." "What an impracticable man!" cried
the monarch, and threw the pardon into the fire. "I will now, sire, take
them again," said the chancellor; "fire purifies all things."


Old Ambrose.--Among the few individuals who accompanied James II. to
France, when he was dethroned, was Madame de Varonne, a lady of good
family, but of ruined fortune. She was compelled to part with all her
servants successively, until she came to her footman, Ambrose, who had
lived with her twenty years; and who, although of an austere deportment,
was a faithful and valuable servant. At length her resources would not
permit her to retain even Ambrose, and she told him he must seek another
place. "Another place!" exclaimed the astonished servant; "No; I will never
quit you, let what will happen; I will live and die in your service." In
vain was Ambrose told by his mistress that she was totally ruined; that she
had sold every thing she had, and that she had no other means of
subsistence than by seeking some employment for herself. Ambrose protested
he would not quit his mistress; he brought her his scanty savings of twenty
years, and engaged himself to a brazier for tenpence a day and his board.
The money he brought every evening to his mistress, whom he thus supported
for four years; at the end of which time she received a pension from the
French king, which enabled her to reward the remarkable fidelity of her old

The Kennedies.--Mr. Pennant, in his Tour in Scotland, relates the following
circumstance, which shows that a sense of honour may prevail in those who
have little regard to moral obligation:--After the battle of Culloden, in
the year 1745, a reward of thirty thousand pounds was offered to any one
who should discover or deliver up the young Pretender. He had taken refuge
with the Kennedies, two common thieves, who protected him with the greatest
fidelity, robbed for his support, and often went in disguise to Inverness
to purchase provisions for him. A considerable time afterwards one of these
men, who had resisted the temptation of thirty thousand pounds from a
regard to his honour, was hanged for stealing a cow of the value of thirty

A young woman, named La Blonde, was in the service of M. Migeon, a furrier,
in the Rue St. Honoré, in Paris; this tradesman, though embarrassed in his
affairs, was not deserted by his faithful domestic, who remained at his
house without receiving any salary. Migeon, some years afterwards died,
leaving a wife and two young children without the means of support. The
cares of La Blonde were now transferred to the assistance of the distressed
family of her deceased master, for whose support she expended fifteen
hundred francs, the fruit of her labour, as well as the produce of rent
from her small patrimony. From time to time this worthy servant was offered
other situations, but to all such offers she replied by the inquiry, "Who
will take care of this family if I desert them?" At length the widow
Migeon, overcome with grief, became seriously ill. La Blonde passed her
days in comforting her dying mistress, and at night went to take care of
the sick, in order to have the means of relieving her wants. The widow
Migeon died on the 28th of April, 1787. Some persons then proposed to La
Blonde to send the two little orphans to the poor house; but the generous
girl, indignant at this proposition, replied, "that at Ruel, her native
country, her two hundred livres of rent would suffice for their subsistence
and her own."

A Faithful Depositary.--Under the ministry of Neckar in France, the
receiver of taxes at Roye, in Picardy, had the misfortune to have his
premises burnt,--cattle, furniture, and every thing became the prey of the
flames, except two thousand livres of the king's money, the produce of the
taxes which he had collected. These the courageous man rescued from the
flames, and the next day lodged them in the hands of the provincial
director. When Neckar was apprised of the fact, he laid it before the king,
and afterwards wrote to the receiver with his own hand as follows: "His
Majesty having been informed of the circumstance of your loss, and being
pleased with the conduct you have displayed, returns you the 2000 livres,
which he desires you will keep as a testimony of his esteem."


A Reproof.--Two youngsters once asked Fontenelle whether it was more
correct to say, _donnez-nous à boire_, (give us to drink), or
_apportez-nous à boire_, (bring us drink). The academician replied, "That
both were unappropriate in their mouths; and that the proper term for such
fellows as they was _menez-nous à boire_, lead us to drink."

Fontenelle was once staying with his nephew, M. Aube, and had the
misfortune to let a spark fall upon his clothes, which set fire to the bed,
and eventually to the room. M. Aube was extremely angry with his uncle, and
shewed him what precautions he ought to have taken to prevent such an
accident. "My dear nephew," replied Fontenelle, calmly, "when I set fire to
your house again, depend upon it I will act differently."

Fontenelle, being praised for the clearness of his style on the deepest
subjects, said, "If I have any merit, it is that I have always endeavoured
to understand myself."

The conversation turning one day, in the presence of Fontenelle, on the
marks of originality in the works of Father Castel, well known to the
scientific world for his "Vrai Systeme de Physique generale de Newton;"
some person observed, "but he is mad." "I know it," returned Fontenelle,
"and I am very sorry for it, for it is a great pity. But I like him better
for being original and a little mad, than I should if he were in his senses
without being original."


Triboulet, the fool of Francis the First, was threatened with death by a
man in power, of whom he had been speaking disrespectfully; and he applied
to the king for protection. "Be satisfied," said the king: "if any man
should put you to death, I will order him to be hanged a quarter of an hour
after." "Ah, sir!" replied Triboulet, "I should be much obliged if your
majesty would order him to be hanged a quarter of an hour before!"

Dr. Gregory, professor of the practice of physic at Edinburgh, was one of
the first to enrol himself in the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers, when that
corps was raised. So anxious was he to make himself master of military
tactics, that he not only paid the most punctual attendance on all the
regimental field-days, but studied at home for several hours a day, under
the serjeant-major of the regiment. On one of these occasions the serjeant,
out of all temper at the awkwardness of his learned pupil, exclaimed in a
rage, "Why, sir, I would rather teach ten fools than one philosopher."

James I. gave all manner of liberty and encouragement to the exercise of
buffoonery, and took great delight in it himself. Happening once to bear
somewhat hard on one of his Scotch courtiers, "By my saul," returns the
peer, "he that made your majesty a king, spoiled the best fool in


French Curate.--During the French revolution, the inhabitants of a village
in Dauphiné had determined on sacrificing their lord to their revenge, and
were only dissuaded from it by the eloquence of the curé, who thus
addressed them:--"My friends," said he, "the day of vengeance is arrived;
the individual who has so long tyrannized over you must now suffer his
merited punishment. As the care of this flock has been entrusted to me, it
behoves me to watch over their best interests, nor will I forsake their
righteous cause. Suffer me only to be your leader, and swear to me that in
all circumstances you will follow my example." All the villagers swore they
would. "And," continues he, "you will further solemnly promise to enter
into any engagement which I may now make, and to remain faithful to this
your oath." All the villagers exclaimed, "We do." "Well then," said he,
solemnly taking the oath, "I swear to forgive our lord." Unexpected as this
was, the villagers kept their word and forgave him.

The Duke of Orleans, on being appointed Regent of France, insisted on
possessing the power of pardoning. "I have no objection," said he, "to have
my hands tied from doing harm, but I will have them left free to do good."

Abon Hannifah, chief of a Turkish sect, once received a blow in the face
from a ruffian, and rebuked him in these terms, not unworthy of Christian
imitation: "If I were vindictive, I should return you outrage for outrage;
if I were an informer, I should accuse you before the caliph: but I prefer
putting up a prayer to God, that in the day of judgment he will cause me to
enter paradise with you."

Alphonsus, King of Naples and Sicily, so celebrated in history for his
clemency, was once asked why he was so forgiving to all men, even to those
most notoriously wicked? "Because," answered he, "good men are won by
justice; the bad by clemency." When some of his ministers complained to him
on another occasion of his lenity, which they were pleased to say was more
than became a prince: "What, then," exclaimed he, "would you have lions and
tigers to reign over you? It is for wild beasts to scourge; but for man to

Van Dyke.--"When any one commits an offence against me," this painter used
to say, "I try to raise my soul so high that the offence shall not be able
to reach up to it."

Mariè Antoinette.--On the elevation of this princess to the throne after
the death of Louis XV., an officer of the body-guard, who had given her
offence on some former occasion, expressed his intention of resigning his
commission; but the queen forbade him. "Remain," said she, "forget the past
as I forgive it. Far be it from the Queen of France to revenge the injuries
of the Dauphiness."


Friends and Hares.--The Duke of Longueville's reply, when it was observed
to him that the gentlemen bordering on his estates were continually hunting
upon them, and that he ought not to suffer it, is worthy of imitation: "I
had much rather," answered the duke, "have friends than hares."

Henri IV. once reproached M. d'Aubigné for continuing his friendship for M.
de la Trémouille, who had recently been banished from court. D'Aubigné
replied--"As M. de la Trémouille is so unfortunate as to have lost the
confidence of his master, he may well be allowed to retain that of his


Curran says, "when a boy, I was one morning playing at marbles in the
village ball alley, with a light heart and lighter pocket. The gibe and
the jest went gaily round, when suddenly there appeared amongst us a
stranger, of a very remarkable and very cheerful aspect; his intrusion was
not the least restraint upon our merry little assemblage, on the contrary,
he seemed pleased, and even delighted; he was a benevolent creature, and
the days of infancy (after all the happiest we shall ever see), perhaps
rose upon his memory. God bless him! I see his fine form, at the distance
of half a century, just as he stood before me in the little ball-alley in
the days of my childhood. His name was Dr. Boyse. He took a particular
fancy to me. I was winning, and was full of waggery, thinking every thing
that was eccentric, and by no means a miser of my eccentricities; every one
was welcome to a share of them, and I had plenty to spare after having
freighted the company. Some sweetmeats easily bribed me home with him. I
learned from poor Boyse my alphabet and my grammar, and the rudiments of
the classics. He taught me all he could, and then sent me to the school at
Middleton. In short, he made a man of me. I recollect it was about five and
thirty years afterwards, when I had risen to some eminence at the bar, and
when I had a seat in parliament, on my return one day from court, I found
an old gentleman seated alone in my drawing-room, his feet familiarly
placed, on each side of the Italian marble chimney-piece, and his whole air
bespeaking the consciousness of one quite at home. He turned round--_it was
my friend of the ball-alley_. I rushed instinctively into his arms, and
burst into tears. Words cannot describe the scene which followed:--"You are
right, sir; you are right. The chimney-piece is your's--the pictures are
your's--the house is your's. You gave me all I have--my friend--my
father--my benefactor!" He dined with me; and in the evening I caught the
tear glistening in his fine blue eye, when he saw poor little Jack, the
creature of his bounty, rising in the House of Commons, to reply to a
_Right_ Honourable. Poor Boyse! he is now gone; and no suitor had a larger
deposit of practical benevolence in the Court above. This is his wine--let
us drink to his memory."


Bishop Fowler, of Gloucester, and Justice Powell, had frequent altercations
on the subject of ghosts. The bishop was a zealous defender of the reality
of them; the justice was somewhat sceptical. The bishop one day met his
friend, and the justice told him that since their last conference on the
subject, he had had ocular demonstration, which had convinced him of the
existence of ghosts. "I rejoice at your conversion," replied the bishop;
"give me the circumstance which produced it, with all the particulars:--
ocular demonstration, you say?"--"Yes, my lord; as I lay last night in my
bed, about the twelfth hour, I was awakened by an extraordinary noise, and
heard something coming up stairs!"--"Go on, sir."--"Fearfully alarmed at
the noise, I drew my curtain--." "Proceed."--"And saw a faint glimmering
light enter my chamber."--"Of a blue colour, was it not?" interrogated the
doctor.--"Of a pale blue! and this pale blue light was followed by a tall,
meagre, stern figure, who appeared as an old man of seventy years of age,
arrayed in a long light coloured rug gown, bound with a leathern girdle:
his beard thick and grisly; his hair scant and straight; his face of a dark
sable hue; upon his head a large fur cap; and in his hand a long staff.
Terror seized my whole frame. I trembled till the bed shook, and cold drops
hung upon every limb. The figure advanced with a slow and solemn
step."--"Did you not speak to it? there was money hid, or murder committed,
without doubt," said the bishop.--"My lord, I did speak to it; I adjured it
by all that was holy to tell me whence, and for what purpose it thus
appeared."--"And in heaven's name what was the reply?"--"Before he deigned
to speak, he lifted up his staff three several times, my lord, and smote
the floor, even so loudly that verily the strokes caused the room to
reverberate the thundering sound. He then waved the pale blue light which
he bore in what is called a lantern, he waved it even to my eyes; and he
told me, my lord, he told me that he was--yes, my lord--that he was--not
more nor less than--_the watchman!_ who had come to give me notice that my
street-door was open, and that unless I rose and shut it, I might be robbed
before morning." The justice had no sooner concluded, than the bishop


A Dieppe Pilot.--In August, 1777, a vessel from Rochelle, laden with salt,
and manned by eight hands, with two passengers on board, was discovered
making for the pier of Dieppe. The wind was at the time so high, and the
sea so boisterous, that a coasting pilot made four fruitless attempts to
get out, and conduct the vessel into port. Boussard, a bold and intrepid
pilot, perceiving that the helmsman was ignorant of his dangerous position,
endeavoured to direct him by a speaking trumpet and signals; but the
captain could neither see nor hear, on account of the darkness of the
night, the roaring of the winds, and the tremendous swell of the sea. The
vessel in the meantime grounded on a flinty bottom, at a short distance
from the advanced jetty. Boussard, touched with the cries of the
unfortunate crew, resolved to spring to their assistance, in spite of every
remonstrance, and the apparent impossibility of success. Having tied one
end of a rope round his waist, and fastened the other to the jetty, he
plunged headlong into the raging deep. When he had got very near the ship,
a wave carried him off, and dashed him on shore. Several times was he thus
repulsed, rolled upon flinty stones, and covered with the wreck of the
vessel, which the fury of the waves was tearing rapidly to pieces. He did
not however give up his attempt. A wave now threw him under the vessel, and
he was given up for lost, but he quickly emerged, holding in his arms a
sailor, who had been washed overboard. He brought him on shore motionless
and just expiring. In short, after an infinity of efforts and struggles, he
reached the wreck, and threw the rope on board. All who had strength enough
to avail themselves of this assistance, were successively dragged to land.
Boussard, who imagined he had now saved all the crew, worn down by
fatigue, and smarting from his wounds and bruises, walked with great
difficulty to the light-house, where he fainted through exhaustion.
Assistance being procured, he quickly recovered. On hearing that cries
still issued from the wreck, he once more collected the little strength he
had left, rushed from the arms of his friends, plunged again into the sea,
and had the good fortune to save the life of one of the passengers, who was
lashed to the wreck, and who had been unable before to profit by the means
of escape.

Mons. de Crosne, the Intendant of Rouen, having stated these circumstances
to M. Neckar, then director-general of the finances, he immediately
addressed the following letter to Boussard, in his own hand-writing:--
"Brave man, I was not apprized by the Intendant till the day before
yesterday, of the gallant deed achieved by you on the 31st of August.
Yesterday I reported it to his majesty, who was pleased to enjoin me to
communicate to you his satisfaction, and to acquaint you, that he presents
you with one thousand livres, by way of present, and an annual pension of
three hundred livres. Continue to succour others when you have it in your
power; and pray for your king, who loves and recompenses the brave."

Italian Peasant.--A great inundation having taken place in the north of
Italy, owing to an excessive fall of snow in the Alps, followed by a speedy
thaw, the river Adige carried off a bridge near Verona, all except the
middle part, on which was the house of the toll-gatherer, who thus, with
his whole family, remained imprisoned by the waves, and in momentary danger
of destruction. They were discovered from the bank, stretching forth their
hands, screaming, and imploring succour, while fragments of the only
remaining arch were continually dropping into the water. In this extreme
danger, a nobleman who was present, a Count of Pulverino, held out a purse
of a hundred sequins, as a reward to any adventurer who would take a boat
and deliver this unhappy family. But the danger of being borne down by the
rapidity of the current, or of being dashed against a fragment of the
bridge, was so great, that no one in the vast number of spectators had
courage enough to attempt the exploit. A peasant passing along enquired
what was going on, and was informed of the circumstances. Immediately
jumping into a boat, he, by strength of oars, gained the middle of the
river, brought his boat under the pile, and the whole family safely
descended by means of a rope. By a still more strenuous effort, and great
strength of arm, he brought the boat and family to shore. "Brave fellow!"
exclaimed the count, handing the purse to him, "here is your recompense."
"I shall never expose my life for money," answered the peasant; "my labour
is a sufficient livelihood for myself, my wife, and children. Give the
purse to this poor family, who have lost their all."

This incident has been admirably worked up in a German ballad by Bürger
(see the "Song of the Brave Man," in "Popular Ballads.")

Countess de St. Belmont.--When M. de St. Belmont, who defended a feeble
fortress against the arms of Louis XIV., was taken prisoner, his wife, the
Comtesse de St. Belmont, who was of a most heroic disposition, still
remained upon the estates to take care of them. An officer of cavalry
having taken up his quarters there without invitation, Madame de St.
Belmont sent him a very civil letter of complaint on his ill behaviour,
which he treated with contempt. Piqued at this, she resolved he should give
her satisfaction, and sent him a challenge, which she signed "Le Chevalier
de St. Belmont." The officer accepted it, and repaired to the place
appointed. Madame de St. Belmont met him, dressed in men's clothes. They
immediately drew their swords, and the heroine had the advantage of him;
when, after disarming him, she said, with a gracious smile, "You thought,
sir, I doubt not, that you were fighting with the Chevalier de St. Belmont;
it is, however, Madame de St. Belmont, who returns you your sword, and begs
you in future to pay more regard to the requests of ladies." She then left
him, covered with shame and confusion.

French Peasant Girl.--One evening early in 1858, Melanie Robert, daughter
of a small farmer, near Corbeil, was proceeding to Essonnes, when a man
armed with a stout stick suddenly presented himself, and summoned her to
give up her money. Pretending to be greatly alarmed, she hastily searched
her pocket, and collecting some small pieces of coin held them out to the
man, who without distrust approached to take them. But the moment he took
the money, Melanie made a sudden snatch at the stick, and wresting it from
his hand, dealt him so violent a blow with it across the head that she
felled him to the ground. She then gave him a sound thrashing, and, in
spite of his resistance, forced him to accompany her to the office of the
commissary of police, by whom he was committed for trial.

Gallant Daughter.--Sir John Cochrane, who was engaged in Argyle's rebellion
against James II., was taken prisoner, after a desperate resistance, and
condemned to be executed. His daughter, having notice that the
death-warrant was expected from London, attired herself in men's clothes,
and twice attacked and robbed the mails between Belford and Berwick. The
execution was by this means delayed, till Sir John Cochrane's father, the
Earl of Dundonald, succeeded in making interest with the king for his

A Gamekeeper's Daughter.--The Gazette of Augsburg for January, 1820,
contained a singular account of the heroism and presence of mind displayed
by the daughter of a gamekeeper, residing in a solitary house near Welheim.
Her father and the rest of the family had gone to church, when there
appeared at the door an old man apparently half dead with cold. Feeling for
his situation, she let him in, and went into the kitchen to prepare him
some soup. Through a window which communicated from the kitchen to the room
in which she had left him, she perceived that he had dropped the beard he
wore when he entered; that he now appeared a robust man; and that he was
pacing the chamber with a poignard in his hand. Finding no mode of escape,
she armed herself with a chopper in one hand and the boiling soup in the
other, and entering the room where he was, first threw the soup in his
face, and then struck him a blow with the hatchet on his neck, which
brought him to the ground senseless. At this moment a fresh knock at the
door occasioned her to look out of an upper window, when she saw a strange
hunter, who demanded admittance, and on her refusal, threatened to break
open the door. She immediately got her father's gun, and as he was
proceeding to put his threat in execution, she shot him through the right
shoulder, on which he made his way back to the forest. Half an hour after a
third person came, and asked after an old man who must have passed that
way. She said she knew nothing of him; and after useless endeavours to make
her open the door, he also proceeded to break it in, when she shot him dead
on the spot. The excitement of her courage being now at an end, her spirits
began to sink, and she fired shots, and screamed from the windows, until
some gendarmes were attracted to the house; but nothing would induce her to
open the door until the return of her father from church.

Reward of Heroism.--M. Labat, a merchant of Bayonne, ill in health, had
retired in the beginning of the winter, 1803, to a country house on the
banks of the Adour. One morning, when promenading in his robe-de-chambre,
on a terrace elevated a little above the river, he saw a traveller thrown
by a furious horse, from the opposite bank, into the midst of the torrent.
M. Labat was a good swimmer: he did not stop a moment to reflect on the
danger of the attempt, but, ill as he was, threw off his robe-de-chambre,
leaped into the flood, and caught the drowning stranger at the moment when,
having lost all sensation, he must have otherwise inevitably perished. "Oh,
God!" exclaimed M. Labat, clasping him in his arms, and recognizing with a
transport of joy the individual he had rescued, "I have saved my son!"

The Douglas.--When King Robert I. died he exacted a promise from Sir James
Douglas to convey his heart to the Holy Land, where he had been on the
point of going when death arrested him. The party had reached Sluys, so far
on their way to Jerusalem, when Alonzo, King of Leon and Castile, at that
time engaged in war with the Moorish governor of Granada, Osmyn, sent to
demand the aid of Douglas; and by his oath as a knight, which forbade him
ever to turn a deaf ear to a call in aid of the Church of Christ, he was
obliged to attend to the summons. He fought with his usual heroism, till
the Moslems believed he bore a charmed life when they saw him rush into the
thickest of the fight and escape unwounded. But the Christian ranks
nevertheless began to give way; and to stem the flight the Douglas threw
the casket containing the king's heart into the _melée_, and rushed after
it, exclaiming, "Now pass onward as thou wert wont, and Douglas will follow
thee or die!" The day after the battle the body of the hero and the casket
were found by his surviving companions; and the squire of Douglas finding
it was impossible to convey it to Jerusalem, brought back the king's heart
to Scotland, and it was interred in Melrose Abbey.

Marshal de Nevailles.--At the battle of Senef, the Prince of Condé sent
word to Marshal de Nevailles to be ready to engage the enemy. The messenger
found him hearing mass, at which the prince being enraged, muttered
something in abuse of over-pious persons. But the marquis having evinced
the greatest heroism during the engagement, said after it to the prince,
"Your highness, I fancy, now sees that those who pray to God behave as well
in battle as their neighbours."


Breton Peasants.--At the conclusion of the war in 1814, three hundred
British sailors, who had been prisoners, were assembled on the coast of
Britanny to embark for England. Being severally billetted on the
inhabitants for some days before they embarked, one of them requested
permission to see the superintendant, Monsieur Kearnie, which being
granted, the British tar thus addressed him: "An please your honour, I
don't come to trouble you with any bother about ourselves: we are all as
well treated as Christians can be; but there is one thing that makes my
food sit heavy on my stomach, and that of my two messmates." "What is it,
my brave fellow?" replied the superintendent;--"the persons on whom you are
quartered don't grudge it you?" "No, your honour;--if they did, that would
not vex us." "What, then, do you complain of?" "Only this, your
honour--that the poor folk cheerfully lay their scanty allowance before us
for our mess, and we have just found out that they have hardly touched a
mouthful themselves, or their six babes, for the last two days; and this we
take to be a greater hardship than any we found in prison." M. Kearnie told
them that from this hardship they should all be relieved. He instantly
ordered the billets to be withdrawn, and rewarded all parties for their
kindness, so compassionately exercised and interchanged.

An Archbishop.--Henry Wardlaw, Archbishop of St. Andrew's, at the beginning
of the fifteenth century was a prelate of such unbounded liberality, that
the masters of his household, apprehensive that his revenues might be
exhausted by the expense of entertaining the great numbers who resorted to
his palace, solicited him to make out a list of persons to whom the
hospitality of his board might be confined. "Well," said the archbishop to
his secretary, "take a pen and begin. First put down Fife and Angus"--two
large counties, containing several hundred thousands of people. His
servants hearing this, retired abashed; "for," says the historian, "they
said he would have no man refused that came to his house."

Rights of Hospitality.--Dr. Johnson, in his tour through North Wales,
passed two days at the seat of Colonel Middleton, of Gwynnagag. While he
remained there, the gardener found a hare amidst some potatoe plants, and
brought it to his master, then engaged in conversation with the doctor. An
order was given to carry it to the cook. As soon as Johnson heard this
sentence, he begged to have the animal placed in his arms, which was no
sooner done, than approaching the open window, he restored the hare to her
liberty, shouting after her to accelerate her speed. "What have you done,
doctor?" cried the colonel. "Why you have robbed my table of a
delicacy--perhaps deprived us of a dinner." "So much the better, sir,"
replied the humane champion of a condemned hare; "for if your table is to
be supplied at the expense of the laws of hospitality, I envy not the
appetite of him who eats it. This, sir, is not a hare taken in war, but one
which had voluntarily placed itself under your protection; and savage
indeed must be that man who does not make his hearth an asylum for the
confiding stranger."

Mungo Park.--While Park was waiting on the banks of the Niger for a
passage, the king of the country was informed that a white man intended to
visit him. On this intelligence, a messenger was instantly dispatched to
tell the stranger that his majesty could not possibly admit him to his
presence till he understood the cause of his arrival, and also to warn him
not to cross the river without the royal permission. The message was
accordingly delivered by one of the chief natives, who advised Mr. Park to
seek a lodging in an adjacent village, and promised to give him some
requisite instructions in the morning. Mr. Park immediately complied with
this counsel; but on entering the village he had the mortification to find
every door closed against him. He was, therefore, obliged to remain all the
day without food, beneath the shade of a tree. About sunset, as he was
turning his horse loose to graze, and expected to pass the night in this
lonely situation, a woman returning from her employment in the fields
stopped to gaze at him, and observing his dejected looks, enquired from
what cause they proceeded? Mr. P. endeavoured, as well as he could, to make
known his destitute situation. The woman immediately took up his saddle and
bridle, and desired him to follow her to her residence, where, after
lighting a lamp, she presented him with some broiled fish, spread a mat for
him to lie upon, and gave him permission to continue under her roof till
morning. Having performed this humane action, she summoned her female
companions to their spinning, which occupied the chief part of the night,
while their labour was beguiled by a variety of songs--one of which was
observed by Mr. Park to be an extemporaneous effusion, created by his own
adventure. The air was remarkably sweet and plaintive, and the words were
literally the following:--

    "The winds roared, and the rain fell.
    The poor white man, faint and weary, came and sat under our tree.
    He has no mother to bring him milk, no wife to grind him corn.

    _Chorus._ Let us pity the white man: no mother has he to bring him
          milk, no wife to grind his corn."


M. Neckar.--The six companies, or bodies corporate, of the City of Paris,
set on foot in the month of October, 1788, a subscription for the relief of
the sufferers by a dreadful hail-storm, which had ravaged a part of the
country, and totally destroyed all the hopes of the husbandmen. To the
honour of these companies, no less than 50,000 livres were collected in a
short time, and placed in the hands of M. Neckar, in order to be applied to
the purpose for which they were subscribed. M. Neckar, on receiving the
money, directed it to be sent to the Treasury. "To the Treasury, my lord!"
exclaimed the bearer. "Yes, sir," replied M. Neckar; "50,000 livres will do
well for the Treasury, from which I drew yesterday 150,000 livres, to be
distributed among the same husbandmen whom it is your object to relieve,
feeling assured that the Treasury could never suffer from an advance made
on the credit of the humanity of Frenchmen."

Siege of Cajeta.--The City of Cajeta having rebelled against Alphonsus, was
invested by that monarch with a powerful army. Being sorely distressed for
want of provisions, the citizens put forth all their old men, women, and
children, and shut the gates upon them. The king's ministers advised his
majesty not to permit them to pass, but to force them back into the city;
by which means he would speedily become master of it. Alphonsus, however,
had too humane a disposition to hearken to counsel, the policy of which
rested on driving a helpless multitude into the jaws of famine. He suffered
them to pass unmolested; and when afterwards reproached with the delay
which this produced in the siege, he feelingly said, "I had rather be the
preserver of one innocent person, than be the master of a hundred Cajetas."

Provost Drummond.--About the middle of last century, George Drummond was
provost or chief magistrate of Edinburgh, and renowned for his humane
disposition. He was one day coming into the town by the suburb called the
West Port, when he saw a funeral procession leaving the door of a humble
dwelling, and setting out for the churchyard. The only persons composing
the funeral company were four poor-looking old men, seemingly common
beggars, one at each end of a pole carrying the coffin, and none to relieve
them; there was not a single attendant. The provost at once saw that it
must be a beggar's funeral, and he went forward to the old men, saying to
them, "Since this poor creature now deceased has no friends to follow his
remains to the grave, I will perform that melancholy office myself." He
then took his place at the head of the coffin. They had not gone far, till
they met two gentlemen who were acquainted with the provost, and they asked
him what he was doing there. He told them that he was going to the
interment of a poor friendless mendicant, as there were none else to do it;
so they turned and accompanied him. Others joined in the same manner, and
at last there was a respectable company at the grave. "Now," said the
kind-hearted provost, "I will lay the old man's head in the grave," which
he accordingly did, and afterwards saw the burial completed in a decent
manner. When the solemnity was over, he asked if the deceased had left a
wife or family, and learned that he had left a wife, an old woman, in a
state of perfect destitution. "Well, then, gentlemen," said the provost,
addressing those around him, "we met in rather a singular manner, and we
cannot part without doing something creditable for the benefit of the
helpless widow; let each give a trifle, and I will take it upon me to see
it administered to the best advantage." All immediately contributed some
money, which made up a respectable sum, and was afterwards given in a
fitting way to the poor woman; the provost also afterwards placed her in an
industrious occupation, by which she was able to support herself without
depending on public relief.

Sir Philip Sidney was a gallant soldier, a poet, and the most accomplished
gentleman of his time. At the battle of Zutphen, in the Netherlands, after
having two horses killed under him, he received a wound while in the act of
mounting a third, and was carried bleeding, faint, and thirsty to the camp.
A small quantity of water was brought to allay the thirst of Sir Philip;
but as he was raising it to his lips, he observed that a poor wounded
soldier, who was carried past at the moment, looked at the cup with wistful
eyes. The generous Sidney instantly withdrew it untasted from his mouth,
and gave it to the soldier, saying, "Thy necessity is yet greater than
mine." He died of his wound, aged only thirty-three; but his kindness to
the poor soldier has caused his name to be remembered ever since with
admiration, and it will probably never be forgotten while humane and
generous actions are appreciated among men.

Bishop of St. Lisieux.--The massacre of St. Bartholomew was not confined to
Paris; orders were sent to the most distant provinces to commence the work
of destruction. When the governor of the province brought the order to
Hennuyer, Bishop of Lisieux, he opposed it with all his power, and caused a
formal act of his opposition to be entered on the registers of the
province. Charles IX., when remorse had taken place of cruelty, was so far
from disapproving of what this excellent prelate had done, that he gave him
the greatest praise for his humanity; and Protestants flocked in numbers to
adjure their religion at the feet of this good and kind shepherd, whose
gentleness affected them more than either the commands of the sovereign,
or the violence of the soldiery.

On the same occasion, Viscount d'Orthe had the courage to write from
Bayonne to Charles IX., that he found many good soldiers in his garrison,
but not one executioner; and begged him to command their lives in any
service that was possible to men of honor.

Baron Von Stackelberg, in going from Athens to Thessalonica in an armed
vessel, was taken by some Albanian pirates, who immediately sent the
captain of the vessel to the former place, demanding 60,000 piastres for
the baron's ransom, and threatening that if it was not paid, they would
tear his body to pieces. They obliged him, at the same time, to write to
Baron Haller and another friend, to acquaint them with the demand. The time
fixed by the pirates had elapsed, and Baron Stackelberg, who had become
extremely ill, was expecting a cruel death, when the humane and generous
Haller, who had borrowed 14,500 Turkish piastres, at 30 per cent.,
appeared. The pirates refused to take less than the sum demanded. Haller
offered himself as a hostage instead of his friend, if they would prolong
his life, and suffer him to recover from his sickness. This noble deed
contributed to convince the pirates, that no larger sum could be obtained;
they accepted it, and Haller returned to Athens with the friend whom his
humanity had preserved.

The Princess Charlotte.--During the residence of Her Royal Highness at
Bognor, where she had gone for the recovery of her health, an officer of
long standing in the army was arrested for a small sum, and being at a
distance from his friends, and unable to procure bail, he was on the point
of being torn from his family to be conveyed to Arundel gaol. The
circumstance came to the knowledge of the princess, who, in the momentary
impulse of generous feeling, exclaimed, "I will be his bail!" Then,
suddenly recollecting herself, she inquired the amount of the debt; which
being told her, "There," said she, handing a purse with more than the sum,
"take this to him; it is hard that he who has exposed his life in the
field of battle should ever experience the rigours of a prison."--During
the last illness of an old female attendant, formerly nurse to the Princess
Charlotte, she visited her every day, sat by her bedside, and with her own
hand administered the medicine prescribed. When death had closed the eyes
of this poor woman, instead of fleeing in haste from an object so appalling
to the young and gay in general, the princess remained and gave utterance
to the compassion she felt on viewing the remains in that state from which
majesty itself cannot be exempt. A friend of the deceased, seeing Her Royal
Highness was much affected, said, "If your Royal Highness would condescend
to touch her, perhaps you would not dream of her." "Touch her," replied the
amiable princess, "yes, poor thing! and kiss her, too; almost the only one
I ever kissed, except my poor mother!" Then bending her head over the
coffin of her humble friend, she pressed her lips to the cold cheeks, while
tears flowed from her eyes.

M. de Montesquieu being at Marseilles, hired a boat with the intention of
sailing for pleasure; the boat was rowed by two young men, with whom he
entered into conversation, and learnt that they were not watermen by trade,
but silversmiths, and that when they could be spared from their usual
business, they employed themselves in that way to increase their earnings.
On expressing his surprise at their conduct, and imputing it to an
avaricious disposition; "Oh! sir," said the young men, "if you knew our
reasons, you would ascribe it to a better motive.--Our father, anxious to
assist his family, devoted the produce of a life of industry to the
purchase of a vessel, for the purpose of trading to the coast of Barbary,
but was unfortunately taken by a pirate, carried to Tripoli, and sold as a
slave. In a letter we have received from him, he informs that he has
luckily fallen into the hands of a master who treats him with great
humanity; but the sum demanded for the ransom is so exorbitant, that it
will be impossible for him ever to raise it. He adds, that we must
therefore relinquish all hope of ever seeing him again. With the hopes of
restoring to his family a beloved father, we are striving by every honest
means in our power to collect the sum necessary for his ransom, and we are
not ashamed to employ ourselves for such a purpose in the occupation of
watermen." M. de Montesquieu was struck with this account, and on his
departure made them a handsome present. Some months afterwards, the young
men being at work in their shop, were greatly surprised at the sudden
arrival of their father, who threw himself into their arms; exclaiming at
the same time, that he feared they had taken some unjust method to raise
the money for his ransom, for it was too great for them to have gained by
their ordinary occupation. They professed their ignorance of the whole
affair; and could only suspect they owed their father's release to that
stranger to whose generosity they had before been so much obliged. Such,
indeed, was the case; but it was not till after Montesquieu's death that
the fact was known, when an account of the affair, with the sum remitted to
Tripoli for the old man's ransom, was found among his papers.

Fenelon.--The venerable Archbishop of Cambray, whose humanity was
unbounded, was in the constant habit of visiting the cottages of the
peasants, and administering consolation and relief in their distress. When
they were driven from their habitations by the alarms of war, he received
them into his house, and served them at his table. During the war, his
house was always open to the sick and wounded, whom he lodged and provided
with every thing necessary for their relief. Besides his constant
hospitalities to the military, he performed a most munificent act of
patriotism and humanity after the disastrous winter of 1709, by opening his
granaries and distributing gratuitously corn to the value of 100,000
livres. And when his palace at Cambray, and all his books and furniture,
were destroyed by fire, he bore it with the utmost firmness, saying, "It is
better all these should be burned, than the cottage of one poor family."

Lord Cochrane.--When this gallant officer was entrusted with the perilous
duty of conducting the fire-ships in the attack upon the French fleet in
Basque Roads, he had lighted the fusee which was to explode one of these
terrific engines of destruction, and had rowed off to some distance, when
it was discovered that a dog had been left on board. Lord C. instantly
ordered the men to row back, assuring them that there was yet time enough,
_if they pulled hard_, to save the poor animal. They got back to the
fire-ship just a few minutes before it would have been too late to save the
animal; and when the dreadful explosion took place, were still so near the
floating volcano, that the fragments fell in heaps around them.

Sir Samuel Hood.--This gallant officer, when commanding the "Juno" on the
Jamaica station, in 1791, exhibited a noble instance of intrepid humanity.
The ship was lying in St. Anne's harbour, when a raft, with three persons
upon it, was discovered at a great distance. The weather was exceedingly
stormy; and the waves broke with such violence, as to leave little hope
that the unfortunate men upon it could long survive. Captain Hood instantly
ordered out one of his ship's boats to endeavour to rescue them; but the
sea ran so high, that the crew declared the attempt impracticable, and
refused to expose themselves to what they considered certain destruction.
The captain immediately leaped into the boat, declaring that he would never
order them on any service on which he would not himself venture. The effect
was such as might be expected: there is no danger that a British sailor
will not share with his captain; all now were eager to offer themselves.
The boat pushed off, and reached the raft with much difficulty, and saved
the exhausted men, who still clung to it. The House of Assembly of Jamaica,
to testify their sense of this undaunted exertion in the cause of humanity,
presented Captain Hood with a sword of the value of two hundred guineas.

An Uncarpeted House.--M. Eveillan, formerly Archdeacon of Angers, was noted
for his humane and charitable disposition towards the poor. On one
occasion, when a friend expressed surprise that none of his rooms were
carpeted, he replied, "When I enter my house in the winter, I do not hear
any complaints of cold from the furniture of my rooms; but the poor who
stand shivering at my doors tell me but too plainly that they have need of


Fear of Death.--It is recorded of a person who had been sentenced to be
bled to death, that, instead of the punishment being actually inflicted, he
was made to believe that it was so, merely by causing water, when his eyes
were blinded, to trickle down his arm. This mimicry, however, of an
operation, stopped as completely the movements of the animated machine as
if an entire exhaustion had been effected of the vivifying mud. The man
lost his life, although not his blood, by this imaginary venesection.

We read of another unfortunate being who had been condemned to lose his
head, but the moment after it had been laid upon the block, a reprieve
arrived; the victim was, however, already sacrificed. The living principle
had been extinguished by the fear of the axe, as effectually as it would
have been by its fall.

The Editor of the _Philosophical Magazine_ relates a remarkable instance
which came within his own knowledge many years ago in Scotland. Some silver
spoons having been mislaid, were supposed to have been stolen; and an
expression fell from one of the family, which was either intended, or was
so understood by a young lady who acted as governess to the female
children, that she had taken them. When the young lady rose next morning,
her hair, which before was dark, was found to have changed to a pure white
during the night. The spoons were afterwards found where the mistress of
the family had herself deposited them.

Mons. Boutibonne, a man of literary attainments, a native of Paris, served
in Napoleon's army, and was present at a number of engagements during the
early part of the present century. At the battle of Wagram, which resulted
in a treaty of peace with Austria, in November 1809, Mons. Boutibonne was
actively engaged during the whole of the fray, which lasted, if I rightly
remember, from soon after mid-day until dark. The ranks around him had
been terribly thinned by the enemy's shot, so that his position at sunset
was nearly isolated; and while in the act of reloading his musket, he was
shot down by a cannon-ball. The impression produced upon his mind was, that
the ball had passed from left to right, through his legs below the knees,
separating them from his thighs, as he suddenly sank down, shortened, as he
believed, to the extent of about a foot in measurement, the trunk of the
body falling backwards on the ground, and the senses being completely
paralysed by the shock. In this posture he lay motionless during the
remainder of the night, not daring to move a muscle for fear of fatal
consequences. He experienced no severe suffering; but this immunity from
pain he attributed to the stunning effect produced upon the brain and
nervous system. "My wounded companions," said he, "lay groaning in agony on
every side, but I uttered not a word, nor ventured to move, lest the torn
vessels should be roused into action, and produce fatal hæmorrhage, for I
had been made acquainted with the fact that the blood-vessels, wounded in
this way, did not usually bleed profusely until reaction took place. At
early dawn, on the following morning, I was aroused from a troubled slumber
by one of the medical staff, who came round to succour the wounded. 'What's
the matter with you my good fellow?' said he. 'Ah! touch me softly, I
beseech you,' I replied, 'a cannon-ball has carried off my legs.' He
proceeded at once to examine my legs and thighs, and giving me a good
shake, with a cry of joy he exclaimed 'Get up at once, there is nothing the
matter with you.' Whereupon I sprung up in utter astonishment, and stood
firmly on the legs which I believed had been lost to me for ever. I felt
more thankful than I had ever done in the whole course of my life before. I
had not a wound about me. I had indeed been shot down by an immense
cannon-ball, but instead of passing through my legs, as I firmly believed
it to have done, the ball had passed under my feet, and had ploughed away a
cavity in the earth beneath, at least a foot in depth, into which my feet
suddenly sank, giving me the idea that I had been thus shattered by the
separation of my legs. Such is the power of imagination."


Johnson and Millar.--When Dr. Johnson had completed his Dictionary, which
had quite exhausted the patience of Mr. Andrew Millar, his bookseller, the
latter acknowledged the receipt of the last sheet in the following
note:--"Andrew Millar sends his compliments to Mr. Samuel Johnson, with the
money for the last sheet of the copy of the Dictionary, and thanks God he
has done with him." To this rude note the doctor returned the following
smart answer:--"Samuel Johnson returns his compliments to Mr. Andrew
Millar, and is very glad to find (as he does by his note) that Andrew
Millar has the grace to thank God for anything."

Johnson and Wilkes.--In his English Grammar, prefixed to his Dictionary,
Johnson had written--"_He_ seldom, perhaps never, begins any but the first
syllable." Wilkes published some remarks upon this dictum, commencing: "The
author of this observation must be a man of quick appre-_he_nsion, and of a
most compre-_he_nsive genius."

Johnson and Lord Elibank.--"Lord Elibank," says Sir W. Scott, "made a happy
retort on Dr. Johnson's definition of oats, as the food of horses in
England, and men in Scotland." "Yes," said he, "and where else will you see
_such horses_, and _such men?_"


James the First.--Soon after that would-be _Solomon_ came to the throne of
England, he went one day to hear the causes in Westminster Hall, in order
to show his learning and wisdom, of which he had no mean opinion.
Accordingly, being seated on the bench, a cause came on, which the counsel,
learned in the law, set forth to such advantage on the part of the
plaintiff, that the Royal Judge thought he saw the justice of it so
clearly, that he frequently cried out, "The gude man is i' the richt! the
gude man is i' the richt! He mun hae it! he mun hae it!" And when the
counsel had concluded, he took it as a high affront that the judges of the
court should presume to remonstrate to him, that it was the rule to hear
the other side before they gave judgment. Curiosity to know what could be
said in so clear a case, rather than any respect to their rules, made him
defer his decision; but the defendant's counsel had scarcely begun to open
his cause, when his majesty appeared greatly discomposed, and was so
puzzled as they proceeded, that he had no patience to hear them out, but
starting up in a passion, cried, "I'll hear nae mair! I'll hear nae mair!
ye are a' knaves aleeke! Ye gi' each other the lee (lie), and neither's i'
the richt!"

Frederick the Great.--Frederick the Great rang the bell one day, and nobody
answered. He opened the door, and found the page sleeping on a sofa. About
to wake him, he perceived the end of a billet out of his pocket, and had
the curiosity to know the contents: Frederick carefully drew it out, and
read it; it was a letter from the mother of the young man, who thanked him
for having sent her part of his wages, to assist her in her distress; and
it concluded by beseeching God to bless him for his filial goodness. The
king returned softly to his room, took a roller of ducats, and slid them,
with the letter, into the page's pocket; and then returning to his
apartment, rung so violently, that the page came running breathlessly to
know what had happened. "You have slept well," said the king. The page made
an apology, and, in his embarrassment, he happened to put his hand into his
pocket, and felt with astonishment the roller. He drew it out, turned pale,
and looking at the king, burst into tears, without being able to speak a
word. "What is the matter?" said the king, "what ails you?" "Ah, sire,"
answered the youth, throwing himself at his feet, "somebody would wish to
ruin me; I know not how I came by this money in my pocket." "My friend,"
said Frederick, "God often sends us good in our sleep. Send this to your
mother. Salute her in my name, and assure her I shall take care of her and
of you."

Frederick, conqueror as he was, sustained a severe defeat at Coslin in the
war of 1755. Some time after, at a review, he jocosely asked a soldier, who
had got a deep cut in his cheek, "Friend, at what alehouse did you get that
scratch?" "I got it," said the soldier, "at Coslin, _where your majesty
paid the reckoning_."

Frederick was very fond of disputation; but as he generally terminated the
discussion by collaring his antagonist and kicking his shins, few of his
guests were disposed to enter the arena against him. One day, when he was
particularly disposed for an argument, he asked one of his suite why he did
not venture to give his opinion on a particular question. "It is
impossible, your majesty," was the reply, "to express an opinion before a
sovereign who has such very strong convictions, and who _wears such very
thick boots_."

Desertion.--Frederick, in surveying one evening some of the advanced posts
of his camp, discovered a soldier endeavouring to pass the sentinel. His
majesty stopped him, and insisted on knowing where he was going. "To tell
you the truth," answered the soldier, "your majesty has been so worsted in
all your attempts, that I was going to _desert_." "Were you?" answered the
monarch. "Remain here but one week longer, and if fortune does not mend in
that time, I'll desert with you too."

Louis XIV., playing at backgammon, had a doubtful throw; a dispute arose,
and all the courtiers remained silent. The Count de Grammont came in at
that instant. "Decide the matter," said the king to him. "Sire," said the
count, "your Majesty is in the wrong."--"How so," replied the king; "can
you decide without knowing the question?"--"Yes," said the count, "because,
had the matter been doubtful, all these gentlemen present would have given
it for your majesty."

Louis was told that Lord Stair was the best bred man in Europe. "I shall
soon put that to the test," said the king, and asking Lord Stair to take an
airing with him, as soon as the door of the coach was opened he bade him
pass and go in, the other bowed and obeyed. The king said, "The world was
right in the character it gave of Lord Stair--another person would have
troubled me with ceremony."

While the Eddystone light-house was erecting, a French privateer took the
men upon the rock, together with their tools, and carried them to France;
and the captain was in expectation of a reward for the achievement. While
the captives lay in prison, the transaction reached the ears of Louis XIV.,
when he immediately ordered them to be released, and the captors put in
their places, declaring, that "Though he was at war with England, he was
not so with all mankind." He directed the men to be sent back to their
work, with presents--observing, "That the Eddystone light-house was so
situated as to be of equal service to all nations having occasion to
navigate the channel between England and France."

Charles II. was reputed a great connoisseur in naval architecture. Being
once at Chatham, to view a ship just finished on the stocks, he asked the
famous Killigrew, "If he did not think he should make an excellent
shipwright?" He replied, "That he always thought his majesty would have
done better at any trade than his own." No favourable compliment, but as
true a one, perhaps, as ever was paid.

Louis XII.--Josquin, a celebrated composer, was appointed master of the
chapel to Louis XII. of France, who promised him a benefice, but contrary
to his usual custom, forgot him. Josquin, after suffering great
inconvenience from the shortness of his majesty's memory, ventured, by a
singular expedient, publicly to remind him of his promise, without giving
offence. Being commanded to compose a motet for the chapel royal, he chose
the verse of the Psalm, "Oh, think of thy servant as concerning thy word,"
&c., which he set in so supplicating and exquisite a manner, that it was
universally admired, particularly by the king, who was not only charmed
with the music, but felt the force of the words so effectually, that he
soon after granted his petition, by conferring on him the promised

George the Second, when returning from his German dominions, on the way
between the Brill and Helvoetsluys, was obliged to stay at an obscure
public house on the road, while some of his servants went forward to obtain
another carriage, that in which he had travelled having broken down. The
king ordered refreshment, but all he could get was a pot of coffee for
himself and Lord Delawar, and two bottles of gin made into punch for his
footmen; however, when the bill was called for, the conscientious Dutchman,
knowing his customer, presented it as follows: "To refreshments for His
Sacred Majesty, King George the Second, and his household, £91." Lord
Delawar was so provoked at this imposition, that the king overheard his
altercation with the landlord, and demanded the cause of it. His lordship
immediately told him; when his majesty good humouredly replied, "My lord,
the fellow is a great knave, but pay him. Kings seldom pass this way."

A similar anecdote is related of another monarch, who, passing through a
town in Holland, was charged thirty dollars for two eggs. On this, he said,
that "Eggs were surely scarce in that town." "No, your majesty," replied
the landlord, "but kings are."

Charles V. of France.--The last words of this patriotic monarch are
memorable for the noble moral for kings which they contain. "I have aimed
at justice," said he to those around him; "but what king can be certain
that he has always followed it? Perhaps I have done much evil of which I am
ignorant. Frenchmen! who now hear me, I address myself in the presence of
the Supreme Being to you. _I find that kings are happy but in this--that
they have the power of doing good_."

George III. on Punctuality.--The celebrated mathematical instrument maker,
Mr. Ramsden, was frequently deficient in punctuality, and would delay for
months, nay, for years, the delivery of instruments bespoken from him. His
majesty, who had more than once experienced this dilatory disposition, once
ordered an instrument, which he made Ramsden positively promise to deliver
on a certain day. The day, however, came, but not the instrument. At length
Ramsden sent word to the king that it was finished; on which a message was
sent him, desiring that he would bring it himself to the palace. He,
however, answered, that he would not come, unless his majesty would promise
not to be angry with him. "Well, well," said the king, "let him come: as he
confesses his fault, it would be hard to punish him for it." On this
assurance he went to the palace, where he was graciously received; the
king, after expressing his entire satisfaction with the instrument, only
adding, with a good-natured smile, "You have been uncommonly punctual this
time, Mr. Ramsden, having brought the instrument on the very day of the
month you promised it; you have only made a small mistake in the date of
the year." It was, in fact, exactly a year after the stipulated time.

Doing Homage.--Mr. Carbonel, the wine merchant who served George III., was
a great favourite with the king, and used to be admitted to the royal
hunts. Returning from the chase one day, his majesty entered affably into
conversation with him, and rode with him side by side a considerable way.
Lord Walsingham was in attendance; and watching an opportunity, took Mr.
Carbonel aside, and whispered something to him. "What's that, what's that
Walsingham has been saying to you?" inquired the good-humoured monarch. "I
find, sire, I have been unintentionally guilty of disrespect; my lord
informed me, that, I ought to have taken off my hat whenever I addressed
your majesty; but your majesty will please to observe, that whenever I
hunt, my hat is fastened to my wig, and my wig is fastened to my head, and
I am on the back of a very high-spirited horse; so that if any thing _goes
off_, we _all go off together!_" The king accepted, and laughed heartily
at, the whimsical apology.

The Horse Dealer.--The king having purchased a horse, the dealer put into
his hands a large sheet of paper, completely written over. "What's this?"
said his majesty. "The pedigree of the horse, sire, which you have just
bought," was the answer. "Take it back, take it back," said the king,
laughing; "it will do very well for the next horse you sell."

The following affords a pleasing trait in the character of George the
Third, as well as an instance of that feeling which ought to subsist
between masters of all ranks and circumstances and their domestics:--

_Inscription in the Cloisters of St. George's Chapel, Windsor._

King George III.
caused to be interred near this place the body of
Servant to the late Princess Amelia; and this tablet to be
erected in testimony of his grateful sense of the faithful
services and attachment of an amiable young woman to
his beloved daughter, whom she survived only three
months. She died the 19th February, 1811, aged 31

A very bold caricature was one day shown to his majesty, in which Warren
Hastings was represented wheeling the king and the lord chancellor in a
wheelbarrow for sale, and crying, "What a man buys, he may sell." The
inference intended was, that his majesty and Lord Thurlow had used improper
influence in favour of Hastings. The king smiled at the caricature, and
observed, "Well, this is something new; I have been in all sorts of
carriages, but was never put into a wheel-barrow before."


A Bold Trick.--The following anecdote serves to exemplify how necessary it
is upon any important occasion to scrutinise the accuracy of a statement
before it is taken upon trust. A fellow was tried at the Old Bailey for
highway robbery, and the prosecutor swore positively that he had seen his
face distinctly, for it was a bright moonlight night. The counsel for the
prisoner cross-questioned the man so as to make him repeat that assertion,
and insist upon it. He then affirmed that this was a most important
circumstance, and a most fortunate one for the prisoner at the bar: because
the night on which the alleged robbery was said to have been committed was
one in which there had been no moon: it was then during the dark quarter!
In proof of this he handed an almanack to the bench,--and the prisoner was
acquitted accordingly. The prosecutor, however, had stated every thing
truly; and it was known afterwards that the almanack with which the counsel
came provided, had actually been prepared and printed for the occasion!

Horse Trials.--In the art of cross-examining a witness, Curran was
pre-eminent. A clever repartee is recorded of him in a horse cause. He had
asked the jockey's servant his master's age, and the man had retorted, with
ready gibe, "I never put my hand into his mouth to try!" The laugh was
against the lawyer till he made the bitter reply,--"You did perfectly
right, friend; for your master is said to be a great bite."

Erskine displayed similar readiness in a case of breach of warranty. The
horse taken on trial had become dead lame, but the witness to prove it said
he had a cataract in his eye. "A singular proof of lameness," suggested the
Court. "It is cause and effect," remarked Erskine; "for what is a cataract
but a fall?"

Erskine.--On Mr. Erskine's receiving his appointment to succeed Mr. Dundas,
as justiciary in Scotland, he exclaimed that he must go and order his silk
robe. "Never mind," said Mr. Dundas, "for the short time you will want it
you had better borrow mine!"--"No!" replied Erskine, "how short a time
soever I may need it, heaven forbid that I commence my career by adopting
the _abandoned habits_ of my predecessor!"

Erskine is said to have once forgotten for which party, in a particular
cause, he had been retained; and, to the amazement of the agent who had
retained him, and the horror of the poor client behind, he made a most
eloquent speech in direct opposition to the interests he had been hired to
defend. Such was the zeal of his eloquence, that no whispered remonstrance
from the rear, no tugging at his elbow could stop him. But just as he was
about to sit down, the trembling attorney put a slip of paper into his
hands. "You have pleaded for the wrong party!" whereupon, with an air of
infinite composure, he resumed the thread of his oration, saying, "Such, my
lord, is the statement you will probably hear from my brother, on the
opposite side of this cause. I shall now beg leave, in a very few words, to
show your lordship how utterly untenable are the principles, and how
distorted are the facts, upon which this very specious statement has
proceeded." He then went once more over the same ground, and did not take
his seat till he had most energetically refuted himself, and destroyed the
effect of his former pleading. He gained the cause.

A similar circumstance happened in the Rolls Court, in 1788. Mr. A., an
eminent counsel, received a brief in court a short time before the cause
was called on, for the purpose of opposing the prayer of a petition. Mr.
A., conceiving himself to be the petitioner, spoke very ably in support of
the petition, and was followed by a counsel on the same side. The Master of
the Rolls then inquired who opposed the petition? Mr. A. having by this
time discovered his mistake, rose in much confusion, and said, that he felt
really much ashamed for a blunder into which he had fallen, for that,
instead of supporting the petition, it was his business to have opposed it.
The Master of the Rolls, with great good humour, desired him to proceed now
on the other side, observing, that he knew no counsel who could answer his
arguments half so well as himself.

Fools.--A lawyer of Strasburgh being in a dying state sent for a brother
lawyer to make his will, by which he bequeathed nearly the whole of his
estate to the Hospital for Idiots. The other expressed his surprise at this
bequest. "Why not bestow it upon them," said the dying man; "you know I got
the most of my money by fools, and therefore to fools it ought to return."

Curran.--A farmer, attending a fair with a hundred pounds in his pocket,
took the precaution of depositing it in the hands of the landlord of the
public-house at which he stopped. Having occasion for it shortly
afterwards, he repaired to mine host for the amount, but the landlord, too
deep for the countryman, wondered what hundred was meant, and was quite
sure no such sum had ever been lodged in his hands. After many ineffectual
appeals to the recollection, and finally to the honour of Bardolph, the
farmer applied to Curran for advice. "Have patience, my friend," said
Curran; "speak to the landlord civilly, and tell him you are convinced you
must have left your money with some other person. Take a friend with you,
and lodge with him another hundred in the presence of your friend, and then
come to me." We may imagine the vociferations of the honest rustic at such
advice; however, moved by the rhetoric of the worthy counsel, he followed
it, and returned to his legal friend. "And now, sir, I don't see as I'm to
be better off for this, if I get my second hundred again--but how is that
to be done?" "Go and ask him for it when he is alone," said the counsel.
"Aye, sir; but asking won't do I'm afraid, and not without my witness, at
any rate." "Never mind, take my advice," said the counsel; "do as I bid
you, and return to me." The farmer returned with the hundred, glad at any
rate to find that safe again his possession. "Now I suppose I must be
content, though I don't see as I'm much better off." "Well, then," said the
counsel, "now take your friend with you, and ask the landlord for the
hundred pounds your friend saw you leave with him." We need not add, that
the wily landlord found that he had been taken off his guard, while our
honest friend returned to thank his counsel exultingly, with both of his
hundreds in his pocket.

Mr. Curran was once engaged in a legal argument; behind him stood his
colleague, a gentleman whose person was remarkably tall and slender, and
who had originally intended to take orders. The judge observing that the
case under discussion involved a question of ecclesiastical law; "Then,"
said Curran, "I can refer your lordship to a _high_ authority behind me,
who was once intended for the church, though in my opinion he was fitter
for the steeple."

There is a celebrated reply of Mr. Curran to a remark of Lord Clare, who
curtly exclaimed at one of his legal positions, "O! if that be law, Mr.
Curran, I may burn my law books!" "Better _read_ them, my lord," was the
sarcastic and appropriate rejoinder.

A Good Example.--Chamillart, comptroller-general of the finances in the
reign of Louis XIV., had been a celebrated pleader. He once lost a cause in
which he was concerned, through his excessive fondness for billiards. His
client called on him the day after in extreme affliction, and told him
that, if he had made use of a document which had been put into his hands,
but which he had neglected to examine, a verdict must have been given in
his favour. Chamillart read it, and found it of decisive importance to his
cause. "You sued the defendant," said he, "for 20,000 livres. You have
failed by my inadvertence. It is my duty to do you justice. Call on me in
two days." In the meantime Chamillart procured the money, and paid it to
his client, on no other condition than that he should keep the transaction

Legal Point.--A few years ago it happened that a cargo of ice was imported
into this country from Norway. Not having such an article in the Custom
house schedules, application was made to the Treasury and to the Board of
Trade; and, after some little delay, it was decided that the ice should be
entered as "_dry_ goods;" but the whole cargo had melted before the doubt
was cleared up!

Lord Brougham tells the following story. It is a curious instance of the
elucidation of facts in court.--During the assizes, in a case of assault
and battery, where a stone had been thrown by the defendant, the following
clear and conclusive evidence was drawn out of a Yorkshireman.--"Did you
see the defendant throw the stone?" "I saw a stone, and I'ze pretty sure
the defendant throwed it." "Was it a large stone?" "I should say it wur a
largeish stone." "What was its size?" "I should say a sizeable stone."
"Can't you answer definitely how big it was?" "I should say it wur a stone
of some bigness." "Can't you give the jury some idea of the stone?" "Why,
as near as I recollect, it wur something of a stone." "Can't you compare it
to some other object?" "Why, if I wur to compare it, so as to give some
notion of the stone, I should say it wur as large as a lump of chalk!"

Questioning.--Sir John Fielding gave a curious instance in the case of an
Irish fellow who was brought before him when sitting as a magistrate at
Bow-street. He was desired to give some account of himself, and where he
came from. Wishing to pass for an Englishman, he said he came from Chester.
This he pronounced with a very rich brogue, which caught the ears of Sir
John. "Why, were you ever in Chester?" says he. "To be sure I was," said
Pat, "_wasn't I born there?_" "How dare you," said Sir John Fielding, "with
that brogue, which shows that you are an Irishman, pretend to have been
born in Chester?" "I didn't say I was born there, sure; I only asked your
honour whether I was or not."

Thelwall, when on his trial at the Old Bailey for high treason, during the
evidence for the prosecution, wrote the following note, and sent it to his
counsel, Mr. Erskine: "I am determined to plead my cause myself." Mr.
Erskine wrote under it: "If you do, you'll be hang'd:" to which Thelwall
immediately returned this reply: "I'll be hang'd, then, if I do."

Peter the Great, being at Westminster Hall in term time, and seeing
multitudes of people swarming about the courts of law, is reported to have
asked some about him, what all those busy people were, and what they were
about? and being answered, "They are lawyers." "Lawyers!" returned he, with
great vivacity, "why I have but four in my whole kingdom, and I design to
hang two of them as soon as I get home."

A Sheepish Lamb.--Counsellor Lamb (an old man, at the time the late Lord
Erskine was in the height of his reputation) was a man of timid manners and
nervous disposition, and usually prefaced his pleadings with an apology to
that effect; and on one occasion, when opposed to Erskine, he happened to
remark that "he felt himself growing more and more timid as he grew older."
"No wonder," replied the witty but relentless barrister, "every one knows
the older a _lamb_ grows the more _sheepish_ he becomes."

A learned serjeant, since a judge, being once asked what he would do if a
man owed him £10, and refused to pay him. "Rather than bring an action,
with its costs and uncertainty," said he, "I would send him a receipt in
full of all demands." "Aye," said he, recollecting himself, "and I would
moreover send him five pounds to cover possible costs."

Sir William Jones and Thomas Day.--One day, upon removing some books at the
chambers of the former, a large spider dropped upon the floor, upon which
Sir William, with some warmth, said, "Kill that spider, Day; kill that
spider!" "No," said Mr. Day, with coolness, "I will not kill that spider,
Jones: I do not know that I have a right to kill that spider. Suppose, when
you are going in your coach to Westminster Hall, a superior Being, who
perhaps may have as much power over you as you have over this insect,
should say to his companion, 'Kill that lawyer, kill that lawyer!' how
should you like that, Jones? and I am sure, to most people, a lawyer is a
more noxious animal than a spider."

Sir Fletcher Norton was noted for his want of courtesy. When pleading
before Lord Mansfield, on some question of manorial right, he chanced
unfortunately to say, "My lord, I can illustrate the point in an instant in
my own person: I myself have two little manors." The judge immediately
interposed, with one of his blandest smiles, "We all know that, Sir

The Stocks.--Lord Camden once presided at a trial in which a charge was
brought against a magistrate for false imprisonment, and for putting the
plaintiff in the stocks. The counsel for the magistrate, in his reply,
said, the charges were trifling, particularly that of putting in the
stocks, which everybody knew was no punishment at all. The chief justice
rose, and leaning over the bench, said, in a half whisper, "Brother, were
you ever in the stocks?" "In the stocks, my lord! no, never." "Then I
have," said his lordship, "and I assure you, brother, it is no such trifle
as you represent." His lordship's knowledge of the stocks arose from the
following circumstance. When he was on a visit to Lord Dacre, his
brother-in-law, at Alveley in Essex, he walked out one day with a gentleman
remarkable for his absence of mind. When they had reached a hill, at some
distance from the house, his lordship sat down on the parish stocks, which
stood by the road side; and after some time, asked his companion to open
them, as he wished to know what kind of punishment it was; this being done,
the absent gentleman took a book from his pocket, and sauntered about,
until he forgot both the judge and his situation, and returned to Lord
Dacre's house. When the judge was tired of the experiment he had so rashly
made, he found himself unable to open the stocks, and asked a countryman
who passed by to assist him. "No, no, old gentleman," replied Hodge, "you
was not set there for nothing, I'll be bound!" Lord C. protested his
innocence, but in vain; the countryman walked on, and left his lordship to
meditate for some time longer in his foolish situation, until some of Lord
Dacre's servants, chancing to pass that way, released him.

Hanging Judge.--Counsellor Grady, in a late trial in Ireland, said, he
recollected to have heard of a relentless judge; he was known by the name
of the Hanging Judge, and was never seen to shed a tear but once, and that
was during the representation of _The Beggar's Opera_, when Macheath got a

It was the same judge, we believe, between whom and Mr. Curran the
following pass of wit once took place at table. "Pray, Mr. Curran," said
the judge, "is that hung beef beside you? If it is, I will try it." "If
_you_ try it, my lord," replied Mr. Curran, "it is sure to be hung."

Keep to the Point.--Lord Tenterden contracted such an inveterate habit of
keeping himself and everybody else to the precise matter in hand, that
once, during a circuit dinner, having asked a country magistrate if he
would take venison, and receiving what he deemed an evasive reply, "Thank
you, my lord, I am going to take boiled chicken," his lordship sharply
retorted, "That, sir, is no answer to my question; I ask you again if you
will take venison, and I will trouble you to say yes or no, without further

Longs and Shorts.--There were two barristers at the Irish bar who formed a
singular contrast in their statures. Ninian Mahaffy, Esq., was as much
above the middle size as Mr. Collis was below it. When Lord Redesdale was
Lord Chancellor of Ireland, these two gentlemen chanced to be retained in
the same cause, a short time after his lordship's elevation, and before he
was personally acquainted with the Irish bar. Mr. Collis was opening the
motion, when the lord chancellor observed, "Mr. Collis, when a barrister
addresses the court, he must stand." "I am standing on the bench, my lord,"
said Collis. "I beg a thousand pardons," said his lordship, somewhat
confused. "Sit down, Mr. Mahaffy." "I am sitting, my lord," was the reply
to the confounded chancellor.

The Scotch bar had once to boast in Mr. Erskine, of Cardross, of a pleader
quite as diminutive as Mr. Collis. He had usually a stool brought to him to
stand upon when addressing the court, which gave occasion for a witty
rival once to observe, that "that was one way of rising at the bar."

Lord Kaimes used to relate a story of a man who claimed the honour of his
acquaintance on rather singular grounds. His lordship, when one of the
justiciary judges, returning from the north circuit to Perth, happened one
night to sleep at Dunkeld. The next morning, walking towards the ferry, but
apprehending he had missed his way, he asked a man whom he met to conduct
him. The other answered, with much cordiality, "That I will do with all my
heart, my lord. Does not your lordship remember me? My name's John ----, I
have had the _honour_ to be before your lordship for stealing sheep!" "Oh,
John! I remember you well; and how is your wife? She had the honour to be
before me too, for receiving them, knowing them to be stolen." "At your
lordship's service. We were very lucky; we got off for want of evidence;
and I am still going on in the butcher trade." "Then," replied his
lordship, "we may have the _honour_ of meeting again."

Sergeant Hill, who was much celebrated as a lawyer, and eminently qualified
to find out a case in point on any disputed question, was somewhat
remarkable for absence of mind, the result of that earnestness with which
he devoted himself to his professional duties. On the very day when he was
married, he had an intricate case in his mind, and forgot his engagement,
until reminded of his waiting bride, and that the legal time of performing
the ceremony had nearly elapsed. Being once on circuit, and having occasion
to refer to a law authority, he had recourse as usual to his bag; but, to
the astonishment of the court, instead of a volume of Viner's abridgment,
he took out a specimen candlestick, the property of a Birmingham traveller,
whose bag the learned sergeant had brought into court by mistake.

During the long vacation, the sergeant usually retired to his country seat
at Rowell in Northamptonshire. It happened, during one autumn, that some of
the neighbouring sportsmen, among whom was the present Earl Spencer, being
in pursuit of a fox, Reynard, who was hard pressed, took refuge in the
court-yard of this venerable sage. At this moment the sergeant was reading
a _case in point_, which decided that in a trespass of this kind the owners
of the ground had a right to inflict the punishment of death. Mr. Hill
accordingly gave orders for punishing the fox, as an original trespasser,
which was done instantly. The hunters now arrived with the hounds in full
cry, and the foremost horseman, who anticipated the glory of possessing the
brush, was the first to behold his victim stretched lifeless on the ground,
pinioned to the earth by plebeian pitchforks. The hunters were very anxious
to discover the daring culprit who had presumed to deprive the field and
the pack of their prey; when the venerable sergeant made his appearance,
with his book in his hand, and offered to convince them that execution had
taken place according to legal authority. The sportsmen got outrageous, but
the learned sergeant was not intimidated; he knew the force of his
authorities, and gravely invited the attention of his auditory to a case
from one of the old reporters, that would have puzzled a whole bar of
modern practitioners to controvert. The effect was ludicrous; the
extraordinary appearance of the worthy sergeant, not in his bargown, but in
what these adventurous mortals called a mere bedgown; the quaintness of his
manner, the singularity of the occurrence, and the novelty of the incident,
threw them completely out.


Budæus, a very learned man, librarian to Francis the First of France, was
one day engaged in deep study, when his servant came running to him in a
great fright, to tell him that the house was on fire. "Go," said he, with
perfect calmness, and hardly raising his eyes from his book, "and inform
your mistress, 'tis her concern, you know I never interfere in domestic

Knowledge.--The famous Duval, librarian to the Emperor Francis the First,
often used to reply to questions that were put to him, "I do not know." An
ignoramus one day said to him, "But the emperor pays you for _knowing_."
"The emperor," he replied, "pays me for what I know; if he were to pay me
for what I am ignorant of, all the treasures of his empire would not be

Bautru, a celebrated French wit, being in Spain, went to visit the famous
library of the Escurial, where he found a very ignorant librarian. The King
of Spain asked him his opinion of it. "It is an admirable one, indeed,"
said he; "but your majesty should give the man who has the care of it the
administration of your finances."--"Wherefore?" asked the king. "Because,"
replied Bautru, "the man never touches the treasure that is confided to


At the siege of one of the strong towns in Flanders, during the wars of
Louis XIV., it was necessary to reconnoitre the point of attack. The danger
was great, and a hundred louis were promised to any one who would undertake
it. Several of the bravest of the soldiers appeared indifferent to the
offer, when a young man stepped forward to undertake the task; he left the
detachment, and remained absent a long time; he was thought killed. While
the officers were deploring his fate, he returned, and gained their
admiration no less by the precision than the _sang froid_ of his recital.
The hundred louis were immediately presented to him. "_Vous vous moquez de
moi, mon général_," was his reply; "_va-t-on là pour de l'argent_."--[You
are jesting with me, general; one does not perform such actions for money.]

Colonel Hawker, who commanded the 14th Light Dragoons in most of the
serious engagements in the Peninsula, having formerly lost an arm in
action, was attended by an orderly man, who held a guiding rein to the
bridle of the colonel's charger; this attendant being slain by his side,
just as the enemy's cavalry had broken the line of the 14th, by a heavy
charge of superior numbers, great slaughter ensued on both sides, when a
French officer immediately opposed to Colonel Hawker, lifted up his sabre,
and was in the act of cutting him down, but observing the loss of his arm,
he instantly dropped the point on the colonel's shoulder, and, bending his
head, passed on. A truly noble adversary!

St. Louis.--Louis IX., after his captivity among the Saracens, was, with
his queen and children, nearly shipwrecked on his return to France, some of
the planks of the vessel having started. He was pressed to go on board
another ship, and so escape the danger, but he refused, saying, "Those that
are with me, most assuredly are as fond of their lives as I can be of mine.
If I quit the ship, they will likewise quit it; and the vessel not being
large enough to receive them, they will all perish. I had rather entrust my
life, and the lives of my wife and children, in the hands of God, than be
the occasion of making so many of my brave subjects suffer."

Magnanimous Rebel.--Sir Phelim O'Neil, one of the leaders in the Irish
rebellion of 1641, while in prison, previous to his trial, was frequently
solicited, by promises of a free pardon, and large rewards, to bear
testimony that the king (Charles the First) had been actively instrumental
in stirring up that rebellion. It was one of the arts of the factions of
that period to throw the odium of the massacre which followed the Irish
rebellion upon Charles; but whatever may have been the political sins of
that unhappy prince, impartial history has not ranked this among the
number. Sir Phelim declared, that he could not, in conscience, charge the
king with any thing of the kind. His trial was drawn out to the length of
several days, that he might be worked upon in that time; but he persisted
with constancy and firmness in rejecting every offer made to him by the
commissioners. Even at the place of execution, the most splendid advantages
were pressed upon him, upon the condition of falsely accusing King Charles
in that point. Men saw with admiration this unfortunate chieftain under all
the terrors of death, and the strongest temptations man could be under,
bravely attesting the king's innocence, and sealing the truth of his
testimony with his blood. When on the ladder, and ready to be thrown off,
two marshals came riding in great haste, and cried aloud, "Stop a little."
Having passed through the, crowd of spectators and guards, one of them
whispered something into the ear of Sir Phelim, who made answer in so loud
a voice, as to be heard by several hundreds of the people. "I thank the
lieutenant-general for the intended mercy; but I declare, good people,
before God and his holy angels, and all of you that hear me, that I never
had any commission from the king for what I have done, in levying, or in
prosecuting this war; and do heartily beg your prayers, all good Catholics
and Christians! that God may be merciful unto me, and forgive me my sins."
On this the guards beat off those that stood near the place of execution,
and in a few minutes Sir Phelim was no more.

Admiral Thurot.--It has been said of the French naval commander Thurot,
that he was strictly honest in circumstances that made the exertion of
common honesty an act of the highest magnanimity. When this officer
appeared on the coast of Scotland, and landed in order to supply his three
vessels with provisions, he paid a liberal price for every thing he wanted,
and behaved with so much affability, that a countryman ventured to complain
to him of an officer, who had taken 50 or 60 guineas from him. The officer,
on being called on to vindicate himself against the charge, acknowledged
the fact, but said, that he had divided the money among his men. Thurot
immediately ordered the officer to give his bill for the money, which he
said should be stopped out of his pay, if they were so fortunate as to
return to France. On another occasion, one of Thurot's officers gave a bill
upon a merchant in France, for some provisions that he had purchased.
Thurot hearing of the circumstance, informed the countryman that the bill
was of no value; and reprimanding the officer severely for the cheat,
compelled him to give another on a merchant, whom he knew would pay the
money. What makes this act of integrity still more striking and
praiseworthy, is, that Thurot's men at this time were so dissatisfied, as
to be ready to break out in open mutiny.

The Chevalier Bayard.--The town of Bresse having revolted against the
French, was attacked, taken, and sacked, with an almost unexampled fury.
The chevalier Bayard, who was wounded at the beginning of the action, was
carried to the house of a person of quality, whom he protected from the
fury of the conquerors, by placing at the door two soldiers, whom he
indemnified with a gift of eight hundred crowns, in lieu of the plunder
they might have lost by their attendance at the door. The impatience of
Bayard to join the army without considering the state of his wound, which
was by no means well, determined him to depart. The mistress of the house
then threw herself at his feet, saying, "The rights of war make you master
of our lives and our possessions, and you have saved our honour. We hope,
however, from your accustomed generosity that you will not treat us with
severity, and that you will be pleased to content yourself with a present
more adapted to our circumstances, than to our inclinations." At the same
time, she presented him with a small box full of ducats.

Bayard, smiling, asked her how many ducats the box contained. "Two thousand
five hundred, my lord," answered the lady, with much emotion; "but if these
will not satisfy you, we will employ all our means to raise more."--"No,
madam," replied the chevalier, "I do not want money: the care you have
taken of me more than repays the services I have done you. I ask nothing
but your friendship; and I conjure you to accept of mine."

So singular an instance of generosity gave the lady more surprise than joy.
She again threw herself at the feet of the chevalier, and protested that
she would never rise until he had accepted of that mark of her gratitude.
"Since you will have it so," replied Bayard, "I will not refuse it; but may
I not have the honour to salute your amiable daughters?" The young ladies
soon entered, and Bayard thanked them for their kindness in enlivening him
with their company. "I should be glad," said he, "to have it in my power
to convince you of my gratitude; but we soldiers are seldom possessed of
jewels worthy the acceptance of your sex. Your amiable mother has presented
me with two thousand five hundred ducats; I make a present to each of you
of one thousand, for a part of your marriage portion. The remaining five
hundred I give to the poor sufferers of this town, and I beg you will take
on yourselves the distribution."

One of the finest actions of a soldier of which history makes mention, is
related in the history of the Marechal de Luxemburg. The marechal, then
Count de Boutteville, served in the army of Flanders in 1675, under the
command of the Prince of Condé. He perceived in a march some soldiers that
were separated from the main body, and he sent one of his aides-de-camp to
bring them back to their colours. All obeyed, except one, who continued his
road. The count, highly offended at such disobedience, threatened to strike
him with his stick. "That you may do," said the soldier, with great
coolness, "but you will repent of it." Irritated by this answer,
Boutteville struck him, and forced him to rejoin his corps. Fifteen days
after, the army besieged Furnes; and Boutteville commanded the colonel of a
regiment to find a man steady and intrepid for a coup-de-main, which he
wanted, promising a hundred pistoles as a reward. The soldier in question,
who had the character of being the bravest man in the regiment, presented
himself, and taking thirty of his comrades, of whom he had the choice, he
executed his commission, which was of the most hazardous nature, with a
courage and success beyond all praise. On his return, Boutteville, after
having praised him highly, counted out the hundred pistoles he had
promised. The soldier immediately distributed them to his comrades, saying,
that he had no occasion for money; and requested that if what he had done
merited any recompense, he might be made an officer. Then addressing
himself to the count, he asked if he recognised him? and on Boutteville
replying in the negative, "Well," said he, "I am the soldier whom you
struck on our march fifteen days ago. Was I not right when I said that you
would repent of it?" The Count de Boutteville, filled with admiration, and
affected almost to tears, embraced the soldier, created him an officer on
the spot, and soon made him one of his aides-de-camp.


Handel had such a remarkable irritation of nerves, that he could not bear
to hear the tuning of instruments, and therefore at a performance this was
always done before he arrived. A musical wag, who knew how to extract some
mirth from Handel's irascibility of temper, stole into the orchestra, on a
night when the Prince of Wales was to be present, and untuned all the
instruments. As soon as the prince arrived, Handel gave the signal for
beginning, _con spirito;_ but such was the horrible discord, that the
enraged musician started up from his seat, and having overturned a double
bass, which stood in his way, he seized a kettle-drum, which he threw with
such violence at the leader of the band, that he lost his full-bottomed wig
in the effort. Without waiting to replace it, he advanced bare-headed to
the front of the orchestra, breathing vengeance, but so much choked with
passion, that utterance was denied him. In this ridiculous attitude he
stood staring and stamping for some moments, amidst a convulsion of
laughter; nor could he be prevailed upon to resume his seat, until the
prince went in person, and with much difficulty appeased his wrath.

Handel being only a musician, was obliged to employ some person to write
his operas and oratorios, which accounts for their being so very defective
as poetical compositions. One of those versifiers employed by him, once
ventured to suggest, in the most respectful manner, that the music he had
composed to some lines of his, was quite contrary to the sense of the
passage. Instead of taking this friendly hint as he ought to have done,
from one who (although not a Pindar) was at least a better judge of poetry
than himself, he looked upon the advice as injurious to his talents, and
cried out, with all the violence of affronted pride, "What! you teach me
music? The music is good music: confound your words! Here," said he,
thrumming his harpsichord, "are my ideas; go and make words to them."

Handel became afterwards the proprietor of the Opera House, London; and
presided at the harpsichord in the orchestra (piano-fortes not being then
known). His embellishments were so masterly, that the attention of the
audience was frequently diverted from the singing to the accompaniment, to
the frequent mortification of the vocal professors. A pompous Italian
singer was, on a certain occasion, so chagrined at the marked attention
paid to the harpsichord, in preference to his own singing, that he swore,
that if ever Handel played him a similar trick, he would jump down upon his
instrument, and put a stop to the interruption. Handel, who had a
considerable turn for humour, replied: "Oh! oh! you vill jump, vill you?
very vell, sare; be so kind, and tell me de night ven you vill jump, and I
vill advertishe it in de bills; and I shall get grate dale more money by
your jumping, than I shall get by your singing."

Although he lived much with the great, Handel was no flatterer. He once
told a member of the royal family, who asked him how he liked his playing
on the violoncello? "Vy, sir, your highness _plays like a prince_." When
the same prince had prevailed on him to hear a minuet of his own
composition, which he played himself on the violoncello, Handel heard him
out very quietly; but when the prince told him, that he would call in his
band to play it to him, that he might hear the full effect of his
composition, Handel could contain himself no longer, and ran out of the
room, crying, "Worsher and worsher, upon mine honour."

One Sunday, having attended divine worship at a country church, Handel
asked the organist to permit him to play the people out; to which, with a
politeness characteristic of the profession, the organist consented. Handel
accordingly sat down to the organ, and began to play in such a masterly
manner, as instantly to attract the attention of the whole congregation,
who, instead of vacating their seats as usual, remained for a considerable
space of time, fixed in silent admiration. The organist began to be
impatient (perhaps his wife was waiting dinner); and at length addressing
the performer, told him that he was convinced that _he_ could not play the
people out, and advised him to relinquish the attempt; which being done,
they were played out in the usual manner.

In 1741, Handel, who was then proceeding to Ireland, was detained for some
days at Chester, in consequence of the weather. During this time he applied
to Mr. Baker, the organist, to know whether there were any choir men in the
cathedral who could sing _at sight_, as he wished to prove some books that
had been hastily transcribed, by trying the choruses. Mr. Baker mentioned
some of the best singers in Chester, and among the rest, a printer of the
name of Janson, who had a good bass voice, and was one of the best
musicians in the choir. A time was fixed for this private rehearsal at the
Golden Falcon, where Handel had taken up his residence; when, on trial of a
chorus in the Messiah, poor Janson, after repeated attempts, failed
completely, Handel got enraged, and after abusing him in five or six
different languages, exclaimed in broken English, "You schauntrel, tit not
you dell me dat you could sing at soite?" "Yes sir," said the printer, "so
I can, but not at _first sight_."

Mozart, walking in the suburbs of Vienna, was accosted by a mendicant of a
very prepossessing appearance and manner, who told his tale of woe with
such effect, as to interest the musician strongly in his favour; but the
state of his purse not corresponding with the impulse of his humanity, he
desired the applicant to follow him to a coffee-house. Here Mozart, drawing
some paper from his pocket, in a few minutes composed a minuet, which with
a letter he gave to the distressed man, desiring him to take it to his
publisher. A composition from Mozart was a bill payable at sight; and to
his great surprise the now happy mendicant was immediately presented with
five double ducats.

When Haydn was in England, one of the princes commissioned Sir Joshua
Reynolds to take his portrait. Haydn went to the painter's house, and sat
to him, but soon grew tired. Sir Joshua, careful of his reputation, would
not paint a man of acknowledged genius, with a stupid countenance; and
deferred the sitting till another day. The same weariness and want of
expression occurring at the next attempt, Reynolds went and communicated
the circumstance to his royal highness, who contrived the following
stratagem. He sent to the painter's house a German girl, in the service of
the queen. Haydn took his seat for the third time, and as soon as the
conversation began to flag, a curtain rose, and the fair German addressed
him in his native language, with a most elegant compliment. Haydn,
delighted, overwhelmed the enchantress with questions; his countenance
recovered its animation, and Sir Joshua rapidly seized its traits.

Haydn could be comic as well as serious; and he has left a remarkable
instance of the former, in the well known symphony, during which all the
instruments disappear, one after the other, so that, at the conclusion, the
first violin is left playing by himself. The origin of this singular piece
is thus accounted for. It is said that Haydn, perceiving his innovations
were ill received by the performers of Prince Esterhazy, determined to play
a joke upon them. He caused his symphony to be performed, without a
previous rehearsal, before his highness, who was in the secret. The
embarrassment of the performers, who all thought they had made a mistake,
and especially the confusion of the first violin, when, at the end, he
found he was playing alone, diverted the court of Eisenstadt. Others
assert, that the prince having determined to dismiss all his band, except
Haydn, the latter imagined this ingenious way of representing the general
departure, and the dejection of spirits consequently upon it. Each
performer left the concert room as soon as his part was finished.


Hume.--At a parliamentary dinner, Mr. Plunkett was asked if Mr. Hume did
not annoy him by his broad speeches. "No," replied he, "it is the _length_
of the speeches, not their _breadth_, that we complain of in the House."

Henry Lord Falkland having been brought into the House of Commons at a very
early age, a grave senator objected to his youth, remarked that "he did not
look as if he had sown his wild oats." His lordship replied with great
quickness, "Then I am come to the fittest place, where there are so many
old geese to gobble them up."

The Duke of Newcastle, who was at the head of the Treasury, frequently
differed with his colleague in office, Mr. Pitt, the first Earl of Chatham,
though the latter, by his firmness, usually prevailed. A curious scene
occurred at one of their interviews. It had been proposed to send Admiral
Hawke to sea, in pursuit of M. Conflans. The season was unfavourable, and
almost dangerous for a fleet to sail, being the end of the month of
November, and very stormy. Mr. Pitt was at that time confined to his bed by
gout, and was obliged to receive visitors in his chamber, in which he could
not bear to have a fire. The Duke of Newcastle waited upon him one very raw
day, to discuss the affair of the fleet, but scarcely had he entered the
chamber, when shivering with cold, he said, "What, have you no fire?" "No,"
replied Mr. Pitt, "I can never bear a fire when I have the gout." The duke
sat down by the side of the invalid, wrapt up in his cloak, and began to
enter upon the subject of his visit. There was a second bed in the room,
and the duke, unable longer to endure the cold, said, "With your leave,
I'll warm myself in this other bed;" and without taking off his cloak, he
actually got into the bed, and resumed the debate. The duke began to argue
against exposing the fleet to hazard in such weather, and Mr. Pitt was as
determined it should put to sea. "The fleet must absolutely sail," said Mr.
Pitt, accompanying his words with the most expressive gesture. "It is
impossible," said the duke, with equal animation, "it will certainly be
lost." Sir Charles Frederick, of the ordnance department, arrived just at
this time, and finding them both in this laughable posture, had the
greatest difficulty to preserve his gravity, at seeing two ministers of
state deliberating on the affairs of the country in so ludicrous a

"They're all Out."--At the time when the unfortunate ministry, known as
"All the Talents," was ousted in 1807, there stood upon the Earthen Mound
in Edinburgh many caravans of wild beasts belonging to the famous Mr.
Wombwell, around which there clustered a large crowd of idle folks
listening to the dulcet strains of his most harmonious brass band. The news
of the Tory victory was first made known in the parliament house, and, as
can well be believed, the excitement that ensued was intense. Under its
influence that eager and eccentric judge, Lord Hermand, making for his
home, espied a friend among the Wombwell crowd, and shouted aloud in his
glee across the street, "They're out! they're out! they're all out!" In
half a second there was the wildest distribution of the mob--down to
Prince's-street, up the Castle-hill, into the gardens, and up the vennels.
The people picturing the horrors of a tiger-chase did not stop to hear
more, and Hermand found himself, to his amazement, monarch of all he
surveyed, and sole auditor of the last terrified shriek of the band.

Lord Lyndhurst, it is said, tells this story of his surrender of the great
seal in 1846. "When I went to the palace," says his lordship, "I alighted
at the grand staircase; I was received by the sticks gold and silver, and
other officers of the household, who called in sonorous tones from landing
to landing, and apartment to apartment, 'Room for the Lord High Chancellor
of England.' I entered the presence chamber; I gave the seals to her
Majesty; I had the honour of kissing her hand; I left the apartment by
another door and found myself on a back staircase, down which I descended
without any one taking any notice of me, until, as I was looking for my
carriage at the outer door, a lackey bustled up, and with a patronising
air, said, 'Lord Lyndhurst, can I do anything for you?'"

The Slave Trade.--In one of the last discussions on the slave trade, Sir
Charles Pole said, "while he deprecated the motion (for the abolition), he
rejoiced that it had been brought forward thus early, because it showed the
cloven foot which had been attempted to be concealed." To this remark Mr.
Sheridan very spiritedly replied, "An honourable baronet," said he, "has
talked of a cloven foot; I plead guilty to that cloven foot; but this I
will say, that the man who expresses pleasure at the hope of seeing so
large a portion of the human race freed from the shackles of tyranny rather
displays the pinions of an angel than the cloven foot of a demon."


Father Bernard.--His patience was such as no circumstances, however
offensive, could subdue. One day he presented a petition in favour of an
unfortunate person, to a nobleman in place; the latter being of a hasty
temper, flew into a violent passion, said many injurious things of the
person for whom the priest interested himself. Father Bernard, however,
still persisted in his request; and the nobleman was at last so irritated,
that he gave him a box on the ear. Bernard immediately fell at his feet,
and presenting the other, said, "Give me a blow on this also, my lord, and
grant me my petition." The nobleman was so affected by this humility, that
he granted his request.

Philip, the second King of Spain, had once spent several hours of the night
in writing a long letter to the Pope, and having finished it, gave it to
his secretary to fold it up and seal it. The secretary was half asleep, and
instead of shaking the sand-bottle over it in order to dry it, he emptied
that which contained the ink by mistake, so that all the ink ran out upon
the letter and completely spoiled it; perceiving the accident, he was
ready to drop with confusion, upon which the King quietly said: "Well,
give me another sheet of paper;" and then began to write the letter over
again with great tranquillity.


An Italian poet presented some verses to the Pope, who had not gone far
before he met with a line too short in quantity, which he remarked upon.
The poet submissively entreated his holiness to read on, and he would
probably meet with a line that was a syllable too long, so that the account
would soon be balanced!

A certain Italian having written a book on the Art of making gold,
dedicated it to Pope Leo X., in hopes of a good reward. His holiness
finding the man constantly followed him, at length gave him a large empty
purse, saying, "Sir, since you know how to make gold, you can have no need
of anything but a purse to put it in."


A Polite Mayor.--At the time when Queen Elizabeth was making one of her
progresses through the kingdom, a mayor of Coventry, attended by a large
cavalcade, went out to meet her Majesty, and usher her into the city with
due formality. On their return they passed through a wide brook, when Mr.
Mayor's horse several times attempted to drink, and each time his worship
checked him; which the Queen observing, called out to him, "Mr. Mayor, let
your horse drink, Mr. Mayor;" but the magistrate, bowing very low, modestly
answered, "Nay, nay, may it please your Majesty's horse to drink first."

A French Mayor.--A mayor of a small village in France, having occasion to
give a passport to a distinguished personage in his neighbourhood who was
blind of one eye, was in great embarrassment on coming to the description
of his person. Fearful of offending the great man, he adopted the following
ingenious expedient of avoiding the mention of his deformity, and wrote
"Black eyes--one of which is absent."

Sir Wm. Gooch being engaged in conversation with a gentleman in a street of
the city of Williamsburgh, returned the salute of a negro, who was passing
by about his master's business. "Sir William," said the gentleman, "do you
descend so far as to salute a slave?"--"Why, yes," replied the governor; "I
cannot suffer a man of his condition to exceed me in good manners."


The Marquis St. André applied to Louvois, the war-minister of Louis XIV.,
for a place then vacant. Louvois having received some complaints against
the marquis, refused to comply. The nobleman, somewhat nettled, said,
rather hastily, "If I were to enter again into the service, I know what I
would do."--"And pray what would you do?" inquired the minister in a
furious tone. St. André recollected himself, and had the presence of mind
to say, "I would take care to behave in such a manner, that your excellency
should have nothing to reproach me with." Louvois, agreeably surprised at
this reply, immediately granted his request.

Carving.--An accomplished gentleman, when carving a tough goose, had the
misfortune to send it entirely out of the dish, and into the lap of the
lady next to him; on which he very coolly looked her full in the face, and
with admirable gravity and calmness, said, "Madam, may I trouble you for
that goose." In a case like this, a person must, necessarily, suffer so
much, and be such an object of compassion to the company, that the kindest
thing he can do is to appear as unmoved as possible.

Lord Peterborough was once taken by the mob for the duke of Marlborough
(who was then in disgrace with them), and being about to be roughly treated
by these friends to summary justice, he told them, "Gentlemen, I can
convince you, by two reasons, that I am not the duke of Marlborough. In the
first place, I have only five guineas in my pocket; and, in the second,
they are heartily at your service." So throwing his purse amongst them, he
got out of their hands, with loud huzzas and acclamations.

Fouché.--Napoleon sent for Fouché one day, in a great rage, told him that
he was a fool, and not fit to be at the head of the police, as he was quite
ignorant of what was passing. "Pardon me, Sire," said Fouché; "I know that
your Majesty has my dismissal ready signed in your pocket." Napoleon
changed his mind, and kept his Minister.

Vendean Servant.--An unexampled instance of self-devotion and presence of
mind was manifested by a maidservant, during the war in La Vendée. "The
wife of Lepinai, a general in the Vendean army, was imprisoned at Nantes,
and attended by a young girl, a native of Chatellerault, so faithfully
attached to the service of her mistress that she had followed her to
prison. One day the soldiers arrived to summon the prisoners who were
destined to death: this faithful girl heard Madame Lepinai called, who had
but an instant before retired to her chamber. Glad of the opportunity of
saving the life of her beloved mistress, she presented herself, and
answered to the name. The affectionate creature was instantly led away with
the other prisoners, and precipitated among the waves of the Loire, in
place of Madame Lepinai."

The Gendarmes and the Priest.--During the Revolution a priest took refuge
in the house of a farmer. Some gendarmes having heard of it came one
evening to the house. The whole family were gathered round the hearth, and
among them was the priest, disguised as a servant. When the soldiers
entered every one grew pale; they asked the farmer if there was not a
priest concealed in the house. "Gentlemen," returned he, without losing his
presence of mind, "you see very well there is no priest here; but one might
conceal himself in the house without my knowledge; so I will not prevent
you from doing your duty; search the house from cellar to garret." Then he
said to the priest, "I say, Jacques, take your lantern and show these
gentlemen everywhere; let them see every corner of the farm." The gendarmes
made a minute inspection of the house, uttering many imprecations and many
menaces against the priest, promising themselves to pay him well for the
trouble he had cost them, if they succeeded in discovering him. Seeing
their search was useless, they prepared to leave. As they were going the
farmer said, "Pray gentlemen, remember the boy." They gave the disguised
priest a small coin, and thanking him for his civility took their leave.

A housemaid in Upper Grosvenor Street, London, going to the cellar for a
draught of ale, after the family had retired to bed, glided silently in
without a candle. As she was feeling about for the cask, she put her hand
upon something which she immediately perceived to be the head of a man. The
girl, with great fortitude and presence of mind, forebore to cry out, but
said, in a tone of impatience, "That stupid creature, Betty, is always
putting the mops in the way." She then went on to the cask, quietly drew
her beer, retired from the cellar, fastened the door, and then alarmed the
house. The man was taken; and afterwards declared, that the maid was
entirely indebted to her presence of mind for her life, for had she cried
out, he would instantly have murdered her: but as he firmly believed she
mistook his head for a mop, particularly as she had drawn the beer after
she had felt it, he let her go without injury.

King James the Fourth of Scotland, who used often to amuse himself in
wandering about the country in different disguises, was once overtaken by a
violent storm in a dark night, and obliged to take shelter in a cavern near
Wemys. Having advanced some way in it, the king discovered a number of men
and women ready to begin to roast a sheep, by way of supper. From their
appearance, he began to suspect that he had not fallen into the best of
company; but, as it was too late to retreat, he asked hospitality from them
till the tempest was over. They granted it, and invited the king, whom they
did not know, to sit down, and take part with them. They were a band of
robbers and cut-throats. As soon as they had finished their supper, one of
them presented a plate, upon which two daggers were laid in form of a St.
Andrew's cross, telling the king, at the same time, that this was the
dessert which they always served to strangers; that he must choose one of
the daggers, and fight him whom the company should appoint to attack him.
The king did not lose his presence of mind, but instantly seized the two
daggers, one in each hand, and plunged them into the hearts of the two
robbers who were next him; and running full speed to the mouth of the
cavern, he escaped from their pursuit, through the obscurity of the night.
The rest of the band were seized next morning and hanged.

The Marquess del Campo.--When the attempt was made upon the life of George
III., by Margaret Nicholson, who attempted to stab him as he was going to
St. James's to hold a levee, a council was ordered to be held as soon as
the levee was over. The Marquess del Campo, the Spanish ambassador, being
apprised of that circumstance, and knowing that the council would detain
the king in town three or four hours beyond the usual time, took post
horses, and set off for Windsor. Alighting at the castle, he called upon a
lady there with whom he was acquainted. The queen, finding that the king
did not return at the usual time, and understanding that the marquess was
in the palace, sent to ask him if he had been at the levee. He replied that
he had, and that he had left his majesty in perfect health, going to
council. When the king arrived, he, of course, told her majesty the
extraordinary occurrence of the morning. The queen expressed great surprise
that the Marquess del Campo, who had been nearly three hours in the palace,
had not mentioned the subject to her; he was then sent for, when he told
their majesties, that finding upon his arrival at the castle, that no
rumour of the attempt upon the life of his majesty had reached the queen,
he did not think it expedient to apprise her of it till his majesty's
arrival gave full assurance of his safety; but, at the same time, fearing
that some incorrect and alarming reports might be brought down, he deemed
it right to remain in the palace, in order in that case, to be able to
remove all apprehensions from her majesty's mind, by acquainting her with
the real facts. The king, taking the ambassador graciously by the hand,
complimented him on his presence of mind, and assured him, that he scarcely
knew a man in the world to whom he was so much obliged.

Miss Bailly.--A few days before the battle of Falkirk, so disastrous to the
English army, Lord Loudon made a bold attempt to seize the Pretender at
Moy, a castle belonging to the chief of the clan of Mackintosh, about six
miles from Inverness, where he was then staying, and where he conceived
himself in perfect security. His lordship would probably have succeeded in
this design, but for the singular courage and presence of mind of a young
girl. While some English officers were drinking in the house of Mrs.
Bailly, an innkeeper in Inverness, and passing the time till the hour of
setting out for the intended capture, her daughter, a girl of about
thirteen or fourteen years of age, who happened to wait on them, paid great
attention to their conversation, and from certain expressions which they
dropped she discovered their design. As soon as she could do so unobserved,
she left the house, escaped from the town, notwithstanding the vigilance of
the sentinels, and took the road to Moy, running as fast as she was able,
without shoes or stockings, which to accelerate her progress she had taken
off, in order to inform the Prince of the danger which menaced him. She
reached Moy, quite out of breath, before Lord Loudon and his troops; and
the Prince had just time to escape, in his robe-de-chambre, nightcap, and
slippers, to the neighbouring mountains, where he passed the night in
concealment. This girl, to whom the Prince owed his life, was in great
danger of losing her own, from the excessive fatigue and excitement; but by
care and attention she eventually recovered.

Servant at Noyon.--Some years ago, an instance of humanity and presence of
mind occurred at a place called Noyon, in France, which well deserves to be
commemorated. Four men, who were employed in cleansing a sewer, were so
affected by the foetid vapours, that they were unable to ascend. The
lateness of the hour (for it was eleven at night) rendered it difficult to
procure assistance, and the delay must have been fatal, had not a young
girl, a servant in the family, at the hazard of her own life, attempted
their deliverance. This generous girl, who was only seventeen years of age,
was, at her own request, let down several times to the poor men by a rope:
she was so fortunate as to save two of them, but, in tying the third to the
cord, which was let down to her for that purpose, she found her breath
failing, and was so much affected by the vapour as to be in danger of
suffocation. In this dreadful situation, she had the presence of mind to
tie herself by her hair to the rope, and was drawn up almost expiring, with
the poor man in whose behalf she had so humanely exerted herself. The
corporation of the town of Noyon, as a small token of their approbation,
presented the generous girl with six hundred livres, and conferred on her
the civic crown, with a medal engraved with the arms of the town, her name,
and a narrative of the action. The Duke of Orleans also sent her five
hundred livres, and settled two hundred yearly on her for life.


The anecdote is well known of the celebrated Dr. Busby keeping on his hat
when visited by King Charles II., and apologizing for his apparent want of
respect, by saying, that he should never be able to keep his scholars in
subjection, if they thought that there was a greater man in the world than
himself. The same feeling seems to have actuated the Gaelic chiefs, who
were excessively proud of their rank and prerogatives. When the first
Marquess of Huntly, then the chief of the clan Gordon, was presented at the
court of James VI., he did not so much as incline his head before his
sovereign. Being asked why he failed in this point of etiquette? he
replied, that he had no intention whatever of showing any disrespect to his
king, but that he came from a country where all the world were accustomed
to bow down before him. A similar instance occurred with the head of
another family. When George II. offered a patent of nobility to the chief
of the Grants, the proud Celt refused it, saying, "Wha would then be Laird
of Grant?"

James I. in his progress into England, was entertained at Lumley Castle,
the seat of the Earl of Scarborough. A relation of the noble earl was very
proud in showing and explaining to his majesty an immense genealogical
chart of the family, the pedigree of which he carried back rather farther
than the greatest strength of credulity would allow. "I gude faith, man,"
says the king, "it may be they are very true, but I did na ken before that
Adam's name was Lumley."

An anecdote is told of a gentleman in Monmouthshire, which exhibits the
pride of ancestry in a curious point of view. His house was in such a state
of dilapidation that the proprietor was in danger of perishing under the
ruins of the ancient mansion, which he venerated even in decay. A stranger,
whom he accidentally met at the foot of the Skyrrid, made various enquiries
respecting the country, the prospects, and the neighbouring houses, and,
among others, asked--"Whose is this antique mansion before us?" "That, sir,
is Werndee, a very ancient house; for out of it came the Earls of Pembroke
of the first line, and the Earls of Pembroke of the second line; the Lord
Herberts of Cherbury, the Herberts of Coldbrook, Ramsay, Cardiff, and York;
the Morgans of Acton; the Earl of Hunsdon; the houses of Ircowm and
Lanarth, and all the Powells. Out of this house also, by the female line,
came the Duke of Beaufort." "And pray, sir, who lives there now?" "I do,
sir." "Then pardon me, and accept a piece of advice; come out of it
yourself, or you'll soon be buried in the ruins of it."

A curious anecdote is related respecting a contest for precedence, between
the rival Welch Houses of Perthir and Werndee, which, though less bloody,
was not less obstinate than that between the Houses of York and Lancaster.
Mr. Proger, of Werndee, dining with a friend at Monmouth, proposed riding
home in the evening; but his friend objecting because it was late and
likely to rain, Mr. Proger replied, "With regard to the lateness of the
hour, we shall have moonlight; and should it happen to rain, Perthir is not
far from the road, and my cousin Powell will, I am sure, give us a night's
lodging." They accordingly mounted their horses; but being soon overtaken
by a violent shower, rode to Perthir, and found all the family retired to
rest. Mr. Proger, however, calling to his cousin, Mr. Powell opened the
window, and looking out, asked, "In the name of wonder, what means all this
noise? Who is there?" "It is only I, your cousin Proger of Werndee, who am
come to your hospitable door for shelter from the inclemency of the
weather, and hope you will be so kind as to give my friend and me a
lodging." "What! Is it you, cousin Proger? You and your friend shall be
instantly admitted, but upon one condition, that you will allow, and never
hereafter dispute, that I am the head of the family." "What did you say?"
returned Mr. Proger. "Why, I say, if you expect to pass the night in my
house, you must allow that I am the head of the family." "No, sir, I never
will admit that; were it to rain swords and daggers, I would ride this
night to Werndee, rather than lower the consequence of my family. Come up,
Bold, come up." "Stop a moment, cousin Proger; have you not often confessed
that the first Earl of Pembroke (of the name of Herbert) was the youngest
son of Perthir; and will you set yourself above the Earls of Pembroke?"
"True, I must give place to the Earl of Pembroke, because he is a peer of
the realm; but still, though a peer, he is of the youngest branch of my
family, being descended from the fourth son of Werndee, who was your
ancestor, and settled at Perthir; whereas I am descended from the eldest
son. Indeed, my cousin Jones of Lanarth is of an older branch than you, and
yet he never disputes that I am the head of the family." "Why, cousin
Proger, I have nothing more to say; so, good night to you." "Stop a moment,
Mr. Powell," said the stranger, "you see how it pours; do admit me at
least; I will not dispute with you about our families." "Pray, sir, what is
your name, and where do you come from?" "My name is * * *, and I come from
the county of * * *." "A Saxon of course; it would be very curious indeed,
sir, should I dispute with a Saxon about families; no, sir, you must suffer
for the obstinacy of your friend, and so a pleasant ride to you both."


A Quarter of an Hour.--When Lord Nelson was leaving London, on his last,
but glorious, expedition against the enemy, a quantity of cabin furniture
was ordered to be sent on board his ship. He had a farewell dinner party at
his house; and the upholsterer having waited upon his lordship, with an
account of the completion of the goods, was brought into the dining-room,
in a corner of which his lordship spoke with him. The upholsterer stated to
his employer, that everything was finished, and packed, and would go in the
wagon, from a certain inn, at _six o'clock_. "And you go to the inn, Mr.
A., and see them off?" "I shall, my lord; I shall be there _punctually at
six_." "_A quarter before six_, Mr. A.," returned Lord Nelson, "be there _a
quarter before six_. To that _quarter of an hour_ I owe everything in

Mr. Scott, of Exeter, travelled on business till about eighty years of age.
He was one of the most celebrated characters in the kingdom for
punctuality, and by his methodical conduct, joined to uniform diligence, he
gradually amassed a fortune. For a long series of years, the proprietor of
every inn he frequented in Devon and Cornwall knew the day, and the very
hour, he would arrive. A short time before he died, a gentleman on a
journey in Cornwall stopped at a small inn at Port Isaac to dine. The
waiter presented him with a bill of fare, which he did not approve of; but
observing a fine duck roasting, "I'll have that," said the traveller. "You
cannot, sir," said the landlord; "it is for Mr. Scott of Exeter." "I know
Mr. Scott very well," rejoined the gentlemen; "he is not in your house."
"True, sir," said the landlord, "but _six months ago, when he was here
last, he ordered a duck to be ready for him this day, precisely at two
o'clock;_" and, to the astonishment of the traveller, he saw the old
gentleman, on his Rosinante, jogging into the inn-yard about five minutes
before the appointed time.

Sir W. Scott.--A gentleman who, in the year 1826, travelled with Sir Walter
Scott in the coach from Edinburgh to Jedburgh, relates the following
anecdote illustrative of his regard for punctuality, and his willingness to
serve all who placed confidence in him, particularly those engaged in
literary pursuits.--"We had performed half the journey," writes our
informant, "when Sir Walter started as from a dream, exclaiming: 'Oh, my
friend G----, I have forgotten you till this moment!' A short mile brought
us to a small town, where Sir Walter ordered a post-chaise, in which he
deposited his luggage, consisting of a well-worn short hazel stick, and a
paper parcel containing a few books; then, much to my regret, he changed
his route, and returned to the Scottish capital. The following month I was
again in Edinburgh, and curiosity induced me to wait on the friend G----
apostrophised by Sir Walter, and whose friendship I had the honour to
possess. The cause of Sir Walter's return, I was informed, was this:--He
had engaged to furnish an article for a periodical conducted by my friend,
but the promise had slipped from his memory--a most uncommon occurrence,
for Sir Walter was gifted with the best of memories--until the moment of
his exclamation. His instant return was the only means of retrieving the
error. Retrieved, however, it was; and the following morning Mr. G----
received several sheets of closely-written manuscript, the transcribing of
which alone must have occupied half the night."


Candid Robber.--The duke of Ossuna, viceroy of Naples, once visited the
galleys, and passing through the prisoners, he asked several of them what
their offences were. All of them excused themselves upon various pretences;
one said he was put in out of malice, another by bribery of the judge; but
all of them declared they were punished unjustly. The duke came at last to
a little black man, whom he questioned as to what he was there for. "My
lord," said he, "I cannot deny but I am justly put in here; for I wanted
money, and my family was starving, so I robbed a passenger near Tarragona
of his purse." The duke, on hearing this, gave him a blow on the shoulder
with his stick, saying, "You rogue, what are you doing here among so many
honest, innocent men? Get you out of their company." The poor fellow was
then set at liberty, while the rest were left to tug at the oar.

Ingenious Contrivance.--Many years ago, when stagecoaches were not
unfrequently attacked by highwaymen, a party was once travelling on a
lonely road, when one of the gentlemen mentioned to the company that he had
ten guineas with him, which he was afraid of losing. Upon this an elderly
lady who sat next to him, advised him to take his money from his pocket,
and slip it into his boot, which he did. Not long after the coach was
attacked, when a highwayman rode up to the window, on the lady's side, and
demanded her money; upon which she immediately whispered to him that if he
would examine that gentleman's boot, he would find ten guineas. The man
took the hint, and the gentleman was obliged to submit patiently; but when
the robber had gone, he loaded his fellow-traveller with abuse, declaring
her to be in confederacy with the highwayman. She replied that certainly
appearances were against her; but if the company in the stage would sup at
her house the following evening, she would explain a conduct which appeared
so mysterious. After a debate among themselves, they consented to go the
next evening according to her invitation. They were ushered into a
magnificent room, where an elegant supper was served, after which, the lady
taking a pocket-book from her pocket, showed that it contained various
notes to the amount of several hundred pounds, and addressing herself to
the gentleman who had been robbed: "I thought, sir," said she, "it was
better to lose ten guineas, than all this valuable property, which I had
about me last night; and I have now the pleasure of returning what you so
kindly lent me."

Reclaimed Felons.--The late Dr. Lettsom says, "I have been so happy as to
reform two highwaymen who had robbed me; and from this I think that few of
our fellow-creatures are so hardened, as to be impenetrable to repentance.
One of these men has since been twice in the Gazette promotions, as a
military officer. The other married, and became a respectable farmer in

A similar story is told by the celebrated Rowland Hill. He was attacked by
a highwayman, whom he succeeded in convincing of the evil of his way of
life, and who afterwards became a most faithful servant to him. The secret
was never revealed by Mr. Hill until the death of the servant.


The Wounded Sailor.--When Admiral Benbow was a common sailor, his messmate,
who was stationed with him at the same gun, lost his leg by a cannon shot.
The poor fellow instantly called out to his friend, who immediately took
him up on his shoulder, and began with great care to descend with him into
the cockpit; but it happened that just as the poor fellow's head came upon
a level with the deck, another ball carried that off also. Benbow,
however, knew nothing of the matter, but carried the body down to the
surgeon, and when he came to the bottom of the ladder, called out that he
had brought him a patient, desiring some one to bear a hand, and help him
easily down. The surgeon turned about, but instead of giving any
assistance, exclaimed, "You blockhead, what do you do here with a man that
has lost his head?" "Lost his head!" says Benbow; "the lying fellow, why he
told me it was his leg; but I never in my life believed what he said
without being sorry for it afterwards."

When Lieutenant O'Brien (who was called Skyrocket Jack) was blown up at
Spithead, in the _Edgar_, he was on the carriage of a gun, and when brought
to the admiral, all black and wet, he said with pleasantry, "I hope, sir,
you will excuse my dirty appearance, for I came out of the ship in so great
a hurry, that I had not time to shift myself."

A painter was employed in painting a West India ship in the river,
suspended on a stage under the ship's stern. The captain, who had just got
into the boat alongside, for the purpose of going ashore, ordered the boy
to let go the painter (the rope which makes fast the boat); the boy
instantly went aft, and let go the rope by which the painter's stage was
held. The captain, surprised at the boy's delay, cried out, "Heigh-ho,
there, you lazy lubber, why don't you let go the painter?" The boy replied,
"He's gone, sir, pots and all."

Precedence.--At a grand review of the fleet at Portsmouth by George III.,
in 1789, there was a boy who mounted the shrouds with so much agility, as
to surprise every spectator. The king particularly noticed it, and said to
Lord Lothian, "Lothian, I have heard much of your agility, let us see you
run up after that boy." "Sire," replied Lord Lothian, "it is my duty to
_follow your majesty_."

Admiral Haddock, when on his death-bed, called his son, and thus addressed
him: "Considering my rank in life, and public services for so many years,
I shall leave you but a small fortune; but, my boy, it is honestly got, and
will wear well; there are no seamen's wages or provisions, nor one single
penny of dirty money, in it."

An Odd Shot.--An English frigate was obliged to strike to a French vessel
of superior force. The English captain, on resigning his sword, was
reproached by the French commander for having, contrary to the usages of
war, shot pieces of glass from his guns. The English officer, conscious
that no such thing had been done, made inquiry into the matter among his
men, and found the fact to be this. An Irish seaman, just before the vessel
struck, took a parcel of shillings out of his pocket, and swearing the
French should have none of them, wrapped them in a piece of rag, and thrust
them into his gun, exclaiming, "Let us see what a _bribe_ can do!" These
shillings, flying about the vessel, were mistaken by the French for glass.
The above explanation not only satisfied them, but put them in great good
humour with their captives.

A Child on Board.--A child of one of the crew of His Majesty's ship
_Peacock_, during the action with the American vessel _Hornet_, occupied
himself in chasing a goat between decks. Not in the least terrified by the
destruction and death which was going on all around him, he continued his
amusement till a cannon-ball came and took off both the hind legs of the
goat; when seeing her disabled, he jumped astride her, crying, "Now I've
caught you." This singular anecdote is related in a work called "Visits of
Mercy," (New York.)

Grog.--The British sailors had always been accustomed to drink their
allowance of brandy or rum pure, until Admiral Vernon ordered those under
his command to mix it with water. The innovation gave great offence to the
sailors, and, for a time, rendered the commander very unpopular among them.
The admiral, at that time, wore a grogram coat, for which reason they
nick-named him "Old Grog," hence, by degrees, the mixed liquor he
introduced universally obtained the name of "_Grog_."

Navy Chaplains.--When the Earl of Clancarty was captain of a man-of-war,
and was cruising on the coast of Guinea, he happened to lose his chaplain
by a fever, on which the lieutenant, who was a Scotchman, gave him notice
of it, saying, at the same time, "that he was sorry to inform him that he
died in the Roman Catholic religion." "Well, so much the better," said his
lordship. "Oot, oot, my lord, how can you say so of a British clergyman?"
"Why," said his lordship, "because I believe I am the first captain of a
man-of-war that could boast of having a chaplain _who had any religion at

Bishop and his Clerks.--A fleet of merchant ships, on their return from
Spain, about three hundred years ago, were shipwrecked on the fatal rocks
on which Sir Cloudsley Shovel was cast away: among these unfortunate men
none were saved but three, viz. _Miles Bishop_, and _James_ and _Henry
Clerk_, who were miraculously preserved on a broken mast. From this
accident the rocks took the name they bear, "The Bishop and his Clerks."

Dey of Algiers.--When Admiral Keppel was sent to the Dey of Algiers, to
demand restitution of two ships which the pirates had taken, he sailed with
his squadron into the bay of Algiers, and cast anchor in front of the Dey's
palace. He then landed, and, attended only by his captain and barge's crew,
demanded an immediate audience of the Dey; this being granted, he claimed
full satisfaction for the injuries done to the subjects of his Britannic
Majesty. Surprised and enraged at the boldness of the admiral's
remonstrance, the Dey exclaimed, "That he wondered at the king's insolence
in sending him a foolish beardless boy." To this the admiral made a
spirited reply, which caused the Dey to forget the laws of all nations in
respect to ambassadors, and he ordered his mutes to attend with the
bowstring, at the same time telling the admiral he should pay for his
audacity with his life. Unmoved by this menace, the admiral took the Dey to
a window facing the bay, and showed him the English fleet riding at
anchor, and told him, that if he dared to put him to death, there were
Englishmen enough in that fleet to make him a glorious funeral pile. The
Dey was wise enough to take the hint. The admiral obtained ample
restitution, and came off in safety.

A Timely Answer.--When Admiral Cornwallis commanded the _Canada_, a mutiny
broke out in the ship, on account of some unavoidable delay in the clerks
paying some of the crew, in consequence of which they signed what is termed
a round robin, in which they declared, to a man, that they would not fire a
gun till they were paid. Cornwallis, on receiving this declaration, caused
all hands to be called on deck, and thus addressed them: "My lads, the
money cannot be paid till we return to port, and as to your not fighting,
that is mere nonsense:--I'll clap you alongside the first large ship of the
enemy I see, and I know that the devil himself will not be able to keep you
from it." The tars were so pleased with this compliment that they all
returned to their duty, better satisfied than if they had been paid the
money ten times over.


Dr. Sheridan had a custom of ringing his scholars to prayers, in the
school-room, at a certain hour every day. The boys were one day very
attentively at prayers, except one, who was stifling a laugh as well as he
could, which arose from seeing a rat descending from the bell-rope into the
room. The poor boy could hold out no longer, but burst into an immoderate
fit of laughter, which set the others off as soon as he pointed out to them
the cause. Sheridan was so provoked that he declared he would whip them all
if the principal culprit was not pointed out to him, which was immediately
done. When this poor boy was hoisted up, and made ready for flogging, the
witty school-master told him that if he said any thing tolerable on the
occasion, as he looked on him as the greatest dunce in his school, he would
forgive him. The trembling culprit, immediately addressed his master in the
following lines.

    There was a rat, for want of stairs,
    Came down a rope--to go to prayers.

Sheridan instantly dropped the rod, and, instead of a good whipping, gave
him half-a-crown.

Dr. Busby.--A scholar of Dr. Busby went into a parlour where the Doctor had
laid down a fine bunch of grapes for his own eating, took it up, and said
aloud, "I publish the banns between these grapes and my mouth; if any one
knows any just cause or impediment why these two should not be joined
together, let him declare it." The Doctor, being in the next room,
overheard all that was said, and going into the school, ordered the boy who
had eaten his grapes to be _horsed_ on another boy's back; but, before he
proceeded to the usual discipline, he cried out aloud, as the delinquent
had done: "I publish the banns between my rod and this boy's back; if any
one knows any just cause or impediment why these two should not be joined
together, let him declare it."--"I forbid the banns." said the boy--"Why
so?" said the Doctor. "Because the parties are not agreed," replied the
boy. This answer so pleased the Doctor, that he ordered the offender to be
set free.

An Appropriate Version.--The late Dr. Adam, Rector of the Grammar School,
Edinburgh, was supposed by his scholars to exercise a strong partiality for
such as were of patrician descent; and on one occasion was very smartly
reminded of it by a boy of mean parentage, whom he was reprehending rather
severely for his ignorance--much more so than the boy thought he would have
done, had he been the son of a _right honourable_, or even less. "You
dunce," exclaimed the rector, "I don't think you can even translate the
motto of your own native place, of the _gude_ town of Edinburgh. What,
sir, does '_Nisi Dominus frustra_,' mean?" "It means, sir," rejoined the
boy, "that unless we are lords' sons, it is in vain to come here."

A Choice.--At a recent examination at Marlborough House Grammar School, a
piece written for the occasion, entitled "Satan's Address to Nena Sahib,"
was to have been recited by two pupils. Only one of the pupils came
forward, Mr. Barrett stating that he could not prevail upon any pupil to
take the part of Nena Sahib, they having such an abhorrence to the
character, though several had offered to take the part of the Devil.


Jonas Hanway having once advertised for a coachman, he had a great number
of applicants. One of them he approved of, and told him, if his character
answered, he would take him on the terms agreed on: "But," said he, "my
good fellow, as I am rather a particular man, it may be proper to inform
you, that every evening, after the business of the stable is done, I expect
you to come to my house for a quarter of an hour to attend family prayers.
To this I suppose you can have no objection."--"Why as to that, sir,"
replied the fellow, "I doesn't see much to say against it; but I hope
you'll consider it in my wages!"

Coleridge, among his other speculations, started a periodical, in prose and
verse, entitled _The Watchman_, with the motto, "that all might know the
truth, and that the truth might make us free." He watched in vain! His
incurable want of order and punctuality, and his philosophical theories,
tired out his readers, and the work was discontinued after the ninth
number. Of the unsaleable nature of this publication, he himself relates an
amusing illustration. Happening one morning to rise at an earlier hour than
usual, he observed his servant girl putting an extravagant quantity of
paper into the grate in order to light the fire, and mildly checked her for
her wastefulness: "La! sir," replied Nanny; "it's only _Watchmen_."

The Marquis of Granby having returned from the army in Germany, travelled
with all possible expedition from the English port at which he landed to
London, and finding on his arrival that the king was at Windsor, he
proceeded there in his travelling-dress; where desiring to be instantly
introduced to his majesty, a certain lord came forward, who said he hoped
the noble marquis did not mean to go into the presence of his majesty in so
improper a habit, adding, "'Pon my honour, my lord, you look more like a
_groom_ than a gentleman."--"Perhaps I may," replied the marquis, "and I
give you my word, if you do not introduce me to the king this instant, I
will _act_ like a groom, and _curry_ you in a way you won't like."

The Schoolmaster Abroad.--A young woman meeting her former fellow-servant,
was asked how she liked her place. "Very well."--"Then you have nothing to
complain of?"--"Nothing; only master and missis talk such very bad grammar,
and don't pronounce their H's."

A Soldier's Wife.--The late Duchess of York having desired her housekeeper
to seek out for a new laundress, a decent-looking woman was recommended to
the situation. "But, (said the housekeeper) I am afraid that she will not
suit your royal highness, as she is a soldier's wife, and these people are
generally loose characters." "What is that you say, said the duke, who had
just entered the room. A soldier's wife! Pray, madam, _what is your
mistress?_ If that is all her fault, I desire that the woman may be
immediately engaged."


A Scotch Innkeeper, who had determined on adopting the sign of Flodden
Well, was much puzzled for a suitable inscription. At length he waited on
Sir Walter Scott, and asked his aid, observing, that "as he had written so
much about it in _Marmion_, he might know something that would do for an
inscription." The poet immediately replied, "Why, man, I think ye cannot do
better than take a verse from the poem itself." The innkeeper expressed his
willingness to do this, when Sir Walter said to him, "Well, then, you have
nothing to do, but just to leave out one letter from the line

    'Drink, weary traveller--drink and pray;'

and say instead

    'Drink, weary traveller--drink and pay!'"

Dean Swift's barber one day told him that he had taken a public-house. "And
what's your sign?" said the dean. "Oh, the pole and bason; and if your
worship would just write me a few lines to put upon it, by way of motto, I
have no doubt but it would draw me plenty of customers." The dean took out
his pencil, and wrote the following couplet, which long graced the barber's

    "Rove not from _pole_ to _pole_, but step in here,
    Where nought excels the _shaving_, but the _beer_."


Equality in Danger.--The French General, Cherin, was once conducting a
detachment through a very difficult defile. He exhorted his soldiers to
endure patiently the fatigues of the march. "It is easy for you to talk,"
said one of the soldiers near him; "you who are mounted on a fine
horse--but we poor devils!"--On hearing these words, Cherin dismounted, and
quickly proposed to the discontented soldier to take his place. The latter
did so; but scarcely had he mounted, when a shot from the adjoining
heights struck and killed him. "You see," says Cherin, addressing his
troops, "that the most elevated place is not the least dangerous." After
which he remounted his horse, and continued the march.

Marshal Suwarrow in his march to the attack of Ockzakow, proceeded with
such rapidity at the head of his advanced guard, that his men began to
murmur at the fatigues they endured. The Marshal, apprized of this
circumstance, after a long day's march, drew his men up in a hollow square,
and addressing them, said, "that his legs had that day discovered some
symptoms of mutiny, as they refused to second the impulses of his mind,
which urged him forward to the attack of the enemy's fortress." He then
ordered his boots to be taken off, and some of the drummers to advance with
their cats, and flog his legs, which ceremony was continued till they bled
considerably. He put on his boots again very coolly, expressing a hope that
his legs would in future better know how to discharge their duty. The
soldiers after that marched on without a murmur, struck at once with the
magnanimity of their commander, and the ingenuity of his device to remind
them of their duty.

Brief Explanation.--A French colonel, in taking a redoubt from the Russians
on the Moskwa, lost twelve hundred of his men, more than one half of whom
remained dead in the entrenchment which they had so energetically carried.
When Bonaparte the next morning reviewed this regiment, he asked the
colonel what he had done with one of his battalions? "Sire," replied he,
"it is in the redoubt."

Death of a Hero.--At the battle of Malplaquet, in 1709, Marshal Villars was
dangerously wounded, and desired to receive the Holy Sacrament. Being
advised to receive in private, he said, "No, if the army cannot see me die
like a hero, they shall see me die as a Christian."

Magdeline de Savoie.--Anne Duc de Montmorenci, who was prime minister and
great constable of France during the reigns of Francis I., Henry II.,
Francis II., and Charles IX., was very unwilling to take up arms against
the Prince of Condé and the Coligny's, to whom he was endeared by the ties
of friendship, as well as those of consanguinity. He was however induced to
give way by the following animated and forcible speech of his wife,
Magdeline de Savoie: "It is then in vain, sir, that you have taken as a
motto to your escutcheon, the word of command that your ancestors always
gave at the outset of every battle in which they were engaged (_Dieu aide
du premier Chretien_). If you do not fight with all your energy in defence
of that religion which is now attempted to be destroyed, who then is to
give an example of respect and of veneration for the Holy See, if not he
who takes his very name, his arms, his nobility, from the first baron of
France who professed the holy religion of Christ?"

A Relay of Legs.--Rivardes, a Piedmontese, had attached himself to the
house of France, and was much esteemed as a soldier. He had lost one of his
legs, and had worn a wooden one for some time, when in an engagement a ball
carried off the latter, leaving him the other safe and sound. On being
raised up, he exclaimed laughingly, "What fools these fellows are! They
would have saved their shot had they known that I had two others equally
good among my baggage."

Present!--During the Crimean war a French captain wrote to the Curé of his
native place in these words: "I endeavour to regulate my affairs in such
sort, that if God should address to me the call, I may be able to answer,
_Present!_" Not long after this the brave captain met his death under the
walls of Sebastopol.

Quartering.--At an election for Shrewsbury, in the reign of George I., a
half-pay officer, who was a nonresident burgess, was, with some other
voters, brought down from London at the expense of Mr. Kynaston, one of the
candidates. The old campaigner regularly attended and feasted at the houses
which were opened for the electors in Mr. Kynaston's interest until the
last day of the polling, when, to the astonishment of the party, he gave
his vote to his opponent. For this strange conduct he was reproached by his
quondam companions, and asked what could have induced him to act so
dishonourable a part as to become an apostate. "An apostate," answered the
old soldier, "an apostate! by no means--I made up my mind about whom I
would vote for before I set out upon this campaign, but I remembered
Marlborough's constant advice to us when I served with the army in
Flanders, 'Always quarter upon the enemy, my lads--always quarter upon the

Seeking for a Ball.--The Count de Grancé being wounded in the knee with a
musket ball, the surgeons made many incisions. At last, losing patience, he
asked them why they treated him so unmercifully? "We are seeking for the
ball," said they. "Why then did you not speak before?" said the Count, "I
could have saved you the trouble, for I have it in my pocket."

Turenne.--In the year 1675, the Council of Vienna sent Montecuculi to
oppose Turenne, as the only officer that was thought to be a match for him.
Both generals were perfect masters of the art of war. They passed four
months in watching each other, and in marches and counter-marches; at
length Turenne thought he had got his rival into such a situation as he
wanted, near Saltsbach, when, going to choose a place to erect a battery,
he was unfortunately struck by a cannon shot, which killed him on the spot.
The same ball having carried away the arm of St. Hilaire,
lieutenant-general of the artillery, his son, who was near, could not
forbear weeping. "Weep not for me," said Hilaire, "but for the brave man
who lies there, whose loss to his country nothing can repair."

Generosity of Turenne.--The deputies of a great metropolis in Germany, once
offered the great Turenne one hundred thousand crowns not to pass with his
army through their city. "Gentlemen," said he, "I cannot in conscience
accept your money, as I had no intention to pass that way."


Henderson, the actor, was seldom known to be in a passion. When at Oxford,
he was one day debating with a fellow student, who, not keeping his temper,
threw a glass of wine in the actor's face; upon which Henderson took out
his handkerchief, wiped his face, and coolly said, "That, sir, was a
digression; now for the argument."

Peter the Great made a law in 1722, that if any nobleman beat or ill-treat
his slaves he should be looked upon as insane, and a guard should be
appointed to take care of his person and his estate. This great monarch
once struck his gardener, who being a man of great sensibility, took to his
bed, and died in a few days. Peter, hearing of this, exclaimed, with tears
in his eyes, "Alas! I have civilized my own subjects; I have conquered
other nations; yet I have not been able to civilize or conquer myself."

Fletcher, of Saltown, is well known to have possessed a most irritable
temper. His footman desired to be dismissed. "Why do you leave me?" said
he. "Because, sir," to speak the truth, "I cannot bear your temper." "To be
sure, I am passionate, but my passion is no sooner on than it is off."
"Yes, sir," replied the servant, "but then it is no sooner off than it is

A Neat Reply.--In certain debates in the House of Lords, in 1718, the bills
proposed were opposed by Bishop Atterbury, who said, "he had prophesied
last winter, that this bill would be attempted in the present session, and
he was sorry to find he had proved a true prophet." Lord Coningsby, who
usually spoke in a passion, rose, and remarked, that "one of the right
reverends had set himself forth as a prophet; but for his part, he did not
know what prophet to liken him to, unless to that famous prophet Balaam,
who was reproved by his own ass." The bishop, in reply, with great
readiness and temper exposed this rude attack, concluding in these words:
"Since the noble lord hath discovered in our manners such a similitude, I
must be content to be compared to the prophet Balaam; but, my lords, I am
at a loss how to make out the other part of the parallel. I am sure that I
have been reproved by nobody but his lordship." From that day forth, Lord
Coningsby was called "Atterbury's Pad."

Dr. Hough, of Worcester, was remarkable for evenness of temper, of which
the following story affords a proof. A young gentleman, whose family had
been well acquainted with the doctor, in making the tour of England before
he went abroad, called to pay his respects to him as he passed by his seat
in the country. It happened to be at dinner-time, and the room full of
company. The bishop, however, received him with much familiarity; but the
servant in reaching him a chair, threw down a curious weather-glass that
had cost twenty guineas, and broke it. The gentleman was under infinite
concern, and began to make an apology for being the occasion of the
accident, when the bishop with great good nature interrupted him. "Be under
no concern, sir," said his lordship, smiling, "for I am much beholden to
you for it. We have had a very dry season; and now I hope we shall have
rain. I never saw the glass so _low_ in my life." Every one was pleased
with the humour and pleasantry of the turn; and the more so, as the Doctor
was then more than eighty, a time of life when the infirmities of old age
make most men peevish and hasty.

A Test.--A cobbler at Leyden, who used to attend the public disputations
held at the academy, was once asked if he understood Latin? "No," replied
the mechanic, "but it is easy to know who is wrong in the argument." "How?"
enquired his friend. "Why, by seeing who is first angry."

Casaubon, in his "Treatise on the Passions," relates the following pleasing
anecdote of Robert, one of the greatest monarchs that ever swayed the
sceptre of France. Having once surprised a rogue who had cut away the half
of his mantle, he took no other notice of the offence than by saying
mildly to him, "Save thyself, sinner, and leave the rest for another who
may have need of it."

Garrick once complained to Sir Joshua Reynolds of the abuse with which he
was loaded by Foote, when Sir Joshua answered, that Foote, in so doing,
gave the strongest possible proof of being in the wrong; as it was always
the man who had the worst side who became violent and abusive.


Spare Moments.--The great French Chancellor D'Aguesseau carefully employed
every moment of his time. Observing that Madame D'Aguesseau always delayed
ten or twelve minutes before she came down to dinner, he began to compose a
work to which he intended to devote these few minutes, which would
otherwise have been lost. The result was, at the end of fifteen years, a
work in three large quarto volumes, which went through several editions.

Buffon thus relates the manner in which he acquired a habit of early
rising. "In my youth," says he, "I was excessively fond of sleep, and that
indolence robbed me of much time. My poor Joseph (a domestic who served him
for sixty-five years) was of the greatest benefit to me in overcoming it. I
promised him a crown for every time he should make me get up at six
o'clock. He failed not the next day to rouse me, but I only abused and
threatened him. He tried the day following, and I did the same, which made
him desist. 'Friend Joseph,' said I to him at last, 'I have lost my time
and you have gained nothing. You do not know how to manage the matter.
Think only of my promise, and do not regard my threatenings.' The day
following he accomplished his point. At first I begged, then entreated and
abused, and would have discharged him; but he disregarded me, and raised me
up by absolute force. He had his reward every day for my ill-humour at the
moment of waking, by thanks, and a crown an hour after. I owe to poor
Joseph at least ten or twelve volumes of my works."

Cuvier, the celebrated naturalist, was singularly careful of his time, and
did not like those who entered his house to deprive him of it. "I know,"
said he, "that Monsieur l'Abbé Hauy comes to see _me_; our conversation is
an exchange; but I do not want a man to come and tell me whether it is hot
or cold, raining or sunshine. My barometer and thermometer know more than
all possible visitors; and in my studies in natural history," added he, "I
have not found in the whole animal kingdom a species, or class, or family,
who frighten me so much as the numerous family of _idlers_"

Dr. Pepusch.--"In one of my visits, very early in life, to that venerable
master, Dr. Pepusch," says Dr. Burney, "he gave me a short lesson, which
made so deep an impression that I long endeavoured to practise it. 'When I
was a young man,' said he, 'I determined never to go to bed at night, till
I knew something that I did not know in the morning.'"


A Tiresome Companion.--The celebrated George Selwyn was once travelling,
and was interrupted by the frequent impertinence of a companion, who was
constantly teasing him with questions, and asking him how he did. "How are
you now, sir?" said the impertinent. George, in order to get rid of his
importunity, replied, "Very well: and I intend to continue so all the rest
of the journey."

Charles Lamb.--A farmer, by chance a companion in a coach with Charles
Lamb, kept boring him to death with questions, in the jargon of
agriculturists, about crops. At length he put a poser--"And pray, sir, how
are turnips this year?" "Why that, sir," stammered out Lamb, "will depend
upon the boiled legs of mutton."

Clans.--An English gentleman travelling through the Highlands, came to the
inn of Letter Finlay, in the braes of Lochaber. He saw no person near the
inn, and knocked at the door. No answer. He knocked repeatedly with as
little success; he then opened the door, and walked in. On looking about,
he saw a man lying on a bed, whom he hailed thus: "Are there any Christians
in this house?" "No," was the reply, "we are all Camerons."

Welcome Sight.--A writer of a modern book of travels, relating the
particulars of his being cast away, thus concludes: "After having walked
eleven hours without having traced the print of human foot, to my great
comfort and delight, I saw a man hanging upon a gibbet; my pleasure at the
cheering prospect was inexpressible; for it convinced me that I was in a
civilized country!"


Camp Dinner.--During the war, in which the eccentric Count Schaumbourg
Lippe commanded the artillery in the army of Prince Frederick of Brunswick,
against the French, he one day invited several Hanoverian officers to dine
with him in his tent. When the company were in high spirits, and full of
gaiety, several cannon balls flew in different directions about the tent.
"The French," exclaimed the officers, "are not far off." "No, no," replied
the Count, "the enemy, I assure you, are at a great distance; keep your
seats." The firing soon afterwards recommenced; when one of the balls
carrying away the top of the tent, the officers suddenly rose from their
chairs, exclaiming, "The French are here!" "No," replied the Count, "the
French are not here; and, therefore, gentlemen, I desire you will again sit
down, and rely upon my word." The balls continued to fly about; the
officers, however, continued to eat and drink without apprehension, though
not without whispering their conjectures to each other upon the singularity
of their entertainment. The Count, at length, rose from the table, and
addressing himself to the company, said, "Gentlemen, I was willing to
convince you how well I can rely upon the officers of my artillery; for I
ordered them to fire during the time we continued at dinner, at the
pinnacle of the tent, and they have executed my orders with great

A Ragged Regiment.--In 1690, the French attacked and defeated the Prince of
Waldeck at Fleurus. During this action, a lieutenant-colonel of a French
regiment was on the point of charging. Not knowing how to animate his men,
who were discontented at having commenced the campaign without being fresh
clothed, he said to them, "My friends, I congratulate you, that you have
the good fortune to be in presence of a regiment newly clothed. Charge them
vigorously, and we will clothe ourselves." This pleasantry so inspired the
soldiers, that they rushed on, and speedily defeated the regiment.

The Ladies of Beauvais.--Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, laid siege to
the City of Beauvais in the year 1472. After investing it closely for
twenty-one days, his troops made a general assault, and were on the point
of carrying the place, when a band of women, headed by a lady of the name
of Jeanne Hachette, rushing to the walls, opposed such a resistance, with
showers of stones, and other missiles, that the tide of fortune was
instantaneously turned. A Burgundian officer, who attempted to plant the
duke's standard on the walls, was fiercely attacked by Jeanne Hachette,
who, snatching the standard from his hands, threw him headlong over the
wall. The assailants, in short, were completely repulsed; nor was the
distaff, once thrown aside, resumed, till the ladies of Beauvais had forced
the Duke of Burgundy to retire in shame from their walls. In memory of this
gallant achievement, the Municipality of Beauvais ordered a general
procession of the inhabitants to take place every year, on the 10th of
July, the day on which the siege was raised, in which the ladies were to
have the privilege of preceding the men. As long as Jeanne Hachette lived,
she marched in this annual procession, at the head of the women, bearing
the standard which she had captured from the Burgundian officer; and at
her death this standard was deposited in the church of the Dominicans, and
a portrait of the heroine placed in the Town-Hall of Beauvais.

Charles XII. was dictating a letter to his secretary during the siege of
Stralsund, when a bomb fell through the roof into the next room of the
house where they were sitting. The terrified secretary let the pen drop
from his hand. "What is the matter?" said Charles, calmly. The secretary
replied, "Ah, sire, the bomb!" "But what has the bomb to do," said Charles,
"with what I am dictating to you?--go on."

Gonsalvo of Cordova.--In an engagement which the Spaniards fought under
Gonsalvo of Cordova, their powder-magazine was blown up by the first
discharge of the enemy; but so far was this from discouraging the general,
that he immediately cried out to his soldiers, "My brave boys, the victory
is ours! Heaven tells us by this signal that we shall have no further
occasion for our artillery." This confidence of the general passed on to
the soldiers; they rushed to the contest, and gained a complete victory.

Algerine Captain.--Louis XIV., who had once bombarded Algiers, ordered the
Marquess du Quesne to bombard it a second time, in order to punish the
treachery and insolence of the Moors. The despair in which the Corsairs
found themselves at not being able to beat the fleet off their coasts,
caused them to bring all the French slaves, and fasten them to the mouths
of their cannon, where they were blown to pieces, the different limbs of
their bodies falling even among the French ships. An Algerine captain, who
had been taken on a cruize, and well treated by the French while he had
been their prisoner, one day perceived, among those unfortunate Frenchmen
who were doomed to the cruel fate just mentioned, an officer named
Choiseul, from whom he had received the most signal acts of kindness. The
Algerine immediately begged, entreated, and solicited in the most pressing
manner, to save the life of the generous Frenchman; but all in vain. At
last, when they were going to fire the cannon to which Choiseul was fixed,
the captain threw himself on the body of his friend, and closely embracing
him in his arms, said to the cannonier, "Fire! since I cannot serve my
benefactor, I shall at least have the consolation of dying with him." The
Dey, in whose presence this scene passed, was so affected with it, that he
commanded the French officer to be set free.

Marshal Boufflers.--A few days previous to the battle of Malplaquet, it was
publicly talked of at Versailles, that a very important battle would soon
take place between the French army commanded by Marshal Villars, and the
allied army under Prince Eugene and Marlborough. Louis XIV., who for some
years had met with many mortifying repulses, seemed to be very uneasy about
the event. Marshal Boufflers, in order to quiet in some degree the
perturbation of his sovereign's mind, offered, though a senior officer to
Villars, to go and serve under him, sacrificing all personal considerations
to the glory of his country. His proposal was accepted, and he repaired to
the camp. On his arrival, a very singular contest took place between the
two commanders. Villars desired to have Boufflers for his leader; but the
latter persisted in yielding him all the glory, while he shared the danger.
No event in the life of Boufflers ever contributed more to render his name
illustrious. Marshal Villars, who commanded the left wing at the battle,
being obliged to retire on account of a wound he had received, Marshal
Boufflers charged the enemy six times after this accident; but finding they
had made themselves master of a wood through which they penetrated into the
centre of the French army, he yielded them the field of battle, and made a
retreat in such good order, that the allies declined pursuing him.

War by Candle Light.--Shortly after the commencement of the last Peninsular
war, a tax was laid on candles, which, as a political economist would
prove, made them dearer. A Scotch wife, in Greenock, remarked to her
chandler that the price was raised, and asked why. "It's a' owin' to the
war," said he. "The war!" said the astonished matron, "gracious me! are
they gaun to fight by candle licht?"

Admiral Duncan's address to the officers of his fleet, when they came on
board his ship for his final instructions, previous to the memorable
engagement with Admiral De Winter, was couched in the following laconic and
humorous words:--"Gentlemen of my Fleet, you see a very severe WINTER fast
approaching; and I have only to advise you to keep up a good FIRE!"

A Noble Enemy.--When the _Laura_ and _Andromeda_ frigates were wrecked in a
violent hurricane in the West Indies, on the coast of the Martinique,
thirty-five men were thrown ashore alive. The Marquess de Bouille, on
hearing of the circumstance, took them to his house, where he treated them
most hospitably. After he had cured them of their bruises and sickness, and
had clothed them from head to foot, he sent them with a flag of truce to
the commanding officer of St. Lucia, with a letter, stating that these men
having experienced the horrors of shipwreck, he would not add those of war,
and had therefore set them free, and at liberty again to serve their

French Grenadier.--During the assault of Thurot on the town of
Carrickfergus in 1760, an incident took place, reflecting at once the
highest lustre on the soldier concerned, and evincing the union of
consummate courage with noble humanity. Whilst the combatants were opposed
to each other in the streets, and every inch was pertinaciously disputed by
the British forces, a child by some accident escaped from a house in the
midst of the scene of action, and ran, unawed by the danger, into the
narrow interval between the hostile fronts. One of the French grenadiers
seeing the imminent danger of the child, grounded his piece; left the ranks
in the hottest fire; took the child in his arms, and placed it in safety in
the house from which it had come, and then with all possible haste returned
to resume his part in the fight.

George I.--During the siege of Fort St. Philip, a young lieutenant of
marines was so unfortunate as to lose both his legs by a chain-shot. In
this miserable and helpless condition he was conveyed to England, and a
memorial of his case presented to a board; but nothing more than half-pay
could be obtained. Major Manson had the poor lieutenant conducted to court
on a public day, in his uniform; where, posted in the ante-room, and
supported by two of his brother officers, he cried out, as the king was
passing to the drawing-room, "Behold, sire, a man who refuses to bend his
knee to you; he has lost both in your service." The king, struck no less by
the singularity of his address, than by the melancholy object before him,
stopped, and hastily demanded what had been done for him. "Half-pay,"
replied the lieutenant, "and please your majesty." "Fye, fye on't," said
the king, shaking his head; "but let me see you again next levee-day." The
lieutenant did not fail to appear, when he received from the immediate hand
of royalty a present of five hundred pounds, and an annuity of two hundred
pounds a-year for life.

Charles VI.--At the breaking out of the war against the Turks, in the year
1717, the Emperor Charles VI. of Austria took leave of his general, Prince
Eugene, with the following words: "Prince, I have set over you a general,
who is always to be called to your council, and in whose name all your
operations are to be undertaken." With this he put into his hand a
crucifix, richly set with diamonds, at the foot of which was the following
inscription, 'Jesus Christus Generalissimus.'--"Forget not," added the
Emperor, "that you are fighting his battles who shed his blood for man upon
the Cross. Under his supreme guidance, attack and overwhelm the enemies of
Christ and Christianity."

George the Second.--It was once found an impracticable task to make George
the Second acquiesce in a judgment passed by a court-martial on the conduct
of two officers high in the army. One of the officers had made himself
amenable to military law, by fighting in opposition to the orders of his
commander in chief, instead of retreating; by which act of disobedience,
the general's plans were frustrated. On these circumstances being detailed
to the king, his majesty exclaimed, "Oh! the one fight, the other run
away." "Your majesty will have the goodness to understand, that General
---- did not run away; it was necessary for the accomplishment of his
schemes, that he should cause the army to retreat at that critical moment;
this he would have conducted with his wonted skill, but for the breach of
duty in the officer under the sentence of the court-martial." "I
understand," impatiently returned the king; "one fight, he was right; the
other run away, he was wrong." It was in vain that ministers renewed their
arguments and explanations; his majesty could not, or would not, understand
the difference between a disgraceful flight and a politic retreat; they
were therefore obliged to end a discussion which merely drew forth the
repetition of the same judgment--"The one face the enemy and fight, he
right; the other turn his back and not fight, he wrong."

Ximenes.--At the siege of Oran, in Africa, Cardinal Ximenes led the Spanish
troops to the breach, mounted on a charger, dressed in his pontifical
robes, and preceded by a monk on horseback, who bore his archiepiscopal
cross. "Go on, go on, my children," exclaimed he to the soldiers, "I am at
your head. A priest should think it an honour to expose his life for his
religion. I have an example in my predecessors, in the archbishopric of
Toledo. Go on to victory." When his victorious troops took possession of
the town, he burst into tears on seeing the number of the dead that were
lying on the ground; and was heard to say to himself, "They were indeed
infidels, but they might have become Christians. By their death, they have
deprived us of the principal advantage of the victory we have gained over

An Odd Grenadier.--During the famous siege of Gibraltar, in the absence of
the fleet, and when an attack was daily expected, one dark night, a
sentinel, whose post was near a tower facing the Spanish lines, was
standing at the end of his walk, looking towards them, his head filled
with nothing but fire and sword, miners, breaching, storming, and
bloodshed, while by the side of his box stood a deep narrow-necked earthen
jug, in which was the remainder of his supper, consisting of boiled pease.
A large monkey (of which there were plenty at the top of the rock),
encouraged by the man's absence, and allured by the smell of the pease,
ventured to the jug; and, in endeavouring to get at its contents, thrust
his neck so far into the jug, as to be unable to withdraw it. At this
instant, the soldier approaching, the monkey started up to escape, with the
jug on his head. This terrible monster no sooner saluted the eyes of the
sentry, than his frantic imagination converted poor pug into a
blood-thirsty Spanish grenadier, with a tremendous cap on his head. Full of
this dreadful idea, he instantly fired his piece, roaring out that the
enemy had scaled the walls. The guards took the alarm; the drums were beat;
signal-guns fired; and in less than ten minutes, the governor and his whole
garrison were under arms. The supposed grenadier, being very much
incommoded by his cap, and almost blinded by the pease, was soon overtaken
and seized; and by this capture, the tranquillity of the garrison was soon
restored, without that slaughter and bloodshed which every man had
prognosticated at the beginning of this dire alarm.


Dunning.--The witty Lord Ross, having spent all his money in London, set
out for Ireland, in order to recruit his purse. On his way, he happened to
meet with Sir Murrough O'Brien, driving for the capital in a handsome
phaëton, with six prime dun-coloured horses. "Sir Murrough," exclaimed his
lordship, "what a contrast there is betwixt you and me! You are driving
your _duns_ before you, but my _duns_ are driving me before them."

Steele & Addison.--A gentleman who was dining with another, praised the
meat very much, and asked who was the butcher? "His name is
Addison."--"Addison!" echoed the guest, "pray is he any relation to the
essayist?"--"In all probability he is, for he is seldom without his steel
(_Steele_) by his side."

A Tedious Preacher.--Mr. Canning was once asked by an English clergyman how
he liked the sermon he had preached before him. "Why, it was a short
sermon," quoth Canning. "Oh yes," said the preacher; "you know I avoid
being tedious." "Ah, but," replied Canning, "you _were_ tedious."

Charity sermon.--Sydney Smith, preaching a charity sermon, frequently
repeated the assertion that, of all nations, Englishmen were most
distinguished for generosity and the love of their species. The collection
happened to be inferior to his expectations, and he said that he had
evidently made a great mistake, for that his expression should have been,
that they were distinguished for the love of their _specie_.

Pope the Poet.--This celebrated poet is said to have been once severely
retorted upon. A question arose in company respecting the reading of a
passage with or without a note of interrogation. Pope rather arrogantly
asked one gentleman if he knew what a note of interrogation was. "Yes, sir:
it is _a little crooked thing that asks questions_." Pope was little and

Estimate of Greatness.--Pope was with Sir Godfrey Kneller one day, when his
nephew, a Guinea trader, came in. "Nephew," said Sir Godfrey, "you have the
honour of seeing the two greatest men in the world."--"I don't know how
great you may be," said the Guinea-man, "but I don't like your looks: I
have often bought a man much better than both of you together, all muscles
and bones, for ten guineas."

"Rejected Addresses."--The fame of the brothers James and Horatio Smith was
confined to a limited circle, until the publication of "The Rejected
Addresses." James used to dwell with much pleasure on the criticism of a
Leicestershire clergyman: "I do not see why they ('The Addresses') should
have been rejected: I think some of them very good." This, he would add, is
almost as good as the avowal of the Irish Bishop, that there were some
things in "Gulliver's Travels" which he could not believe.

The Two Smith's.--A gentleman took lodgings in the same house with James
Smith, one of the celebrated authors of the "Rejected Addresses." His name
was also James Smith. The consequence was an eternal confusion of calls and
letters, and the postman had no alternative but to share the letters
equally between the two. "This is intolerable, sir," said our author, "you
must quit." "Why am I to quit more than you?" "Because you came last, and
being James the Second you must _abdicate_."

Coleridge, the Poet, once dined in company with a person who listened to
the conversation and said nothing for a long time; but occasionally nodded
his head, and Coleridge concluded him a thoughtful and intelligent man. At
length, towards the end of the dinner, some apple dumplings were placed on
the table, and the listener had no sooner seen them than he burst forth,
"Them's the fellows for me!" Coleridge adds: "I wish Spurzheim could have
examined the fellow's head."

An Appropriate Successor.--Clerambault, who was deformed, was elected to
succeed La Fontaine in the French Academy. On that occasion it was said
that "La Fontaine was very properly succeeded by Esop."

Erskine.--Lord Kellie was amusing the company with an account of a sermon
he had heard in Italy, in which the preacher related the miracle of St.
Anthony preaching to the fishes, who, in order to listen to his pious
discourse, held their heads out of the water. "I can credit the miracle,"
said Erskine, "if your lordship was at church." "I certainly was there,"
said the peer. "Then, rejoined Erskine, there was at least _one fish out of

Memory.--A humorous comment on this system of artificial memory was made by
a waiter at an hotel where Feinaigle dined, after having given his lecture
on that subject. A few minutes after the Professor left the table, the
waiter entered, with uplifted hands and eyes, exclaiming, "Well, I declare,
the _memory man_ has forgotten his umbrella!"

Parisian rag-picker.--An old chiffonnier (or rag picker) died in Paris in a
state apparently of the most abject poverty. His only relation was a niece,
who lived as servant with a greengrocer. This girl always assisted her
uncle as far as her slender means would permit. When she heard of his
death, which took place suddenly, she was upon the point of marriage with a
journeyman baker, to whom she had been long attached. The nuptial day was
fixed, but Suzette had not yet bought her wedding clothes. She hastened to
tell her lover that their marriage must be deferred, as she wanted the
price of her bridal finery to lay her uncle decently in the grave. Her
mistress ridiculed the idea, and exhorted her to leave the old man to be
buried by charity. Suzette refused. The consequence was a quarrel, in which
the young woman lost at once her place and her lover, who sided with her
mistress. She hastened to the miserable garret where her uncle had expired,
and by the sacrifice not only of her wedding attire, but of nearly all the
rest of her slender wardrobe, she had the old man decently interred. Her
pious task fulfilled, she sat alone in her uncle's room weeping bitterly,
when the master of her faithless lover, a young good-looking man, entered.
"So, my good Suzette, I find you have lost your place!" cried he, "I am
come to offer you one for life--will you marry me?" "I, Sir? you are
joking." "No, indeed, I want a wife, and I am sure I can't find a better."
"But everybody will laugh at you for marrying a poor girl like me," "Oh! if
that is your only objection we shall soon get over it; come, come along; my
mother is prepared to receive you." Suzette hesitated no longer; but she
wished to take with her a memorial of her deceased uncle: it was a cat
that he had kept for many years. The old man was so fond of the animal
that he was determined even death should not separate them, and he had
caused her to be stuffed and placed near his bed. As Suzette took puss
down, she uttered an exclamation of surprise at finding her so heavy. The
lover hastened to open the animal, when out fell a shower of gold. There
were a thousand louis concealed in the body of the cat, and this sum, which
the old man had contrived to amass, became the just reward of the worthy
girl and her disinterested lover.

Integrity.--A Parisian stock-broker, just before his death, laid a wager on
parole with a rich capitalist; and a few weeks after his death, the latter
visited the widow and gave her to understand that her late husband had lost
a wager of sixteen thousand francs. She went to her secretary, took out her
pocket-book, and counted bank notes to the stated amount, when the
capitalist thus addressed her: "Madame, as you give such convincing proof
that you consider the wager binding, _I_ have to pay you sixteen thousand
francs. Here is the sum, for _I_ am the loser, and not your husband."

During the speculations of 1837-38, Mr. C., a young merchant of
Philadelphia, possessed of a handsome fortune, caught the mania, entered
largely into its operations, and for a time was considered immensely rich.
But when the great revulsion occurred he was suddenly reduced to
bankruptcy. His young wife immediately withdrew from the circles of wealth
and fashion, and adapted her expenses, family and personal, to her altered
circumstances. At the time of Mr. C.'s failure, his wife was in debt to
Messrs. Stewart and Company, merchants of Philadelphia, about two hundred
dollars for articles which she had used personally. This debt, she had no
means of liquidating. However after the lapse of twelve years, and when the
creditors had of course looked upon the debt as lost, Mrs. C. was able to
take the principal, add to it twelve years' interest, enclose the whole in
a note and address it to Messrs. Stewart and Company. Messrs. Stewart and
Company, upon the receipt of the money, addressed a note in reply to Mrs.
C., in which they requested her acceptance of the accompanying gift, as a
slight testimonial of their high appreciation of an act so honourable and
so rare as to call forth unqualified admiration. Accompanying the letter
was sent a superb brocade silk dress, and some laces of exquisite texture
and great value.

Costume of the Sisters of Charity.--The Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul, at
the time of their re-establishment in their house, in the _Rue du Vieux
Colombier_, after the Revolution, wore black dresses and caps. On the
fourth Sunday in Advent, 1804, Pope Pius the Seventh visited the community.
He seemed surprised that the Sisters had not resumed the habit of their
order; but he was told that no community had dared to show the religious
habit abroad. He then spoke to the emperor, saying to him that the good
daughters of charity "_looked like widows_." The emperor, at his request,
gave authority to the Sisters to wear their habit, and they resumed it in
the spring of 1805.

China-ware.--An English gentleman wanting a dessert-service of porcelain
made after a particular pattern, sent over to China a specimen dish,
ordering that it should be exactly copied for the whole service. It
unfortunately happened that in the dish so sent over the Chinese
manufacturer discovered a crack; the consequence was, that the entire
service sent over to the party ordering it had a crack in each article,
carefully copied from the original.

Dreaming.--It is a custom among the Canadian Indians, that when one dreams
that another has rendered him any service, the person dreamed of thinks it
a duty to fulfil the dream, if possible. A chief one morning came to the
governor, Sir William Johnstone, and told him that he had last night
dreamed that Sir William had made him a present of the suit of regimentals
he wore. The governor readily presented them to him; but as the Indian was
going out, "Stop," said Sir William, "I had almost forgot, but I dreamed
about you last night; I dreamed that you gave me such a piece of land,"
describing a large tract. "You shall have it," said he, "but if you please,
Sir William, we will _not dream any more_."

Lessing was remarkable for a frequent absence of mind. Having missed money
at different times, without being able to discover who took it, he
determined to put the honesty of his servant to a trial, and left a handful
of gold on the table. "Of course you counted it?" said one of his friends.
"Count it!" said Leasing, rather embarrassed; "no, I forgot that."

At a public sale, there was a book which Lessing was very desirous of
possessing. He gave three of his friends at different times a commission to
buy it at any price. They accordingly bid against each other till they had
got as far as ninety crowns, there having been no other bidder after it had
reached ten crowns. Happily one of them thought it best to speak to the
others; when it appeared they had all been bidding for Lessing, whose
forgetfulness in this instance cost him eighty crowns.

Edinburgh.--In a debate upon some projected improvement of the streets of
Edinburgh, the Dean of Faculty wittily said that the _forwardness_ of the
clergy, and the _backwardness_ of the medical faculty, had spoiled the
finest street in Europe, alluding to the projection of the colonnade of St.
Andrew's church and the recession of the Medical Hall in George's-street.

Maclaurin.--This celebrated Professor of Mathematics in Edinburgh College,
and the able expounder of Newton's _Principia_, always dislocated his jaw,
and was unable to shut his mouth, when he yawned. At the same time his
instinct of imitation was so strong, that he could not resist yawning when
he witnessed that act in others. His pupils were not slow in discovering,
and taking advantage of this physical weakness. When tired of his lecture,
they either began to yawn, or open their mouths in imitation of that act,
and the prelection was interrupted. The Professor stood before them with
his mouth wide open, and could not proceed till he rang for his servant to
come and shut it. In the meantime the mischievous disciples of Euclid had
effected their escape.

William III. and St. Evremond.--William was so little of a man of letters,
that on the celebrated French writer, St. Evremond, being presented to him
at St. James's, his majesty had nothing more _àpropos_ to say than this,
"You are, I believe, sir, a major-general in your master's service."

Music and Politics.--Dr. Wise, the musician, being requested to subscribe
his name to a petition against an expected prorogation of Parliament in the
reign of Charles II., wittily answered, "No, gentlemen, it is not my
business to meddle with state affairs; _but I'll set a tune to it, if you

Sion College.--Upon the recovery of George III. in 1789, the librarian and
others connected with Sion College were at a loss what device or motto to
select for the illumination of the building; when the following happy
choice was made by a worthy divine, from the book of Psalms; "_Sion_ heard
of it and was glad."

Dean Swift having preached an assize sermon in Ireland, was invited to dine
with the judges; and having in his sermon considered the use and abuse of
the law, he pressed somewhat hard upon those counsellors, who plead causes,
which they knew in their consciences to be wrong. When dinner was over, and
the glass began to go round, a young barrister retorted upon the dean; and
after several altercations, the counsellor asked him, "If the devil was to
die, whether a _parson_ might not be found, who, for money, would preach
his funeral?" "Yes," said Swift, "I would gladly be the man, and I would
then give the _devil_ his due, as I have this day done his _children_."

Swift disliked nothing so much as being troubled with applications from
authors to correct their works. A poor poet having written a very
indifferent tragedy, got himself introduced to the dean in order to have
his opinion of it; and in about a fortnight after, called at the deanery.
Swift returned the play, carefully folded up, telling him he had read it,
and taken some pains with it, and he believed the author would not find
above half the number of faults that it had when it came into his hands.
The poor author, after a thousand acknowledgments, retired in company with
the gentleman who had introduced him, and was so impatient to see the
corrections, that he stopped under the first gateway they came to, when to
his utter astonishment and confusion, he saw that the dean had taken the
pains to blot out every second line throughout the whole play, so carefully
as to render them quite illegible.

Lady Carteret, wife of the Lord Lieutenant, said to Swift one day, "The air
of Ireland is excellent and healthy." "For God's sake, madam," said Swift,
falling down before her, "don't say so in England, for if you do they will
tax it."

Dr Savage, who died in 1747, travelled in his younger days, with the Earl
of Salisbury, to whom he was indebted for a considerable living in
Hertfordshire. One day at the levee, the King (George I.) asked him how
long he had resided at Rome with Lord Salisbury. Upon his answering him how
long,--"Why," said the king, "you staid there long enough; how is it you
did not convert the pope?"--"Because, sir," replied the doctor, "I had
nothing better to offer him."

Sheridan.--This distinguished wit, upon being asked by a young member of
parliament how he first succeeded in establishing his fame as an orator,
replied, "Why, sir, it was easily effected. After I had been in St.
Stephen's Chapel a few days, I found that four-fifths of the house were
composed of country squires, and great fools; my first effort, therefore,
was by a lively sally, or an ironical remark, to make them laugh; that
laugh effaced from their stupid pates the recollection of what had been
urged in opposition to my view of the subject, and then I whipped in an
argument, and had all the way clear before me."

Sheridan.--The father of the celebrated Sheridan was one day descanting on
the pedigree of his family, regretting that they were no longer styled
O'Sheridan, as they were formerly. "Indeed, father," replied Sheridan, then
a boy, "we have more right to the O than any one else; for we _owe_

Sheridan inquiring of his son what side of politics he should espouse on
his inauguration to St. Stephen's chapel; the son replied, that he intended
to vote for those who offered best, and that in consequence he should wear
on his forehead a label, "To let;" to which the facetious critic rejoined,
"I suppose, Tom, you mean to add, _unfurnished_."

Sheridan was once travelling to town in one of the public coaches, for the
purpose of canvassing Westminster, at the time that Mr. Paull was his
opponent, when he found himself in company with two Westminster electors.
In the course of conversation, one of them asked his friend to whom he
meant to give his vote? The other replied, "to Paull, certainly; for,
though I think him but a shabby sort of a fellow, I would vote for anyone
rather than that rascal Sheridan!" "Do you know Sheridan?" inquired the
stranger. "Not I, sir," was the answer, "nor should I wish to know him."
The conversation dropped here; but when the party alighted to breakfast,
Sheridan called aside the other gentleman and said, "Pray who is that very
agreeable friend of your's? He is one of the pleasantest fellows I ever met
with; I should be glad to know his name?" "His name is Mr. T.; he is an
eminent lawyer, and resides in Lincoln's Inn Fields." Breakfast being over,
the party resumed their seats in the coach; soon after which, Sheridan
turned the discourse to the law. "It is," said he, "a fine profession. Men
may rise from it to the highest eminence in the state, and it gives vast
scope to the display of talent; many of the most virtuous and noble
characters recorded in our history have been lawyers. I am sorry, however,
to add, that some of the greatest rascals have also been lawyers; but of
all the rascals of lawyers I ever heard of, the greatest is one T., who
lives in Lincoln's Inn Fields." The gentleman fired up at the charge, and
said very angrily, "I am Mr. T., sir." "And I am Mr. Sheridan," was the
reply. The jest was instantly seen; they shook hands, and instead of voting
against the facetious orator, the lawyer exerted himself warmly in
promoting his election.

Sterne.--Sterne used to relate a circumstance which happened to him at
York. After preaching at the cathedral, an old woman whom he observed
sitting on the pulpit stairs, stopped him as he came down, and begged to
know where she should have the honour of hearing him preach the following
Sunday. On leaving the pulpit the next Sunday he found her placed as
before, when she put the same question to him. The following Sunday he was
to preach four miles out of York, which he told her; and to his great
surprise, he found her there too, and the same question was put to him as
he descended from the pulpit. "On which," added he "I took for my text
these words, expecting to find my old woman as before: 'I will grant the
request of this poor widow, lest by her often coming, she weary me,'" One
of the company immediately replied, "Why, Sterne, you omitted the most
applicable part of the passage, which is, 'Though I neither fear God nor
regard man.'"

Sporting.--Burton, in his "Anatomie of Melancholy," tells us of a physician
in Milan, who kept a house for the reception of lunatics, and by way of
cure, used to make his patients stand for a length of time in a pit of
water, some up to the knees, some up to the girdle, and others as high as
the chin, according as they were more or less affected. An inmate of this
establishment, who happened, for the time to be pretty well recovered, was
standing at the door of the house, and seeing a gallant cavalier ride past
with a hawk on his fist, and his spaniels after him, asked, "What all these
preparations meant?" The cavalier answered, "To kill game." "What may the
game be worth which you kill in the course of a year?" rejoined the
patient. "About five or ten crowns." "And what may your horse, dogs, and
hawks, cost you for a year?" "Four hundred crowns." On hearing this, the
patient, with great earnestness of manner, bade the cavalier instantly
begone, as he valued his life and welfare; "for" said he, "if our master
come and find you here, he will put you into his pit up to the very chin."

An American heroine.--During the summer of 1787, writes Mr. McClung, in his
Sketches of Western Adventure, "The house of Mr. John Merrill, of Nelson
County, Kentucky, was attacked by the Indians, and defended with singular
address and good fortune. Merrill was alarmed by the barking of a dog about
midnight, and on opening the door in order to ascertain the cause of the
disturbance, he received the fire of six or seven Indians, by which one arm
and one thigh were broken. He instantly sank upon the floor, and called
upon his wife to close the door. This had scarcely been done when it was
violently assailed by the tomahawks of the enemy, and a large breach soon
effected. Mrs. Merrill, however, being a perfect amazon, both in strength
and courage, guarded it with an axe, and successively killed or wounded
four of the enemy as they attempted to force their way into the cabin. The
Indians ascended the roof, and attempted to enter by way of the chimney;
but here again they were met by the same determined enemy. Mrs. Merrill
seized the only feather bed which the cabin afforded, and hastily ripping
it open, poured its contents upon the fire. A furious blaze and stifling
smoke instantly ascended the chimney, and brought down two of the enemy,
who lay at her mercy. Seizing the axe she quickly despatched them, and was
instantly afterwards summoned to the door, where the only remaining savage
now appeared, endeavoring to effect an entrance. He soon received a gash in
the cheek, which compelled him, with a loud yell, to relinquish his
purpose, and return hastily to Chillicothe, where, he gave an exaggerated
account of the fierceness, strength, and courage of the 'long knife

Another.--The subject of this anecdote was a sister of General Isaac
Worrell. She died two or three years since in Philadelphia. The following
tribute to her patriotism and humanity, was paid by a New Jersey newspaper,
in July, 1849.--"The deceased was one of those devoted women who aided to
relieve the horrible sufferings of Washington's army at Valley
Forge--cooking and carrying provisions to them alone, through the depth of
winter, even passing through the outposts of the British army in the
disguise of a market woman. And when Washington was compelled to retreat
before a superior force, she concealed her brother, General Worrell--when
the British set a price on his head--in a cider hogshead in the cellar for
three days, and fed him through the bung-hole; the house being ransacked
four different times by the troops in search of him, without success. She
was above ninety years of age at the time of her death."

Tyrolese peasant.--During a conflict at the farm of Rainerhof, in the
Tyrolese war, in 1809, a young woman, who resided at the house, brought out
a small cask of wine, with which to encourage and refresh the peasants: she
had advanced to the scene of action, regardless of the tremendous fire of
the Bavarians, carrying the wine upon her head, when a bullet struck the
cask, and compelled her to let it go. Undaunted by this accident, she
endeavoured to repair the mischief, by placing her thumb upon the orifice
caused by the ball; and then encouraged those nearest her to refresh
themselves quickly, that she might not remain in her dangerous situation,
and suffer for her humane generosity to them.


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