By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Gleanings from the Harvest-Fields of Literature - A Melange of Excerpta
Author: Bombaugh, Charles Carroll
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 "Gleanings from the Harvest-Fields of Literature - A Melange of Excerpta" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

(This file was produced from images generously made

                            FOR THE CURIOUS
                                FROM THE
                    _Harvest-Fields of Literature_.

                         A MELANGE OF EXCERPTA,

                              COLLATED BY

                       C. C. BOMBAUGH, A.M., M.D.

“So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had
gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.” §Ruth 2:17.§

“I have here made a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing
of my own but the string that ties them.”—§Montaigne.§


                       J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY.


      Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by
                        A. D. WORTHINGTON & CO.
       in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.



I am not ignorant, ne unsure, that many there are, before whose sight
this Book shall finde small grace, and lesse favour. So hard a thing it
is to write or indite and matter, whatsoever it be, that should be able
to sustaine and abide the variable judgement, and to obtaine or winne
the constant love and allowance of every man, especially if it containe
in it any novelty or unwonted strangenesse.—§Raynald’s Woman’s Book.§

Bid him welcome. This is the motley-minded gentleman.

                                                       §As You Like It.§

—A fountain set round with a rim of old, mossy stones, and paved in its
bed with a sort of mosaic work of variously-colored pebbles.

                                                §House of Seven Gables.§

—A gatherer and a disposer of other men’s stuff.


A running banquet that hath much variety, but little of a sort.


They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.

                                                    §Love’s Labor Lost.§

There’s no want of meat, sir; portly and curious viands are prepared to
please all kinds of appetites.


A dinner of fragments is said often to be the best dinner. So are there
few minds but might furnish some instruction and entertainment out of
their scraps, their odds and ends of thought. They who cannot weave a
uniform web may at least produce a piece of patchwork; which may be
useful and not without a charm of its own.

                                                     §Guesses at Truth.§

—It is a regular omnibus; there is something in it to everybody’s taste.
Those who like fat can have it; so can they who like lean; as well as
those who prefer sugar, and those who choose pepper.

                                                   §Mysteries of Paris.§

Read, and fear not thine own understanding: this book will create a
clear one in thee; and when thou hast considered thy purchase, thou wilt
call the price of it a charity to thyself.


In winter you may reade them ad ignem, by the fireside, and in summer ad
umbram, under some shadie tree; and therewith passe away the tedious



An earlier edition of §Gleanings§ having attracted the hearty approval
of a limited circle of that class of readers who prefer “a running
banquet that hath much variety, but little of a sort,” the present
publisher requested the preparation of an enlargement of the work. In
the augmented form in which it is now offered to the public, the
contents will be found so much more comprehensive and omnifarious that,
while it has been nearly doubled in size, it has been more than doubled
in literary value.

Miscellanea of the omnium-gatherum sort appear to be as acceptable
to-day as they undoubtedly were in the youthful period of our
literature, though for an opposite reason. When books were scarce, and
costly, and inaccessible, anxious readers found in “scripscrapologia”
multifarious sources of instruction; now that books are like the stars
for multitude, the reader who is appalled by their endless succession
and variety is fain to receive with thankfulness the cream that is
skimmed and the grain that is sifted by patient hands for his use. Our
ancestors were regaled with such olla-podrida as “The Gallimaufry: a
Kickshaw [Fr. _quelque chose_] Treat which comprehends odd bits and
scraps, and odds and ends;” or “The Wit’s Miscellany: odd and uncommon
epigrams, facetious drolleries, whimsical mottoes, merry tales, and
fables, for the entertainment and diversion of good company.” To the
present generation is accorded a wider field for excursion, from the
Curiosities of Disraeli, and the Commonplaces of Southey, to the less
ambitious collections of less learned collaborators.

“Into a hotch-potch,” says Sir Edward Coke, “is commonly put not one
thing alone, but one thing with other things together.” The present
volume is an expedient for grouping together a variety which will be
found in no other compilation. From the nonsense of literary trifling to
the highest expression of intellectual force; from the anachronisms of
art to the grandest revelations of science; from selections for the
child to extracts for the philosopher, it will accommodate the widest
diversity of taste, and furnish entertainment for all ages, sexes, and
conditions. As a pastime for the leisure half-hour, at home or abroad;
as a companion by the fireside, or the seaside, amid the hum of the
city, or in the solitude of rural life; as a means of relaxation for the
mind jaded by business activities, it may be safely commended to

The aim of this collation is not to be exhaustive, but simply to be well
compacted. The restrictive limits of an octavo require the winnowings of
selection in place of the bulk of expansion. Gargantua, we are told by
Rabelais, wrote to his son Pantagruel, commanding him to learn Greek,
Latin, Chaldaic, and Arabic; all history, geometry, arithmetic, music,
astronomy, natural philosophy, etc., “so that there be not a river in
the world thou dost not know the name and nature of all its fishes; all
the fowls of the air; all the several kinds of shrubs and herbs; all the
metals hid in the bowels of the earth, all gems and precious stones. I
would furthermore have thee study the Talmudists and Cabalists, and get
a perfect knowledge of man. In brief, I would have thee a bottomless pit
of all knowledge.” While this book does not aspire to such Gargantuan
comprehensiveness, it seeks a higher grade of merit than that which
attaches to those who “chronicle small beer,” or to him who is merely “a
snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.”

Quaint old Burton, in describing the travels of Paulus Emilius, says,
“He took great content, exceeding delight in that his voyage, as who
doth not that shall attempt the like? For peregrination charms our
senses with such unspeakable and sweet variety, that some count him
unhappy that never traveled, a kind of prisoner, and pity his case that
from his cradle to his old age beholds the same still; still, still, the
same, the same.” It is the purpose of these §Gleanings§ to compass such
“sweet variety” by conducting the reader here, through the green lanes
of freshened thought, and there, through by-paths neglected and gray
with the moss of ages; now, amid cultivated fields, and then, adown
untrodden ways; at one time, to rescue from oblivion fugitive thoughts
which the world should not “willingly let die,” at another, to restore
to sunlight gems which have been too long “underkept and down supprest.”
The compiler asks the tourist to accompany him, because with him, as
with Montaigne and Hans Andersen, there is no pleasure without
communication, and though all men may find in these Collectanea some
things which they will recognize as old acquaintances, yet will they
find many more with which they are unfamiliar, and to which their
attention has never been awakened.


                           Alphabetical Whims.

 _The Freaks and Follies of Literature—Account of certain Singular
   Books—What are Pangrammata?—The Banished Letters—Eve’s
   Legend—Alphabetical Advertisement—The Three Initials—A Jacobite
   Toast—“The Beginning of Eternity”—The Poor Letter II—The Letters
   of the World—Traps for the Cockneys—Ingenious Verses on the
   Vowels—Alliterative Verses—“A Bevy of Belles”—Antithetical
   Sermon—Acrostics—Double, Triple, and Reversed Acrostics—Beautiful
   and Singular Instances—The Poets in Verse—On Benedict
   Arnold—Curious Pasquinade—Monastic Verses—The Figure of the
   Fish—Acrostic on Napoleon—Madame Rachael—Masonic
   Memento—“Hempe”—“Brevity of Human Life”—Acrostic
   Valentine—Anagrams—German, Latin, and English
   Instances—Chronograms._                                            25


 _Reading in every Style—What is a Palindrome?—What St. Martin said
   to the Devil—The Lawyer’s Motto—What Adam said to Eve—The Poor
   Young Man in Love—What Dean Swift wrote to Dr. Sheridan—“The
   Witch’s Prayer”—The Device of a Lady—Huguenot and Romanist;
   Double Dealing._                                                   59


 _A Very Deceitful Epistle—A Wicked Love Letter—What a Young Wife
   wrote to her Friend—The Jesuit’s Creed—Revolutionary
   Verses—Double Dealings—A Fatal Name—The Triple Platform—A
   Bishop’s Evasion—The “Toast” given by a Smart Young Man—“The
   Handwriting on the Wall”—French Actresses—How Mlle. Mars told her
   Age—A Lenient Judge—What Mlle. Cico whimpered to “the Bench.”_     64

                               The Cento.

 _“A Cloak of Patches”—How Centos are made—Mosaic Poetry—The Poets
   in a Mixed State—New Version of Old Lines—Cento on Life—A Cento
   from thirty-eight Authors—Cento from Pope—Biblical Sentiments—The
   Return of Israel—Religious Centos._                                73

                            Macaronic Verse.

 _“A Treatise on Wine”—Monkish Opinions—Which Tree is Best?—A Lover
   with Nine Tongues—Horace in a New Dress—What was Written on a
   Fly-Leaf—“The Cat and the Rats”—An Advertisement in Five
   Languages—Parting Address to a Friend—“Oh, the Rhine!”—The Death
   of the Sea Serpent._                                               78

                              Chain Verse.

 _Lasphrise’s Novelties—Singular Ode to Death—On “The Truth”—“Long I
   looked into the Sky”—A Ringing Song—A Gem of Three Centuries
   Old._                                                              85

                              Bouts Rimés.

 _The Skeletons of Poetry—How the Poet Dulot lost all his Ideas—The
   Flight of three hundred Sonnets—The “Nettle” Rhymes—How a Young
   Lady teased her Beau—Assisting a Poet—Miss Lydia’s
   Acrostic—Alfred De Musset’s Lines—What the Duc de Malakoff
   wrote—Reversed Rhymes—How to make_ “Rhopalic” _verses!—What they
   are_.                                                              88

                           Emblematic Poetry.

 _Poetry in Visible Shape—The Bow and Arrow of Love—The Deceitful
   Glass—Prudent Advice—A Very Singular Dirge—Poetry among the
   Monks—Sacred Symbols—A Hymn in Cruciform Shape—Ancient
   Devices—Verses within the Cross—Cypher—“U O a O. but I O
   U”—Perplexing Printer’s Puzzle—An Oxford Joke—The Puzzle of “The
   Precepts Ten”—A Mysterious Letter to Miss K. T. J._                92


 _The Power of Little Words—How Pope Ridiculed them—The “Universal
   Prayer”—Example of Dr. Watts—Wesley’s Hymns—Writings of
   Shakespeare and Milton—“Address to the Daffodils”—Geo. Herbert’s
   Poems—Testimony of Keble, Young, Landor, and Fletcher—Examples
   from Bailey’s “Festus”—The Short Words of Scripture—Big and
   Little Words Compared._                                            98

                               The Bible.

 _Who wrote the Scriptures—Why—And When—Accuracy of the Bible—The
   Testimony of Modern Discoveries—Scope and Depth of Scripture
   Teaching—What Learned Men have written of the Bible—Testimony of
   Rousseau, Wilberforce, Bolingbroke, Sir Wm. Jones, Webster, John
   Quincy Adams, Addison, Byron, &c.—Who Translated the
   Bible—Wickliffe’s Version—Tyndale’s Translation—Matthew’s
   Bible—Cranmer’s Edition—The Geneva Bible—The Breeches Bible—The
   Bishop’s Bible—Parker’s Bible—The Douay Bible—King James’s
   Bible—The Number of Books, Chapters, Verses, Words, and Letters
   in the Old and New Testaments—The Bible Dissected—An
   Extraordinary Calculation—Distinctions between the Gospels—The
   Lost Books—What the word “Selah” means—The Poetry of the
   Bible—Shakespeare’s Knowledge of Scripture—The “True Gentleman”
   of the Bible—Misquotations from Scripture—A Scriptural “Bull”—Wit
   and Humor in the Bible—Sortes Sacræ—Casting Lots with the Bible._ 103

                            The Name of God.

 _How God is known—His Name in all the tongues of Earth—Ancient
   Saxon Ideas of Deity—“Elohim” and “Jehovah”—The “Lord” of the
   Ancient Jews—“God in Shakespeare”—The Fatherhood of God—The
   Parsee, Jew, and Christian._                                      127

                                I. H. S.

 _The Name of Jesus—What does I. H. S. Mean?_—De Nomine Jesu—_What
   St. Bernardine did—“The Flower of Jesse”—Story of the Infant
   Jesus—Ancient Legends of Christ—Persian Story; The Dead
   Dog—Description of Christ’s Person—The Death Warrant of
   Christ—The Sign of the Cross in Ancient America._                 130

                           The Lord’s Prayer.

 _Thy and Us—The “Spirit” of the Lord’s Prayer—Gothic Version of the
   Fourth Century—Metrical Versions—Set to Music—The Prayer
   Illustrated—Acrostical Paraphrase—What the Bible Commentators
   Said—The Prayer Echoed—A Singular Acrostic._                      136


 _Anecdotes of Clergy—Excessive Civility—A Very Polite Preacher—Dean
   Swift’s short Sermon—“Down with the Dust”—An Abbreviated
   Sermon—Dr. Dodd’s Sermon on Malt—Bombastic Style of Bascom—The
   Preachers of Cromwell’s time—When a man ought to Cough!—Origin of
   Texts—How the Ancient Prophets Preached—Clerical Blunders—Proving
   an Alibi—Whitefield and the Sailors—Protestant
   Excommunication—The Tender Mercies of John Knox._                 143

                         Puritan Peculiarities.

 _The Puritan Maiden “Tribby”—A Jury-List of 1658—An Extraordinary
   List of Names—Singular Similes—Early Punishments in
   Massachusetts—Virginia Penalties in the Olden Time—Primitive
   Fines for Curious Crimes—Staying away from Church—The “Blue Laws”
   of Connecticut—Hard Punishments for Little Faults._               150


 _The Art of Pun-making—What is Wit?—Puns Among the Hebrews—A
   Pungent Chapter—Punning Examples—The Short Road to Wealth—A “Man
   of Greece”—Witty Impromptus of Sydney Smith—Startling toast of
   Harry Erskine—“Top and Bottom”—The Imp of Darkness and the Imp o’
   Light—A Printer’s Epitaph—The “whacks” and the “stick”_—“Wo-man”
   _and “Whim-men”—Faithless Sally Brown—Whiskers_ versus
   _Razors—Pleasure and Payne—Plaint of the old Pauper—To my
   Nose—Bad_ “accountants” _but excellent “book-keepers”—The
   Vegetable Girl—On an Old Horse—Grand Scheme of Emigration—“The
   Perilous Practice of Punning”_—“Tu Portu Salus”—_On a Youth who
   was killed by Fruit—The Appeal of Widow-Hood—Swift’s Latin
   Puns—Puns in Macbeth—Classical Puns and Mottoes—Mottoes of the
   English Peerage_—Jeux-de-Mots—_How Schott Willing—A Catalectic
   Monody—Bees of the Bible—Franklin’s “Re’s”—Funny
   “Miss-Nomers”—Crooked Coincidences—A Court Fool’s Pun_.           155

                 English Words and Forms of Expression.

 _Dictionary English—Number of words in the English
   Language—Language of the Bible—Sources of the Language—Helping a
   Foreigner—Difficulties of the Language—Disraelian English—Why use
   “Ye”?—Its, His, and Her—How often “That” may be used—How many
   sounds are given to “ough”—A Literary Squabble—Concerning certain
   Words—Excise, Pontiff, Rough—Dr. Johnson in
   Trouble—Americanisms—“No Love Lost”—The Forlorn
   Hope—Quiz—Tennyson’s English—Eccentric Etymologies—Words which
   have changed their Meaning—Strange Derivations—Influence of
   Names—Big Words and Long Names._                                  182

                              Tall Writing.

 _The Domicile erected by John—New Version of an Old
   Story—Curiosities of Advertising—Mr. Connors and his big
   Words—Curiosities of the Post Office—Singular Play Bill—Andrew
   Borde, his Book—The Mad Poet—Foote’s Funny Farrago—Burlesque of
   Dr. Johnson—Newspaper Eulogy—“Clear as Mud”—An Indignant Letter—A
   Chemical Valentine—The Surgeon to his Lady-love—The Lawyers Ode
   to Spring—Proverbs for Precocious Pupils._                        212

                              Metric Prose.

 _Unconscious Poetizing—Cowper’s Rhyming Letter to Newton—Poetic
   Prose in Irving’s Knickerbocker—Example from Disraeli’s
   “Alroy”—Unintentional Rhythm in Charles Dickens’ works—Old
   Curiosity Shop and Nicholas Nickleby—American Notes—Versification
   in Scripture—Rhymes from Celebrated Prosers—Curious Instance of
   Abraham Lincoln—Opinion of Dr. Johnson—Examples from Kemble and
   Siddons._                                                         223

                      The Humors of Versification.

 _The Story of the Lovers—Mingled Moods and Tenses—The Stammering
   Wife—A Song with Variations—“While She Rocks the Cradle”—A
   Serio-Comic Elegy—Reminiscence of Troy—Concerning
   Vegetarianism—W. C. Bryant as a Humorist—Address “To a
   Mosquito”—The “Poet” of the “Atlantic”—Bryant’s Travesty—A Rare
   Pipe—The Human Ear—A Lesson in Acoustics—Amusing Burlesque of
   Tennyson—Sir Tray; an Arthurian Idyl—All About the “Ologies”—The
   Variation Humbug—Buggins and the Busy Bee—Comical Singing in
   Church—The Curse of O’Kelly._                                     230


 _Irish Bulls and Blunders—Miss Edgeworth on the “Bull”—Comical
   Letter of an Irish “M. P.”—Bulls in Mississippi—American
   Bulls—The New Jail—A Frenchman’s Blunder—The “Puir Silly Body”
   who wrote a Book—The “bulls” of Classical Writers—Bulls from
   every Quarter and of all kinds._                                  252


 _Slips of the Press—The Bishop Accused of Swearing—The Damp Old
   Church—From a French Newspaper—The Pig-killing Machine and the
   Doctor—Slips of the Telegraph—Simmons and the
   Cranberries—Finishing his Education—The Poets in a
   Quandary—Blunders of Translators—Rather Gigantic
   Grasshoppers—“Love’s last Shift”—Amusing Blunder of Voltaire—“A
   Fortune Cutting Meat”—A New “Translation” of Hamlet—The Frenchman
   and the Welsh Rabbit._                                            259


 _Curious Misquotations of Well-known Authors—Example of Collins—Sir
   Walter Scott in Error—Blunder of Sir Archibald Alison—Cruikshank
   as the Real “Simon Pure”—Judge Best’s “Great Mind”—Byron’s Little
   Mistake._                                                         266


 _The Description of Christ’s Person a Fabrication—“Detector’s”
   Charge against Scott—The “Ministering Angel” not a
   Fabrication—The Moon Hoax—A Literary “Sell”—Carlyle’s Worshippers
   Outwitted—Mrs. Hemans’ Forgeries—Sheridan’s “Greek”—Spurious
   Ballads—The Simple Ballad Trick—A Hoax upon Scott—Psalmanazar’s
   Celebrated Fabrications—Benjamin Franklin’s Parable—The Forgeries
   of Ireland—Imitations of Shakespeare._                            269

                         Interrupted Sentences.

 _The Judge and the Criminal—“Free from Guile”—Poor Mary
   “Confined”—Erskine’s “Subscription”—A Satisfactory Note—“Little
   Hel”—Going to War—The Poet Assisted; the Sun and the
   Fishes—Giving him the “lie”—De Quincey and the Fiend—Wit in the
   House of Commons._                                                277

                               Echo Verse.

 _Ancient Echo Verses—Address to Queen Elizabeth—London before the
   Restoration—Echo Song by Addison—A Dutch Pasquinade—The Gospel
   Echo—Echo and the Lover—Dean Swift’s verses on Women—Buonaparte
   and the Echo—Fatal Verses—Why Palm, the Publisher, was
   shot—Remarkable Echoes—A Fatal Confession—Extraordinary facts in
   Acoustics—Hearing Afar Off._                                      281


 _Puzzles defended: their use and value—Exercise for the
   Mind—Ancient Perplexities—“The Liar”—“Puzzled to Death”—A French
   rebus—Napoleon Buonaparte’s Cypher—A Queer-looking Proclamation—A
   curious Puzzle for the Lawyers—Sir Isaac Newton’s Riddle—Cowper’s
   Riddle—Canning’s Riddle—A Prize Enigma—Quincy’s
   Comparison—Perplexing Intermarriages—Prophetic Distich—The
   “Number of the Beast”—Galileo’s Logograph—Persian Riddles—The
   Chinese Tea Song—Death and Life—The Rebus—What is it?—The Book of
   Riddles—Bishop Wilberforce’s Riddle—Curiosities of Cipher—Secret
   Writing—Remarkable Cryptographs._                                 290

                             The Reason Why.

 _Why Germans Eat Sauer-Kraut—Why Pennsylvania was Settled—Whence
   the Huguenots derived their name—How Monarchs Die—Origin of the
   name of Boston—Concerning Weathercocks—Cutting off with a
   Shilling—Why Cardinals hats are red—The Roast Beef of England—A
   Sensible Quack—Who was the first Gentleman—Solution of a
   Juggler’s Mystery._                                               310


 _Sheridan’s Rhyming Calendar—Sir Humphrey Davy’s Weather
   Omens—Jenner’s “Signs of the Weather”—“The Shepherd’s
   Calendar”—Predictions from Birds, Beasts, and Insects—Circles
   round the Sun and Moon—Quaint Old-time Prophecies—The Evil Days
   of every Month._                                                  317

                             O. S. and N. S.

 _The Julian and the Gregorian Calendars—How Cæsar arranged the
   Calendar—The Julian Year—Going faster than the Sun—Pope Gregory’s
   Efforts—Origin of the New Style—“Poor Job’s Almanac”—The Loss of
   Eleven Days—How the matter was Explained._                        325

                            Memoria Technica.

 _The Books of the Old Testament—The Books of the New—Versified
   helps to Memory—Names of Shakespeare’s Plays—List of English
   Sovereigns—Names of the Presidents—The Decalogue in verse—Short
   Metrical Grammar—Number of days in each Month—How Quakers
   Remember._                                                        327

                       Origin of Things Familiar.

 _Mind your P’s and Q’s—All Fool’s Day—The First Playing Cards—“Sub
   Rosa”—“Over the Left”—“Kicking the Bucket”—The Bumper—A Royal
   Saying—Story of Joe Dun, the Bailiff—The First
   Humbug—Pasquinade—The First Bottled Ale—The Gardener and the
   Potatoes—Tarring and Feathering—The Stockings of Former Time—The
   Order of the Garter—Drinking Healths—A Feather in his Cap—The
   Word “Book”—Nine Tailors and One Man—“Viz”—Signature of the
   Cross—The Turkish Crescent—The Postpaid Envelopes of the 17th
   Century—Who first sang the “Old Hundredth?”—Who wrote the
   “Marseillaise Hymn?”—Thrilling Story of the French Revolution—The
   Origin of “Yankee Doodle”—Story of Lucy Locket and Kitty
   Fisher—How Dutchmen sing “Yankee Doodle”—How the American Flag
   was chosen—Who was Brother Jonathan? What is known of “Uncle
   Sam!”—The Dollar Mark [$]: what does it mean?—Bows and Arrows in
   the Olden Time—All about Guns—The first Insurance Company—The
   Banks of three Centuries ago—The Invention of Bells—Who first
   said “Boo!”—Who made the first Clock—The Watches of the Olden
   Time—All about the Invention of Printing—The first
   Cock-fights—Meaning of the word “Turncoat”—Who invented Lucifer
   Matches?—When was the Flag of England first unfurled—Why are
   Literary ladies called “Blue Stockings?”—Origin of the word
   “Skedaddle”—How Foolscap Paper got its name—The First Forged
   Bank-Note—Who made the first “Piano Forte?”—The first Doctors—The
   first Thanksgiving Proclamation—First Prayer in Congress—The
   first Reporters—Origin of the word “News”—The Earliest
   Newspapers—Who sent the first Telegraphic Message._               331

                       Nothing New Under the Sun.

 _First idea of the Magnetic Telegraph—Telegraph before
   Morse—Telegraph a Century Ago—Who made the first Steam
   Engine?—What Marian de l’Orme saw in the Mad-house—What the
   Marquis of Worcester Did—Richelieu’s Mistake—Wonderful Invention
   of James Watt—The first Ocean Steamer—Fulton and the Steam
   Engine—The first Balloon Ascension—What Franklin said about the
   Baby—An Inventor’s Mistake—Discovery of the Circulation of the
   Blood—What is “Anæsthesia?”—How the First Anodynes were made—How
   Adam’s “Rib” was taken from him—All about the Boomerang—Who
   Discovered the Centre of Gravity?—The first Rifle—Table-moving
   and Spirit-rapping in Ancient Times—What is “Auscultation?”—The
   Stereoscope—Ancient Prediction of the Discovery of America._      375

                         Triumphs of Ingenuity.

 _How the Planet Neptune was Discovered—Le Verrier’s Wonderful
   Calculation—The Story of a poor Physician—An Astronomer at
   Home—How Lescarbault became Famous—The Discovery of the Planet
   Vulcan—Ingenious Stratagem of Columbus—How an Eclipse was made
   Useful—Story of King John and the Abbot—A Picture of the Olden
   Time—Clever Reply to Three Puzzling Questions—The Father Abbot in
   a Fix._                                                           395

                          The Fancies of Fact.

 _The Wounds of Julius Cæsar—Some Curious Old Bills—“Mending the Ten
   Commandments”—Screwing a Horn on the Devil—Gluing a bit on his
   Tail—Repairing the Virgin Mary before and behind—Making a New
   Child—Why Bishops and Parsons have no Souls—The Story of a
   Curious Conversion—Singular Prayer of Lord Ashley—A Moonshine
   Story of Sir Walter Scott—Do Lawyers tell the Truth?—Patrick
   Henry’s Little Chapel—The True Form of the Cross—How Poets and
   Painters have led us astray—Curious Coincidences—How a Bird was
   Shot with a Stick—How a Musket-shot in the Lungs saved a Man’s
   life—Mysterious Tin Box found in a Shark’s Stomach—A Curious Card
   Trick—Which was the right Elizabeth Smith?—How Mrs. Stephens’s
   Patients were Cured—How a Girl’s Good Memory Caught a
   Thief—Choosing a Motto for a Sun-dial—Strange Story of a Murdered
   Man—The Chick in the Egg—Innate Appetite—The Indian and the Tame
   Snake—Why do Alligators Swallow Stones?—Curious Anecdote about
   Sheep—Celebrated Journeys on Horseback—A Horse that went to top
   of St. Peters’ at Rome—A Wonderful Lock—Wonders of
   Manufacturing—How Iron can be made More Precious than Gold—The
   Spaniard and his Emeralds—How a Cat was sold for Six Hundred
   Dollars—Another Cat sold for a Pound of Gold—The amount of Gold
   in the World—Amount of Treasure collected by David—How much Gold
   was found in California—What was brought from Australia—The
   Wealth of Ancient Romans—Wine at Two Million dollars a Bottle or
   $272 per drop—Who is permitted to drink it—Monster Beer Casks,
   and who made them—Gigantic Wine-tuns at Heidelberg and
   Königstein—A Beer-vat in which Two Hundred People
   Dined—Difference between the English Poets—Perils of
   Precocity—Children who were too Knowing—What became of 146
   Englishmen who were confined in the Black Hole—How the Finns make
   Barometers of Stone—Singular Bitterness of Strychnia—Something
   about Salt—Curious Change of Taste—The Children of Israel armed
   with Guns—Simeon with a pair of “Specs”—Eve in a handsome
   Flounced Dress—St. Peter and the Tobacco Pipe—Abraham shooting
   Isaac with a Blunderbuss—The Marriage of Christ with St.
   Catherine—Cigar-lighters at the Last Supper—Shooting Ducks with a
   Gun in the Garden of Eden—Wonderful Specimens of Minute
   Mechanism—Homer in a Nutshell—The Bible in a Walnut—Squaring the
   Circle—Mathematical Prodigies—Story of a Wonderful Boy—Babbage’s
   Calculating Machine—Extraordinary Feats of Memory—A Bishop’s
   Heroism—Silent Compliment._                                       406

                    The Fancies of Fact.—§Continued.§

 _The Exact Dimensions of Heaven—The cost of Solomon’s Temple—The
   Mystic Numbers “Seven” and “Three”—Curious power of Number
   Nine—Size of Noah’s Ark and the_ Great Eastern—_About Colors:
   their Immense Variety—Vast Aerolites, and what they are—Fate of
   America’s Discoverers—Facts about the Presidents—Value of Queen
   Victoria’s Jewels—An Army of Women—The Star in the East—Benjamin
   Franklin’s Court Dress—Extraordinary instances of Longevity—Do
   Americans live long?—A man who lived more than 200
   years—“Quack-quack” and “Bow-wow”—A Marriage Vow of the Olden
   Time—“Buxum in Bedde and at the Borde”—What came in a dream to
   Herschel—Singular Facts about Sleep—Curious Chinese Torture—Do
   Fishes ever Sleep?—How a Bird Grasps his Perch when Asleep—How to
   gain Seven Years and a half of Life—Effects of Opium and Indian
   Hemp—Confession of an English Opium-Eater—Strange Effects of
   Fear—The Thief and the Feathers—The Poisoned Coachman—How a Man
   Died of Nothing—What Chas. Bell did to the Monkey—A Man with Two
   Faces—Thrilling Story of a “Broken heart”—No Comfort in being
   Beheaded—A Man who Spoke after his Head was cut off—A Man who
   Lived after Sensation was Destroyed—Comical Antipathies—Afraid of
   Boiled Lobsters—A Fish and a Fever—Why Joseph Scaliger couldn’t
   Drink Milk—The Man who Ran away from a Cat—About the Cock that
   Frightened Cæsar—The Two Brothers with One Set of feelings—How
   Dennis Hendrick won his Strange Bet—Walking Blindfolded—How to
   Tell the Time by Cats’ Eyes—How a Young Woman was Cured by a
   Ring—The Story told by a Skull—A Romantic Highway Robber._        435

                            Singular Customs.

 _The Coffin on the Table—Queer Mode of Enjoying Oneself—A Beautiful
   Indian Custom—Why the People of Carazan Murder their
   Guests—Danger of Being Handsome—How an Evil Spirit was Frightened
   Away—Beefsteaks from a Live Cow—Compliments Paid to a Bear—How
   Noses are Made—How Lions are Caught by the Tail—A Picture of High
   Life Four Centuries Ago—Why Hairs were put in Ancient
   Seals—Fining People for not Getting Married—A Curious Matrimonial
   Advertisement._                                                   477


 _Odd Titles for a Sham Library—Puns of Tom Hood—The Jests of
   Hierocles—Curious Letter of Rothschild’s—Some Singularly Short
   Letters—A Disappointed Lover—“The Happiest Dog Alive”—What
   Happened Between Abernethy and the Lady—Witty Sayings of
   Talleyrand—Why Rochester’s Poem was Best—How the Emperor Nicholas
   was “Sold”—Difference Between “Old Harry” and “Old Nick”—Comical
   Story of a very Mean Man—Instances of Audacious Boasting—Chas.
   Mathews and the Silver Spoon—How a King Upset his Inside—Curious
   Story of Some Relics—What “Topsy’s” Other Name Was—Minding their
   P’s and Q’s—Practical Jokes of a Russian Jester._                 482

                          Flashes of Repartee.

 _Curran and Sir Boyle Roche—Witty Reply of a Fishwoman—Cobden and
   the American Lady—Witty Suggestion of Napoleon—Making “Game” of a
   Lady—The Road that no Peddler ever Traveled—“A Puppy in his
   Boots!”—A Quaker’s Queer Suggestion—What the Girl said to
   Curran—A Man who had “never been Weaned”—Ready Wit of Theodore
   Hook—“Chaff” between Barrow and Rochester—A Windy M. P.—A
   Clergyman known by his “Walk”—A Man who “had a Right to
   Speak”—The “Weak Brother” and Tobacco Pipes—Beecher Lecturing for
   F-A-M-E—Admiral Keppel and the He-Goat—Thackeray and the
   Beggar-Woman—What Paddy said about “Ayther and Nayther”—Scribe
   and the French Millionaire—Voltaire and Haller—Why Paddy “Loved
   her Still”—Bacon and Hogg—“A Most Excellent Judge”—Thackeray
   Snubbed—Christian Cannibalism—How a Barrister’s Eloquence was
   Silenced._                                                        495

                               The Sexes.

 _Masculine and Feminine Virtues and Vices—Character of the Happy
   Woman—What Mrs. Jameson said about Women—Old Ballad in Praise of
   Women—The Two Sexes Compared—What John Randolph said in Praise of
   Matrimony—Wife; Mistress; or Lady?—St. Leon’s Toast to his
   Mother._                                                          501

                             Moslem Wisdom.

 _The Caliph of Bagdad—Shrewd Decision of a Moslem Judge—A Question
   of Dinner—How the Money was Divided—The Wisdom of Ali—The
   Prophet’s Judgment: Wisdom and Wealth—Mohammedan Logic—The
   Foolish Young Man who Fell in Love—Queer Case of Consequential
   Damages—Sad Blunder of Omar—A Perplexing Turkish Will—The
   Dervise’s Device._                                                508

                      Excerpta from Persian Poetry.

 _Earth an Illusion—Heaven an Echo of Earth—A Moral
   Atmosphere—Fortune and Worth—Broken Hearts—To a Generous
   Man—Beauty’s Prerogative—Proud Humility—Folly for Oneself—An
   Impossibility—Sober Drunkenness—A Wine Drinker’s Metaphors—The
   Verses of Mirtsa Schaffy—The Unappreciative World—The Caliph and
   Satan—Curious Dodge of the Devil._                                511


 _An Epigram on Epigrams—Midas and Modern Statesmen—“Come Gentle
   Sleep”—A Man who Wrote Long Epitaphs—The Fool and the Poet—“_Dum
   Vivimus Vivamus_”—Dr. Johnson and Molly Ashton—A
   Know-Nothing—Epigram on “Our Bed”—On a Late Repentance—A Pale
   Lady with a Red-Nosed Husband—Snowflakes on a Lady’s Breast—To
   John Milton—Wesley on Butler—Ridiculous Compliment to Pope—Athol
   Brose—What is Eternity—Stolen Sermons—Comical Advice to an
   Author—A Frugal Queen—Man With a Thick Skull—Miss Prue and the
   Kiss—A Ready-Made Angel—The Lover and the Looking-Glass—A
   Capricious Friend—A Man who Told “Fibs”—Unlucky End of a
   Scorpion—The Lawyer and the Novel—A Woman’s Will—Wellington’s Big
   Nose—The Miser and his Money—On Bad Singing—Old Nick and the
   Fiddle_—Foot-_man_ versus Toe-_man—“Hot Corn”—Bonnets of Straw—An
   “Original Sin” Man—On Writing Verses—Prudent Simplicity—A Friend
   in Distress—Hog v. Bacon—A Warm Reception—Taking Medical
   Advice—Definition of a Dentist—Dr. Goodenough’s Sermon—What Might
   Have Been—A Reflection—The Woman in the Case—How Lawyers are
   “Keen”—Dux and Drakes—The Parson’s Eyes—“He Didn’t Mean
   Her”—Affinity Between Gold and Love—The Crier who Could not
   Cry—The Parson and the Butcher—A Hard Case of Strikes—Coats of_
   Male—_The Beaux upon the Quiver—On Burning Widows—Learning
   Speeches by Heart—A Golden Webb—The Jawbone of an Ass—Walking on
   her Head—Marriage à la mode—Quid Pro Quo—Woman pro and
   con—Abundance of Fools—The World—“Terminer Sans Oyer”—Seeing
   Double._                                                          515


 _Dr. Young and his Eve—How Ben Jonson Paid his Bill—What Melville
   said to Queen Elizabeth—The “Angel” in the Pew—How Andrew Horner
   was Cut up—What Hastings Wrote of Burke—Impromptu of Dr.
   Johnson—Burlesque of Old Ballads—What was “Running in a Lady’s
   Head”—Improvised Rhymes—Like unto Judas—How the Devil got his
   Due—The Writing on the Window—“I Thought so Yesterday”—What is
   Written on the Gates of Hell—Burns’ “Grace before Meat”._         528

                           Refractory Rhyming.

 _Julianna and the Lozenges—Brougham’s Rhyme for Morris—The French
   Speculator’s Epitaph—What is a Monogomphe—Rhymes for Month,
   Chimney, Liquid, Carpet, Window, Garden, Porringer, Orange,
   Lemon, Pilgrim, Widow, Timbuctoo, Niagara, Mackonochie—Rhyme to
   Gottingen—The Ingoldsby Legends—Punch’s Funny Rhymes—Chapin’s
   Rhyme to Brimblecomb—Butler’s Rhyme to Philosopher—A Rhyme to
   Germany—Hood’s Nocturnal Sketch._                                 534


 _A Strategic Love-Letter—Love-Letter in Invisible Ink—Secret
   Invitation Concealed in a Love-Letter—Macaulay’s Essay to Mary C.
   Stanhope—Love-Verses of Robert Burns—Teutonic
   Alliteration—Singular Letter in Three Columns—Love-Letter Written
   in Blood—A Valentine in Many Languages—Practical Joke on a
   Colored Man—Unpublished Verses of Thomas Moore—An Egyptian
   Serenade—Petition of Sixteen Maids against the Widows of South
   Carolina—Unlucky Petition to Madame de Maintenon._                544


 _How the Fourteen Lines were Written—Sonnet on a Fashionable
   Church—On the Proxy Saint—About a Nose—On Dyspepsia—Humility—Ave
   Maria!_                                                           551

                      Conformity of Sense to Sound.

 _Articulate Imitation of Inarticulate Sounds—Example from
   Pope—Milton’s “Lycidas”—From Dyer’s “Ruins of Rome”—Imitations of
   Time and Motion—“L’Allegro”—Pope’s “Homer”—Dryden’s
   “Lucretius”—Milton’s “Il Penseroso”—Fine Examples from
   Virgil—Imitations of Difficulty and Ease._                        554

              Familiar Quotations from Unfamiliar Sources.

 _“No Cross, no Crown”—“Corporations have no Souls”—“Children of a
   Larger Growth”—“Consistency a Jewel”—“Cleanliness next to
   Godliness”—“He’s a Brick”—“When at Rome, do as the
   Romans”—“Taking Time by the Forelock”—“What will Mrs. Grundy
   Say?”—“Though Lost to Sight, to Memory Dear”—“Conspicuous by its
   Absence”—“Do as I Say, not as I Do”—“Honesty the Best
   Policy”—“Facts are Stubborn Things”—“Comparisons are
   Odious”—“Dark as Pitch”—“Every Tub on its own Bottom”—Two Pages
   of Examples, Interesting, Amusing, and Instructive._              556

                         Churchyard Literature.

 _Epitaphs of Eminent Men—Appropriate and Rare
   Inscriptions—Franklin’s Epitaph on Himself—Touching Memorials of
   Children—Historical and Biographical Epitaphs—Self-Written
   Inscriptions—Advertising Notices—Unique and Ludicrous
   Epitaphs—Puns in the Churchyard—Puzzling Inscriptions—Parallels
   Without a Parallel—Bathos—Transcendental Epitaph—Acrostical
   Inscriptions—Indian, African, Hibernian, Greek Epitaphs—Patchwork
   Character on a Tombstone—The Printer’s Epitaph—Specimens of
   Exceedingly Brief Epitaphs—Highly Laudatory Inscriptions—A
   Chemical Epitaph—On an Architect—On an Orator—On a Watchmaker—On
   a Miserly Money-Lender—On a Tailor—On a Dancing Master—On an
   Infidel—On Voltaire—On Hume—On Tom Paine—“Earth to Earth”—Byron’s
   Inscription on his Dog._                                          564


 _Old English Tavern Sign-Boards—Curious Origin of Absurd Signs—“The
   Magpie and Crown”—“The Hen and the Razor”—“The
   Swan-with-two-Necks”—Singular Statement of Sir Joseph Banks—“The
   Goat and Compasses”—The “Signs” of Puritan Times—A Curious
   “Reformation”—“The Cat and the Fiddle”—“Satan and the Bag of
   Nails”—Ancient Signs in Pompeii—The Four Awls and the Grave
   Morris—The “Queer Door,” and the “Pig and Whistle”—Heraldic Signs
   of the Middle Ages—“I have a Cunen Fox, &c.”—Versified
   Inscriptions—Cooper and his “Zwei Glasses”—How a Sign Cost a Man
   his Life—An Inscription in Four Columns—Beer-Jug
   Inscriptions—Inscriptions on Window-Panes—Quaint Description of
   an Inn in the Olden Time—Curious Inscriptions on Bells—Baptising
   and Anointing Bells—The Great Tom of Oxford—Amusing Old Fly-Leaf
   Inscriptions—Sun-Dial Inscriptions—Memorial Verses—Francke’s
   Singular Discovery—Golden Mottoes—“Posies” from Wedding Rings._   615

                           Parallel Passages.

 _Imitations and Plagiarisms of Authors—Curious
   Coincidences—Examples from Young, Congreve, Blair, and
   Shakespeare—Imitations of Otway, Gray, Milton, and Rogers—The
   Blindness of Homer and Milton—What Hume said of the Clergy—How
   Praise Becomes Satire—Parallel Passages from the English
   Poets—Singular Examples from Shakespeare—Shakespeare’s
   Acquaintance with the Latin Poets—Thoughts Repeated from Age to
   Age—Which was the True Original?—Historical Similitudes—What
   Radbod said with his Legs in the Water—Why Wulf, the Goth,
   wouldn’t be Baptised—Why an Indian Refused to go to
   Heaven—Curious Choice of a Woman—Last Words of Cardinal
   Wolsey—Death of Sir James Hamilton—Solomon’s Judgment
   Repeated—Why two Women Pulled a Child’s Legs—How Napoleon Decided
   Between two Ladies—The Hindoo Legend of the Weasel and the
   Babe—The Faithful Dog: a Welsh Ballad—Singular Murder of a Clever
   Apprentice—Ballads and Legends—Terrible Story of an old
   Midwife—What a Clergyman did at Midnight—How Genevra was Buried
   Alive—The Ghost which Appeared to Antonio—Strange Story of a
   Ring—Death Prophecies—What was done before three Battles—How an
   Army of Mice Devoured Bishop Hatto._                              640


 _The Oldest Proverb on Record—Curious Wish of an Old
   Lady—Cinderella’s Slipper—How an Eagle Stole a Shoe, and a King
   Chose a Wife—Mrs. Caudle’s Curtain Lectures—“The Charge of the
   Light Brigade”—Dr. Faustus and the Devil—“Blown up” Cushions—What
   the “Poor Cat i’ the Adage” Did—The Lady with Two Cork Legs—The
   Pope’s Bull against the Comet—Lincoln “Swapping Horses”—Wooden
   Nutmegs—Trade Unions Two Centuries Ago—Consequential Damages—The
   Babies that Never were Born—The Original Shylock—Druidical
   Excommunication—Fall of Napoleon I.—Lanark and Lodore—The Song of
   the Bell—Turgot’s Eulogistic Epigraph on Franklin—Origin of the
   Declaration of Independence—The Know-Nothings—The first
   Conception of the Pilgrim’s Progress—Did Defoe Write Robinson
   Crusoe?—Talleyrand’s Famous Saying: Whence?—Mistake about
   Drinking out of Skulls—Great Literary Plagiarism—Origin of Old
   Ballads—The Story of the Wandering Jew._                          699

                             Curious Books.

 _Old Books with Odd Titles—“Shot Aimed at the Devils
   Headquarters”—“Crumbs of Comfort for the Chickens of the
   Covenant”—“Eggs of Charity Layed by the Chickens of the Covenant,
   and Boiled with the Water of Divine Love”—“High-heeled Shoes for
   Dwarfs in Holiness”—“Hooks and Eyes for Believers’
   Breeches”—“Sixpennyworth of Divine Spirit”—“Spiritual Mustard
   Pot”—“Tobacco Battered and Pipes Shattered”—“News from
   Heaven”—The Most Curious Book in the World—A Book that was never
   Written or Printed, but which can be Read—The Silver Book at
   Upsal—What is a Bibliognoste?—What a Bibliographe?—What a
   Bibliomane?—What a Bibliophile and a Bibliotaphe?_                720


 _The Mystery of the “Letters of Junius”—Who Wrote Them?—What
   Canning and Macaulay Thought—A Well-kept Secret—Original MS. of
   Gray’s Elegy—The Omitted Stanzas—Imitations—How Pope Corrected
   his Manuscript—Importance of Punctuation: Comical Errors—“A
   Pigeon Making Bread”—How many Nails on a Lady’s Hand—A Comical
   Petition in Church—The Soldier who Died for want of a Stop—Indian
   Heraldry—Anachronisms of Shakespeare—King Lear’s Spectacles—The
   Heroines of Shakespeare—Shakespeare’s Life and Sonnets
   Compared—Was He Lame?—The Age of Hamlet—Was He Really
   Mad?—Additional Verses to “Home, Sweet Home”—The Falsities of
   History—Two Views of Napoleon—Clarence and the Butt of
   Malmsey—True Character of Richard III—The Name “America” a
   Fraud—Lexington and the “First Blood Shed”—Eye-Witnesses in
   Error—Curious Story of Sir Walter Raleigh—The Difference between
   Wit and Humor—A Rhyming Newspaper—Buskin’s Defence of
   Book-Lovers—Letters and their Endings—Shrewd Words of Lord
   Bacon._                                                           723


 _Account of some Famous Linguists—A Man who Knew One Hundred and
   Eleven Languages—A Cardinal of Many Tongues—Elihu Burrito, the
   Learned Blacksmith—Literary Oddities—Curious Habits of Celebrated
   Authors—How they have Written their Books—Racine’s Adventure with
   the Workmen—Luther in his Study—Calvin Scribbling in
   Bed—Rousseau, Le Sage, and Byron at Work—Fontaine, Pascal,
   Fénélon, and De Quincey—Whence Bacon Sought Inspiration—Culture
   and Sacrifice—The Sorrows and Trials of Great Men—Sharon Turner
   and the Printers—A Stingy Old Scribbler—Dryden and His
   Publisher—Jacob Tonson’s Rascality; how He Tried to Cheat the
   Poet._                                                            756

                    Personal Sketches and Anecdotes.

 _Anecdote of George Washington—What Lafayette said to the King of
   France—Peculiarities of the Name Napoleon—How Napoleon Remembered
   Milton at the Dreadful Battle of Austerlitz—The Emperor’s
   Personal Appearance—His Opinion of Suicide—Benjamin Franklin’s
   Frugal Wife—Major André and the “Cow-Chase”—An English View of
   André and Arnold—How the Astronomer Royal Found an Old Woman’s
   Clothes—The Boy who set Fire to an Empty Bottle—Curious Views of
   Martin Luther—The Hero of the Reformation—Carlyle’s Translation
   of Luther’s Hymn—Curious Account of Queen Elizabeth—What She Said
   to the Troublesome Priest—What was the Real Color of Her
   Hair?—Was Shakespeare a Christian?—Personal Description of Oliver
   Cromwell—How Pope’s Skull was Stolen—What Became of Wickliffe’s
   Ashes—The Folly of Two Astrologers—Anecdotes of
   Talleyrand—Parson’s Puzzles._                                     763

                          Historical Memoranda.

 _The First Blood of the Revolution—The “Tea-Party” at
   Boston—Tea-Burning at Annapolis—The First American Ships of
   War—How Quinn Borrowed Twenty Pounds of Shakespeare—Diabolical
   Proposition of Cotton Mather—A Rod in Pickle for William Penn—How
   he Escaped—An American Monarchy—Origin of the “Star-Spangled
   Banner”—Origin of the French Tri-Color—How the Newspapers Changed
   their Tune—Story of Eugenie’s Flight from France—Rise and Fall of
   Napoleon III—“L’Empire c’est la Paix”—Jefferson’s Idea of Marie
   Antoinette—Blücher’s Insanity—The Secret of Queen Isabella’s
   Daughter—Was Mary Magdalene a Sinner?—The Husband of Mother
   Goose, and what He Did—History and Fiction: which true?—Verdicts
   which Posterity have Reversed—Great Events from Little Causes—Why
   Queen Eleanor Quarreled with her Husband—Story of Queen Anne’s
   Gloves—How the Flies Helped Forward the Declaration of
   Independence—The Discovery of America—Story of Annie Laurie—Who
   was Robin Adair?—Was Joan of Arc Really Burnt?—The Mystery of Amy
   Robsart’s Death—Anecdotes of William Tell—Who Was He?—“Society”
   in the Time of Louis XIV—How Cromwell Tricked his Chaplain—The
   Last Night of the Girondists—Elizabeth, Essex, and the Ring._     782

                            Multum in Parvo.

 _Much Meaning in Little Space—Coleridge and the Beasts—“Boxes” that
   Govern the World—“I Cannot Fiddle”—“Like a Potato”—The Vowels in
   Order—Balzac’s Instance of Self-Respect—Whom do Mankind Pay
   Best?—Comical Instance of Wrong Emphasis—“Vive la Mort!”—Motto
   for all Seasons—Curious Grace before Meat._                       823

                             Life and Death.

 _What is Death?—Bishop Heber’s “Voyage of Life”—Curious Poem of Dr.
   Horne—“The Round of Life”—Hugh Peters’ Legacy to his
   Daughter—Franklin’s Moral Code—How to Divide Time—Living Life
   over Again—Rhyming Definitions—What is Earth?—Curious
   Replies—Rhyming Charter of William the Conquerer—Puzzling
   Question for the Lawyers—What Rabbi Joshua Told the Emperor—Dying
   Words of Distinguished Persons—Last Prayer of Mary, Queen of
   Scots—Extraordinary Case of Trance—Curious Question about
   Lazarus—Preservation of Dead Bodies—Corpse of a Lady Preserved
   for Eighty Years—Bodies of English Kings Undecayed for many
   Centuries—Three Roman Soldiers Preserved “Plump and Fresh” for
   Fifteen Hundred Years—Bodies Converted into Fat—About
   Mummies—Wonderful Discovery in an Etruscan Tomb—The Reign of
   Terror—What Became of the Bodies of the French Kings—Jewish Tombs
   in the Valley of Hinnom—A Whimsical Will—The Tripod of Life—How
   Many Kinds of Death there Are—Curious Irish Epitaph—Significance
   of the Fleur de lis—Death of the First Born—Jean Ingelow’s “Story
   of Long Ago”—“This is not Your Rest”—Causes of Ill Success in
   Life—Futurity—Longfellow on “The Heart”—An Evening
   Prayer—Beautiful Thought—Life’s Parting—Destiny—Sympathy—“After;”
   Death’s Final Conquest—“There is no Death”—Euthanasia._           826


                          Alphabetical Whims.


In No. 59 of the Spectator, Addison, descanting on the different species
of wit, observes, “The first I shall produce are the Lipogrammatists, or
letter droppers of antiquity, that would take an exception, without any
reason, against some particular letter in the alphabet, so as not to
admit it once in a whole poem. One Tryphiodorus was a great master in
this kind of writing. He composed an Odyssey, or Epic Poem, on the
adventures of Ulysses, consisting of four-and-twenty-books, having
entirely banished the letter A from his first book, which was called
_Alpha_, (as _lucus a non lucendo_,) because there was not an alpha in
it. His second book was inscribed _Beta_, for the same reason. In short,
the poet excluded the whole four-and-twenty letters in their turns, and
showed them that he could do his business without them. It must have
been very pleasant to have seen this Poet avoiding the reprobate letter
as much as another would a false quantity, and making his escape from
it, through the different Greek dialects, when he was presented with it
in any particular syllable; for the most apt and elegant word in the
whole language was rejected, like a diamond with a flaw in it, if it
appeared blemished with the wrong letter.”

In No. 63, Addison has again introduced Tryphiodorus, in his Vision of
the Region of False Wit, where he sees the phantom of this poet pursued
through the intricacies of a dance by four-and-twenty persons,
(representatives of the alphabet,) who are unable to overtake him.

Addison should, however, have mentioned that Tryphiodorus is kept in
countenance by no less an authority than Pindar, who, according to
Athenæus, wrote an ode from which the letter _sigma_ was carefully

This caprice of Tryphiodorus has not been without its imitators. Peter
de Riga, a canon of Rheims, wrote a summary of the Bible in twenty-three
sections, and throughout each section omitted, successively, some
particular letter.

Gordianus Fulgentius, who wrote “De Ætatibus Mundi et Hominis,” has
styled his book a wonderful work, chiefly, it may be presumed, from a
similar reason; as from the chapter on Adam he has excluded the letter
A; from that on Abel, the B; from that on Cain, the C; and so on through
twenty-three chapters.

Gregorio Letti presented a discourse to the Academy of Humorists at
Rome, throughout which he had purposely omitted the letter R, and he
entitled it _the exiled R_. A friend having requested a copy as a
literary curiosity, (for so he considered this idle performance,) Letti,
to show it was not so difficult a matter, replied by a copious answer of
seven pages, in which he observed the same severe ostracism against the
letter R.

Du Chat, in the “Ducatiana,” says “there are five novels in prose, of
Lope de Vega, similarly avoiding the vowels; the first without A, the
second without E, the third without I, the fourth without O, and the
fifth without U.”

The Orientalists are not without this literary folly. A Persian poet
read to the celebrated Jami a ghazel of his own composition, which Jami
did not like; but the writer replied it was, notwithstanding, a very
curious sonnet, for the letter _Aliff_ was not to be found in any of the
words! Jami sarcastically answered, “You can do a better thing yet; take
away _all the letters_ from every word you have written.”

This alphabetical whim has assumed other shapes, sometimes taking the
form of a fondness for a particular letter. In the _Ecloga de Calvis_ of
Hugbald the Monk, all the words begin with a C. In the Nugæ Venales
there is a Poem by Petrus Placentius, entitled Pugna Porcorum, in which
every word begins with a P. In another performance in the same work,
entitled _Canum cum cattis certamen_, in which “apt alliteration’s
artful aid” is similarly summoned, every word begins with a C.

Lord North, one of the finest gentlemen in the Court of James I., has
written a set of sonnets, each of which begins with a successive letter
of the alphabet. The Earl of Rivers, in the reign of Edward IV.,
translated the Moral Proverbs of Christiana of Pisa, a poem of about two
hundred lines, almost all the words of which he contrived to conclude
with the letter E.

The Pangrammatists contrive to crowd all the letters of the alphabet
into every single verse. The prophet Ezra may be regarded as the father
of them, as may be seen by reference to ch. vii., v. 21, of his Book of
Prophecies. Ausonius, a Roman poet of the fourth century, whose verses
are characterized by great mechanical ingenuity, is fullest of these

The following sentence of only 48 letters, contains every letter of the
alphabet:—_John P. Brady, give me a black walnut box of quite a small

The stanza subjoined is a specimen of both lipogrammatic and
pangrammatic ingenuity, containing every letter of the alphabet except
_e_. Those who remember that _e_ is the most indispensable letter, being
much more frequently used than any other,[1] will perceive the
difficulty of such composition.

Footnote 1:

  The relative proportions of the letters, in the formation of words,
  have been pretty accurately determined, as follows:—

                                 A  85
                                 B  16
                                 C  30
                                 D  44
                                 E 120
                                 F  25
                                 G  17
                                 H  64
                                 I  80
                                 J   4
                                 K   8
                                 L  40
                                 M  30
                                 N  80
                                 O  80
                                 P  17
                                 Q   5
                                 R  62
                                 S  80
                                 T  90
                                 U  34
                                 V  12
                                 W  20
                                 X   4
                                 Y  20
                                 Z   2

                 A jovial swain may rack his brain,
                   And tax his fancy’s might,
                 To quiz in vain, for ’tis most plain,
                   That what I say is right.

The _Fate of Nassan_ affords another example, each stanza containing the
entire alphabet except _e_, and composed, as the writer says, with
_ease_ without _e’s_.

              Bold Nassan quits his caravan,
              A hazy mountain-grot to scan;
              Climbs jaggy rocks to spy his way,
              Doth tax his sight, but far doth stray.

              Not work of man, nor sport of child,
              Finds Nassan in that mazy wild;
              Lax grow his joints, limbs toil in vain—
              Poor wight! why didst thou quit that plain?

              Vainly for succor Nassan calls.
              Know, Zillah, that thy Nassan falls:
              But prowling wolf and fox may joy
              To quarry on thy Arab boy.

§Lord Holland§, after reading the five Spanish novels already alluded
to, in 1824, composed the following curious example, in which all the
vowels except E are omitted:—

                             EVE’S LEGEND.

  Men were never perfect; yet the three brethren Veres were ever
  esteemed, respected, revered, even when the rest, whether the select
  few, whether the mere herd, were left neglected.

  The eldest’s vessels seek the deep, stem the element, get pence; the
  keen Peter, when free, wedded Hester Green,—the slender, stern,
  severe, erect Hester Green. The next, clever Ned, less dependent,
  wedded sweet Ellen Heber. Stephen, ere he met the gentle Eve, never
  felt tenderness: he kept kennels, bred steeds, rested where the deer
  fed, went where green trees, where fresh breezes, greeted sleep. There
  he met the meek, the gentle Eve: she tended her sheep, she ever
  neglected self: she never heeded pelf, yet she heeded the shepherds
  even less. Nevertheless, her cheek reddened when she met Stephen; yet
  decent reserve, meek respect, tempered her speech, even when she
  shewed tenderness. Stephen felt the sweet effect: he felt he erred
  when he fled the sex, yet felt he defenceless when Eve seemed tender.
  She, he reflects, never deserved neglect; she never vented spleen; he
  esteems her gentleness, her endless deserts; he reverences her steps;
  he greets her:—

  “Tell me whence these meek, these gentle sheep,—whence the yet meeker,
  the gentler shepherdess?”

  “Well bred, we were eke better fed, ere we went where reckless men
  seek fleeces. There we were fleeced. Need then rendered me
  shepherdess, need renders me sempstress. See me tend the sheep; see me
  sew the wretched shreds. Eve’s need preserves the steers, preserves
  the sheep; Eve’s needle mends her dresses, hems her sheets; Eve feeds
  the geese; Eve preserves the cheese.”

  Her speech melted Stephen, yet he nevertheless esteems, reveres her.
  He bent the knee where her feet pressed the green; he blessed, he
  begged, he pressed her.

  “Sweet, sweet Eve, let me wed thee; be led where Hester Green, where
  Ellen Heber, where the brethren Vere dwell. Free cheer greets thee
  there; Ellen’s glees sweeten the refreshment; there severer Hester’s
  decent reserve checks heedless jests. Be led there, sweet Eve!”

  “Never! we well remember the Seer. We went where he dwells—we entered
  the cell—we begged the decree,—

                   ‘Where, whenever, when, ’twere well
                   Eve be wedded? Eld Seer, tell.’

  “He rendered the decree; see here the sentence decreed!” Then she
  presented Stephen the Seer’s decree. The verses were these:—

                       “_Ere the green reed be red,
                       Sweet Eve, be never wed;
                       Ere be green the red cheek,
                       Never wed thee, Eve meek._”

  The terms perplexed Stephen, yet he jeered the terms; he resented the
  senseless credence, “Seers never err.” Then he repented, knelt,
  wheedled, wept. Eve sees Stephen kneel; she relents, yet frets when
  she remembers the Seer’s decree. Her dress redeems her. These were the

  Her well-kempt tresses fell; sedges, reeds, bedecked them. The reeds
  fell, the edges met her cheeks; her cheeks bled. She presses the green
  sedge where her check bleeds. Red then bedewed the green reed, the
  green reed then speckled her red cheek. The red cheek seems green, the
  green reed seems red. These were e’en the terms the Eld Seer decreed
  Stephen Vere.

                        §Here endeth the Legend.§


superintend the household and preside at table. She is Agreeable,
Becoming, Careful, Desirable, English, Facetious, Generous, Honest,
Industrious, Judicious, Keen, Lively, Merry, Natty, Obedient,
Philosophic, Quiet, Regular, Sociable, Tasteful, Useful, Vivacious,
Womanish, Xantippish, Youthful, Zealous, &c. Address X. Y. Z., Simmond’s
Library, Edgeware-road.—_London Times_, 1842.

                            JACOBITE TOAST.

The following remarkable toast is ascribed to Lord Duff, and was
presented on some public occasion in the year 1745.

                  A. B. C.    A Blessed Change.
                  D. E. F.    Down Every Foreigner.
                  G. H. J.    God Help James.
                  K. L. M.    Keep Lord Marr.
                  N. O. P.    Noble Ormond Preserve.
                  Q. R. S.    Quickly Resolve Stewart.
                  T. U. V. W. Truss Up Vile Whigs.
                  X. Y. Z.    ’Xert Your Zeal.

                          THE THREE INITIALS.

The following couplet, in which initials are so aptly used, was written
on the alleged intended marriage of the Duke of Wellington, at a very
advanced age, with Miss Angelina Burdett Coutts, the rich heiress:—

              The Duke must in his second childhood be,
              Since in his doting age he turns to A. B. C.


The letter E is thus enigmatically described:—

                      The beginning of eternity,
                        The end of time and space,
                      The beginning of every end,
                        The end of every place.

The letter M is concealed in the following Latin enigma by an unknown
author of very ancient date:

             Ego sum principium mundi et finis seculorum:
             Ego sum trinus et unus, et tamen non sum Deus.

                             THE LETTER H.

The celebrated enigma on the letter H, commonly attributed to Lord
Byron,[2] is well known. The following amusing petition is addressed by
this letter to the inhabitants of Kidderminster, England—_Protesting_:

             Whereas by you I have been driven
             From ’ouse, from ’ome, from ’ope, from ’eaven,
             And placed by your most learned society
             In Hexile, Hanguish, and Hanxiety;
             Nay, charged without one just pretence,
             With Harrogance and Himpudence—
             I here demand full restitution,
             And beg you’ll mend your Helocution.

Footnote 2:

  Now known to have been written by Miss Catherine Fanshawe.

Rowland Hill, when at college, was remarkable for the frequent wittiness
of his observations. In a conversation on the powers of the letter H, in
which it was contended that it was no letter, but a simple aspiration or
breathing, Rowland took the opposite side of the question, and insisted
on its being, to all intents and purposes, a _letter_; and concluded by
observing that, if it were not, it was a very serious affair to him, as
it would occasion his being §ILL§ all the days of his life.

When Kohl, the traveller, visited the Church of St. Alexander Nevskoi,
at St. Petersburg, his guide, pointing to a corner of the building,
said, “_There lies a Cannibal_.” Attracted to the tomb by this strange
announcement, Kohl found from the inscription that it was the Russian
general Hannibal; but as the Russians have no H,[3] they change the
letter into K; and hence the strange misnomer given to the deceased

Footnote 3:

  The Sandwich Island alphabet has twelve letters; the Burmese,
  nineteen; the Italian, twenty; the Bengalese, twenty-one; the Hebrew,
  Syriac, Chaldee, and Samaritan, twenty-two each; the French,
  twenty-three; the Greek, twenty-four; the Latin, twenty-five; the
  German, Dutch, and English, twenty-six each; the Spanish and
  Sclavonic, twenty-seven each; the Arabic, twenty-eight; the Persian
  and Coptic, thirty-two; the Georgian, thirty-five; the Armenian,
  thirty-eight; the Russian, forty-one; the Muscovite, forty-three; the
  Sanscrit and Japanese, fifty; the Ethiopic and Tartarian, two hundred
  and two each.

A city knight, who was unable to aspirate the H, on being deputed to
give King William III. an address of welcome, uttered the following
equivocal compliment:—

“Future ages, recording your Majesty’s exploits, will pronounce you to
have been _a Nero_!”

Mrs. Crawford says she wrote one line in her song, _Kathleen
Mavourneen_, for the express purpose of confounding the cockney
warblers, who sing it thus:—

              The ’orn of the ’unter is ’eard on the ’ill.

Moore has laid the same trap in the _Woodpecker_:—

             A ’eart that is ’umble might ’ope for it ’ere.

And the elephant _confounds_ them the other way:—

                A helephant heasily heats at his hease,
                Hunder humbrageous humbrella trees.


             Sure, madam, by your choice a taste we see:
             What’s good or great or grand without a G?
             A godly glow must sure on G depend,
             Or oddly low our righteous thoughts must end:
             The want of G all gratitude effaces;
             And without G, the Graces would run races.

                      ON SENDING A PAIR OF GLOVES.

              From this small token take the letter G,
              And then ’tis love, and that I send to thee.

                           UNIVOCALIC VERSES.

                     =A.=—§THE RUSSO-TURKISH WAR.§

           Wars harm all ranks, all arts, all crafts appall:
           At Mars’ harsh blast, arch, rampart, altar, fall!
           Ah! hard as adamant, a braggart Czar
           Arms vassal swarms, and fans a fatal war!
           Rampant at that bad call, a Vandal band
           Harass, and harm, and ransack Wallach-land.
           A Tartar phalanx Balkan’s scarp hath past,
           And Allah’s standard falls, alas! at last.

                        =E.=—§THE FALL OF EVE.§

           Eve, Eden’s Empress, needs defended be;
           The Serpent greets her when she seeks the tree.
           Serene, she sees the speckled tempter creep;
           Gentle he seems,—perversest schemer deep,—
           Yet endless pretexts ever fresh prefers,
           Perverts her senses, revels when she errs,
           Sneers when she weeps, regrets, repents she fell;
           Then, deep revenged, reseeks the nether hell!

                    =I.=—§THE APPROACH OF EVENING.§

          Idling, I sit in this mild twilight dim,
          Whilst birds, in wild, swift vigils, circling skim.
          Light winds in sighing sink, till, rising bright,
          Night’s Virgin Pilgrim swims in vivid light!

                     =O.=—§INCONTROVERTIBLE FACTS.§

           No monk too good to rob, or cog, or plot.
           No fool so gross to bolt Scotch collops hot.
           From Donjon tops no Oronoko rolls.
           Logwood, not Lotos, floods Oporto’s bowls.
           Troops of old tosspots oft, to sot, consort.
           Box tops, not bottoms, school-boys flog for sport.
           No cool monsoons blow soft on Oxford dons,
           Orthodox, jog-trot, book-worm Solomons!
           Bold Ostrogoths, of ghosts no horror show.
           On London shop-fronts no hop-blossoms grow.
           To crocks of gold no dodo looks for food.
           On soft cloth footstools no old fox doth brood.
           Long storm-tost sloops forlorn, work on to port.
           Rooks do not roost on spoons, nor woodcocks snort,
           Nor dog on snow-drop or on coltsfoot rolls,
           Nor common frogs concoct long protocols.

                  =U.=—§THE SAME SUBJECT, CONTINUED.§

       Dull humdrum murmurs lull, but hubbub stuns.
       Lucullus snuffs no musk, mundungus shuns.
       Puss purrs, buds burst, bucks butt, luck turns up trumps;
       But full cups, hurtful, spur up unjust thumps.

                  *       *       *       *       *

A young English lady, on observing a gentleman’s lane newly planted with
lilacs, made this neat impromptu:—

               Let lovely lilacs line Lee’s lonely lane.

                       ALPHABETICAL ALLITERATION.

                         THE SIEGE OF BELGRADE.

        An Austrian army, awfully arrayed,
        Boldly, by battery, besieged Belgrade;
        Cossack commanders cannonading come—
        Dealing destruction’s devastating doom;
        Every endeavor, engineers essay,
        For fame, for fortune—fighting furious fray:—
        Generals ’gainst generals grapple—gracious God!
        How honors Heaven, heroic hardihood!
        Infuriate,—indiscriminate in ill,
        Kindred kill kinsmen,—kinsmen kindred kill!
        Labor low levels loftiest longest lines—
        Men march ’mid mounds, ’mid moles, ’mid murderous mines:
        Now noisy, noxious, noticed nought
        Of outward obstacles opposing ought:
        Poor patriots, partly purchased, partly pressed:
        Quite quaking, quickly quarter, quarter quest,
        Reason returns, religious right redounds,
        Suwarrow stops such sanguinary sounds.
        Truce to thee, Turkey—triumph to thy train!
        Unjust, unwise, unmerciful Ukraine!
        Vanish vain victory, vanish victory vain!
        Why wish ye warfare? Wherefore welcome were
        Xerxes, Ximenes, Xanthus, Xaviere?
        Yield! ye youths! ye yeomen, yield your yell!
        Zeno’s, Zapater’s, Zoroaster’s zeal,
        And all attracting—arms against acts appeal.


        Americans arrayed and armed attend;
        Beside battalions bold, bright beauties blend.
        Chiefs, clergy, citizens conglomerate,—
        Detesting despots,—daring deeds debate;
        Each eye emblazoned ensigns entertain,—
        Flourishing from far,—fan freedom’s flame.
        Guards greeting guards grown grey,—guest greeting guest.
        High-minded heroes, hither, homeward, haste.
        Ingenuous juniors join in jubilee,
        Kith kenning kin,—kind knowing kindred key.
        Lo, lengthened lines lend Liberty liege love,
        Mixed masses, marshaled, _Monumentward_ move.
        Note noble navies near,—no novel notion,—
        Oft our oppressors overawed old Ocean;
        Presumptuous princes, pristine patriots paled,
        Queens’ quarrel questing quotas, quondam quailed.
        Rebellion roused, revolting ramparts rose.
        Stout spirits, smiting servile soldiers, strove.
        These thrilling themes, to thousands truly told,
        Usurpers’ unjust usages unfold.
        Victorious vassals, vauntings vainly veiled,
        Where, whilesince, Webster, warlike Warren wailed.
        ’Xcuse ’xpletives ’xtra-queer ’xpressed,
        Yielding Yankee yeomen zest.


        All ardent acts affright an Age abased
        By brutal broils, by braggart bravery braced.
        Craft’s cankered courage changed Culloden’s cry;
        “Deal deep” deposed “deal death”—“decoy,” “defy:”
        Enough. Ere envy enters England’s eyes,
        Fancy’s false future fades, for Fortune flies.
        Gaunt, gloomy, guarded, grappling giant griefs,
        Here, hunted hard, his harassed heart he heaves;
        In impious ire incessant ills invests.
        Judging Jove’s jealous judgments, jaundiced jests!
        Kneel, kirtled knight! keep keener kingcraft known,
        Let larger lore life’s levelling lessons loan:
        Marauders must meet malefactors’ meeds;
        No nation noisy non-conformists needs.
        O oracles of old! our orb ordain
        Peace’s possession—Plenty’s palmy plain!
        Quiet Quixotic quests; quell quarrelling;
        Rebuke red riot’s resonant rifle ring.
        Slumber seems strangely sweet since silence smote
        The threatening thunders throbbing through their throat.
        Usurper! under uniform unwont
        Vail valor’s vaguest venture, vainest vaunt.
        Well wot we which were wise. War’s wildfire won
        Ximenes, Xerxes, Xavier, Xenophon:
        Yet you, ye yearning youth, _your_ young years yield
        Zuinglius’ zealot zest—Zinzendorf zion-zealed.


               Begot by butchers, but by bishops bred,
               How high his honor holds his haughty head!


           Awake Aurora! and across all airs
           By brilliant blazon banish boreal bears.
           Crossing cold Canope’s celestial crown,
           Deep darts descending dive delusive down.
           Entranced each eve Europa’s every eye
           Firm fixed forever fastens faithfully,
           Greets golden guerdon gloriously grand;
           How Holy Heaven holds high his hollow hand!
           Ignoble ignorance, inapt indeed—
           Jeers jestingly just Jupiter’s jereed:
           Knavish Kamschatkans, knightly Kurdsmen know,
           Long Labrador’s light lustre looming low;
           Midst myriad multitudes majestic might
           No nature nobler numbers Neptune’s night.
           Opal of Oxus or old Ophir’s ores
           Pale pyrrhic pyres prismatic purple pours,—
           Quiescent quivering, quickly, quaintly queer,
           Rich, rosy, regal rays resplendent rear;
           Strange shooting streamers streaking starry skies
           Trail their triumphant tresses—trembling ties.
           Unseen, unhonored Ursa,—underneath
           Veiled, vanquished—vainly vying—vanisheth:
           Wild Woden, warning, watchful—whispers wan
           Xanthitic Xeres, Xerxes, Xenophon,
           Yet yielding yesternight yule’s yell yawns
           Zenith’s zebraic zigzag, zodiac zones.

Pulci, in his _Morgante Maggiore_, xxiii. 47, gives the following
remarkable double alliterations, two of them in every line:—

           La _casa cosa_ parea _bretta_ e _brutta_,
           _Vinta_ dal _vento_, e la _natta_ e la _notte_,
           _Stilla_ le _stelle_, ch’a _tetto_ era _tutta_,
           Del _pane_ ap_pena_ ne _dette_ ta’ _dotte_;
           _Pere_ avea _pure_ e qualche _fratta frutta_,
           E _svina_ e _scena_ di _botto_ una _botte_;
           _Poscia_ per _pesci_ _lasche_ prese al_l’esca_,
           Ma il _letto_ al_lotta_ alla _frasca_ fu_fresca_.

In the imitation of Laura Matilda, in the _Rejected Addresses_ occurs
this stanza:—

                      Pan beheld Patroclus dying,
                        Nox to Niobe was turned;
                      From Busiris Bacchus flying,
                        Saw his Semele inurned.


             Astonishing Anthology from Attractive Authors.
                     Broken Bits from Bulky Brains.
                Choice Chunks from Chaucer to Channing.
                Dainty Devices from Diverse Directions.
              Echoes of Eloquence from Eminent Essayists.
                 Fragrant Flowers from Fields of Fancy.
                  Gems of Genius Gloriously Garnished.
                    Handy Helps from Head and Heart.
           Illustrious Intellects Intelligently Interpreted.
               Jewels of Judgment and Jets of Jocularity.
            Kindlings to Keep from the King to the Kitchen.
                 Loosened Leaves from Literary Laurels.
                 Magnificent Morsels from Mighty Minds.
                 Numerous Nuggets from Notable Noodles.
                 Oracular Opinions Officiously Offered.
                 Prodigious Points from Powerful Pens.
                Quirks and Quibbles from Queer Quarters.
                  Rare Remarks Ridiculously Repeated.
                 Suggestive Squibs from Sundry Sources.
               Tremendous Thoughts on Thundering Topics.
             Utterances from Uppermost for Use and Unction.
                   Valuable Views in Various Voices.
                 Wisps of Wit in a Wilderness of Words.
                   Xcellent Xtracts Xactly Xpressed.
              Yawnings and Yearnings for Youthful Yankees.
               Zeal and Zest from Zoroaster to Zimmerman.


  Cherished chess! The charms of thy checkered chambers chain me
  changelessly. Chaplains have chanted thy charming choiceness;
  chieftains have changed the chariot and the chase for the chaster
  chivalry of the chess-board, and the cheerier charge of the
  chess-knights. Chaste-eyed Caissa! For thee are the chaplets of
  chainless charity and the chalice of childlike cheerfulness. No
  chilling churl, no cheating chafferer, no chattering changeling, no
  chanting charlatan can be thy champion; the chivalrous, the
  charitable, and the cheerful are the chosen ones thou cherishest.
  Chance cannot change thee: from the cradle of childhood to the
  charnel-house, from our first childish chirpings to the chills of the
  churchyard, thou art our cheery, changeless chieftainess. Chastener of
  the churlish, chider of the changeable, cherisher of the chagrined,
  the chapter of thy chiliad of charms should be chanted in cherubic
  chimes by choicest choristers, and chiselled on chalcedon in cherubic

Hood, in describing the sensations of a dramatist awaiting his debut,
thus uses the letter F in his Ode to Perry:—

                                  All Fume and Fret,
          Fuss, Fidget, Fancy, Fever, Funking, Fright,
          Ferment, Fault-fearing, Faintness—more F’s yet:
          Flushed, Frigid, Flurried, Flinching, Fitful, Flat,
          Add Famished, Fuddled, and Fatigued to that;
          Funeral, Fate-Foreboding.

The repetition of the same letter in the following is very ingenious:—

                      FELICITOUS FLIGHT OF FANCY.

  “A famous fish-factor found himself father of five flirting
  females—Fanny, Florence, Fernanda, Francesca, and Fenella. The first
  four were flat-featured, ill-favored, forbidding-faced, freckled
  frumps, fretful, flippant, foolish, and flaunting. Fenella was a
  fine-featured, fresh, fleet-footed fairy, frank, free, and full of
  fun. The fisher failed, and was forced by fickle fortune to forego his
  footman, forfeit his forefathers’ fine fields, and find a forlorn
  farm-house in a forsaken forest. The four fretful females, fond of
  figuring at feasts in feathers and fashionable finery, fumed at their
  fugitive father. Forsaken by fulsome, flattering fortune-hunters, who
  followed them when first they flourished, Fenella fondled her father,
  flavored their food, forgot her flattering followers, and frolicked in
  a frieze without flounces. The father, finding himself forced to
  forage in foreign parts for a fortune, found he could afford a faring
  to his five fondlings. The first four were fain to foster their
  frivolity with fine frills and fans, fit to finish their father’s
  finances; Fenella, fearful of flooring him, formed a fancy for a full
  fresh flower. Fate favored the fish-factor for a few days, when he
  fell in with a fog; his faithful Filley’s footsteps faltered, and food
  failed. He found himself in front of a fortified fortress. Finding it
  forsaken, and feeling himself feeble, and forlorn with fasting, he fed
  on the fish, flesh, and fowl he found, fricasseed, and when full fell
  flat on the floor. Fresh in the forenoon, he forthwith flew to the
  fruitful fields, and not forgetting Fenella, he filched a fair flower;
  when a foul, frightful, fiendish figure flashed forth: ‘Felonious
  fellow, fingering my flowers, I’ll finish you! Fly; say farewell to
  your fine felicitous family, and face me in a fortnight!’ The
  faint-hearted fisher fumed and faltered, and fast and far was his
  flight. His five daughters flew to fall at his feet and fervently
  felicitate him. Frantically and fluently he unfolded his fate.
  Fenella, forthwith fortified by filial fondness, followed her father’s
  footsteps, and flung her faultless form at the foot of the frightful
  figure, who forgave the father, and fell flat on his face, for he had
  fervently fallen in a fiery fit of love for the fair Fenella. He
  feasted her till, fascinated by his faithfulness, she forgot the
  ferocity of his face, form, and features, and frankly and fondly fixed
  Friday, fifth of February, for the affair to come off. There was
  festivity, fragrance, finery, fireworks, fricasseed frogs, fritters,
  fish, flesh, fowl, and frumentry, frontignac, flip, and fare fit for
  the fastidious; fruit, fuss, flambeaux, four fat fiddlers and fifers;
  and the frightful form of the fortunate and frumpish fiend fell from
  him, and he fell at Fenella’s feet a fair-favored, fine, frank,
  freeman of the forest. Behold the fruits of filial affection.”

                           A BEVY OF BELLES.

The following lines are said to have been admirably descriptive of the
five daughters of an English gentleman, formerly of Liverpool;—

            Minerva-like majestic Mary moves.
            Law, Latin, Liberty, learned Lucy loves.
            Eliza’s elegance each eye espies.
            Serenely silent Susan’s smiles surprise.
            From fops, fools, flattery, fairest Fanny flies.

                         MOTIVES TO GRATITUDE.

A remarkable example of the old fondness for antithesis and alliteration
in composition, is presented in the following extract from one of Watts’

  The last great help to thankfulness is to compare various
  circumstances and things together. Compare, then, your sorrows with
  your sins; compare your mercies with your merits; compare your
  comforts with your calamities; compare your own troubles with the
  troubles of others; compare your sufferings with the sufferings of
  Christ Jesus, your Lord; compare the pain of your afflictions with the
  profit of them; compare your chastisements on earth with condemnation
  in hell; compare the present hardships you bear with the happiness you
  expect hereafter, and try whether all these will not awaken


The acrostic, though an old and favorite form of verse, in our own
language has been almost wholly an exercise of ingenuity, and has been
considered fit only for trivial subjects, to be classed among _nugæ
literariæ_. The word in its derivation includes various artificial
arrangements of lines, and many fantastic conceits have been indulged
in. Generally the acrostic has been formed of the first letters of each
line; sometimes of the last; sometimes of both; sometimes it is to be
read downward, sometimes upward. An ingenious variety called the
Telestich, is that in which the letters beginning the lines spell a
word, while the letters ending the lines, when taken together, form a
word of an opposite meaning, as in this instance:—

          U nite  and   untie  are  the   same—so  say  yo U.
          N ot in  wedlock,  I ween,  has  this unity  bee N.
          I n the  drama of  marriage each  wandering _gou T_
          T o a new face  would  fly—all  except  you and  I—
          E ach seeking to alter the _spell_ in their scen E.

In these lines, on the death of Lord Hatherton, (1863), the initial and
final letters are doubled:—

            H ard was his final fight with ghastly Deat _h_,
            H e  bravely  yielded  his  expiring  breat _h_.
            A s in the  Senate  fighting  freedom’s ple _a_,
            A nd  boundless  in his  wisdom  as the  se _a_.
            T he  public   welfare   seeking  to  direc _t_,
            T he   weak   and   undefended   to  protec _t_.
            H is steady course in  noble life from birt _h_,
            H as shown his public  and his private wort _h_.
            E vincing   mind  both   lofty  and   sedat _e_,
            E ndowments great  and fitted  for the Stat _e_,
            R eceiving  high  and  low  with  open  doo _r_,
            R ich in  his bounty  to the  rude and  poo _r_.
            T he crown reposed in him  the highest trus _t_,
            T o show the world that he was wise and jus _t_.
            O n   his   ancestral   banners   long   ag _o_,
            O urs  willingly  relied,  and  will  do  s _o_.
            N or  yet   extinct   is   noble   Hatherto _n_,
            N ow still  he lives in  gracious  Littleto _n_.

Although the fanciful and trifling tricks of poetasters have been
carried to excess, and acrostics have come in for their share of satire,
the origin of such artificial poetry was of a higher dignity. When
written documents, were yet rare, every artifice was employed to enforce
on the attention or fix on the memory the verses sung by bards or
teachers. Alphabetic associations formed obvious and convenient aids for
this purpose. In the Hebrew Psalms of David, and in other parts of
Scripture, striking specimens occur. The peculiarity is not retained in
the translations, but is indicated in the common version of the 119th
Psalm by the initial letters prefixed to its divisions. The Greek
Anthology also presents examples of acrostics, and they were often used
in the old Latin language. Cicero, in his treatise “De Divinatione,” has
this remarkable passage:—“The verses of the Sybils (said he) are
distinguished by that arrangement which the Greeks call Acrostic; where,
from the first letters of each verse in order, words are formed which
express some particular meaning; as is the case with some of Ennius’s
verses, the initial letters of which make ‘which Ennius wrote!’”

Among the modern examples of acrostic writing, the most remarkable may
be found in the works of Boccaccio. It is a poem of fifty cantos, of
which Guinguenè has preserved a specimen in his Literary History of

A successful attempt has recently been made to use this form of verse
for conveying useful information and expressing agreeable reflections,
in a volume containing a series of acrostics on eminent names,
commencing with Homer, and descending chronologically to our own time.
The alphabetic necessity of the choice of words and epithets has not
hindered the writer from giving distinct and generally correct character
to the biographical subjects, as may be seen in the following
selections, which are as remarkable for the truth and discrimination of
the descriptions as for the ingenuity of the diction:

                            GEORGE HERBERT.

               G ood Country Parson, cheerful, quaint,
               E ver in thy life a saint,
               O ’er thy memory sweetly rise
               R are old Izaak’s eulogies,
               G iving us, in life-drawn hue,
               E ach loved feature to our view.

               H oly Herbert, humble, mild,
               E ’en as simple as a child,
               R eady thy bounty to dispense,
               B eaming with benevolence,
               E ver blessing, ever blest,
               R escuing the most distrest;
               T hy “Temple” now is Heaven’s bright rest.


            D eep rolls on deep in thy majestic line.
            R ich music and the stateliest march combine;
            Y et, who that hears its high harmonious strain
            D eems not thy genius thou didst half profane?
            E xhausting thy great power of song on themes
            N ot worthy of its strong, effulgent beams.


           R are Painter! whose unequall’d skill could trace
           E ach light and shadow of the changeful face;
           Y oung “Samuel’s,” now, beaming with piety,
           N ow the proud “Banished Lord’s” dark misery,
           O r “Ugolino’s” ghastly visage, wild,
           L ooking stern horror on each starving child;
           D elights not less of social sort were thine,
           S uch as with Burke, or e’en with Johnson shine.


          B rilliant thy genius ’mongst a brilliant throng;
          U nique thy eloquence of pen and tongue;
          R ome’s Tully loftier flights could scarce command,
          K indling thy soul to thoughts that matchless stand
          E ver sublime and beautiful and grand.


         H ow keen thy vision, e’en though reft of sight!
         U sing with double power the mind’s clear light:
         B ees, and their hives, thy curious ken has scanned.
         E ach cell, with geometric wisdom planned,
         R ich stores of honeyed knowledge thus at thy command.


             C opyist of Nature—simply, sternly true,—
             R eal the scenes that in thy page we view.
            “A mid the huts where poor men lie” unknown,
             B right humor or deep pathos thou hast thrown.
             B ard of the “Borough” and the “Village,” see—
             E ’en haughty Byron owns he’s charm’d by thee.

                             WALTER SCOTT.

           W ondrous Wizard of the North,
           A rmed with spells of potent worth!
           L ike to that greatest Bard of ours
           T he mighty magic of thy powers:
           E ’en thy bright fancy’s offspring find
           R esemblance to his myriad mind.

           S uch the creations that we see—
           C haracter, manners, life in thee—
           O f Scotia’s deeds, a proud display,
           T he glories of a bygone day;
           T hy genius foremost stands in all her long array.


       W andering, through many a year, ’mongst Cumbria’s hills,
       O ’er her wild fells, sweet vales, and sunny lakes,
       R ich stores of thought thy musing mind distils,
       D ay-dreams of poesy thy soul awakes:—
       S uch was thy life—a poet’s life, I ween;
       W orshipper thou of Nature! every scene
       O f beauty stirred thy fancy’s deeper mood,
       R eflection calmed the current of thy blood:
       T hus in the wide “Excursion” of thy mind,
       H igh thoughts in _words_ of _worth_ we still may find.


          I n easy, natural, graceful charm of style,
          R esembling Goldy’s “Vicar,”—free from guile:
          V ein of rich humor through thy “Sketch-Book” flows.
          I magination her bright colors shows.
          N o equal hast thou ’mongst thy brother band,
          G enial thy soul, worthy our own loved land.


           M aster Tragedian! worthy all our praise.
           A ction and utterance such as bygone days
           C ould oftener boast, were thine. Need we but name
           R oman Virginius? while our Shakspeare’s fame
           E ver ’twas thy chief joy and pride to uprear,
           A nd give us back Macbeth, Othello, Lear.
           D elight to thousands oft thou gav’st, and now
           Y ears of calm lettered ease ’tis thine to know.


               L ays like thine have many a charm;
               O ft thy themes the heart must warm.
               N ow o’er Slavery’s guilt and woes,
               G rief and shame’s deep hues it throws;
               F ar up Alpine heights is heard
              “E xcelsior,” now the stirring word;
              “L ife’s Psalm,” now, onward is inviting,
               L ongings for nobler deeds exciting;
               O ’er Britain now resounds thy name,
               W hile States unborn shall swell thy fame.


           S erenely bright thy life’s pure stream did glide,
           O n sweet romantic Derwentwater’s side.
           U nder great Skiddaw—there, in Epic lays,
           T hou dream’dst a poet’s dreams of olden days,
           H ow Madoc wandered o’er the Atlantic wave,
           E astern Kehama, Roderic the brave,
           Y ears cannot from our fondest memory lave.


      M asterly critic! in whose brilliant style
      A nd rich historic coloring breathes again—
      C lothed in most picturesque costume the while—
      A ll the dim past, with all its bustling train.
      U nder this vivid, eloquent painting, see
      L ife given anew to our old history’s page;
      A nd in thy stirring ballad poetry,
      Y outh’s dreams of ancient Rome once more our minds engage.

                          OLIVER’S IMPROMPTU.

Oliver, a sailor and patriot, with a merited reputation for extempore
rhyming, while on a visit to his cousin Benedict Arnold, after the war,
was asked by the latter to amuse a party of English officers with some
extemporaneous effusion, whereupon he stood up and repeated the
following Ernulphus curse, which would have satisfied Dr. Slop[4]

          B orn for a curse to virtue and mankind,
          E arth’s broadest realm ne’er knew so black a mind.
          N ight’s sable veil your crimes can never hide,
          E ach one so great, ’twould glut historic tide.
          D efunct, your cursed memory will live
          I n all the glare that infamy can give.
          C urses of ages will attend your name,
          T raitors alone will glory in your shame.

          A lmighty vengeance sternly waits to roll
          R ivers of sulphur on your treacherous soul:
          N ature looks shuddering back with conscious dread
          O n such a tarnished blot as she has made.
          L et hell receive you, riveted in chains,
          D oomed to the hottest focus of its flames.

Footnote 4:

  Tristram Shandy.

                         ALLITERATIVE ACROSTIC.

The following alliterative acrostic is a gem in its way. Miss Kitty
Stephens was the celebrated London vocalist, and is now the Dowager
Countess of Essex:—

     S he sings so soft, so sweet, so soothing still
     T hat to the tone ten thousand thoughts there thrill;
     E lysian ecstasies enchant each ear—
     P leasure’s pure pinions poise—prince, peasant, peer,
     H ushing high hymns, Heaven hears her harmony,—
     E arth’s envy ends; enthralled each ear, each eye;
     N umbers need ninefold nerve, or nearly name,
     S oul-stirring §Stephens’§ skill, sure seraphs sing the same.


On the election of Pope Leo X., in 1440, the following satirical
acrostic appeared, to mark the date

                             M C C C C X L.

       Multi Cœci Cardinales Creaverunt Cœcum Decimum (X) Leonem.

                            MONASTIC VERSE.

The merit of this fine specimen will be found in its being at the same
time _acrostic_, _mesostic_, and _telestic_.

          =I=nter cuncta micans   =I=gniti   sidera    cœl=I=
          =E=xpellit tenebras     =E= toto  Phœbus  ut orb=E=;
          =S=ic cæcas removet   JE=S=US   caliginis  umbra=S=,
          =V=ivificansque simul   =V=ero   præcordia   mot=V=,
          =S=olem justitiæ        =S=ese probat esse beati=S=.

The following translation preserves the acrostic and mesostic, though
not the telestic form of the original:—

  In glory see the rising sun,          Illustrious orb of day,
  Enlightening heaven’s wide expanse,   Expel night’s gloom away.
  So light into the darkest soul,     JESUS, Thou dost impart,
  Uplifting Thy life-giving smiles      Upon the deadened heart:
  Sun Thou of Righteousness Divine,     Sole King of Saints Thou art.


The figure of a §FISH§ carved on many of the monuments in the Roman
Catacombs, is an emblematic acrostic, intended formerly to point out the
burial-place of a Christian, without revealing the fact to the pagan
persecutors. The Greek word for _fish_ is Ιχθῦς, which the Christians
understood to mean _Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour_,—the
letters forming the initials of the following Greek words:—

                           Ιησους—  Jesus
                           Χριστος— Christ,
                           Θεου—    of God,
                           Υιος—    Son,
                           Σωτηρ—   Saviour.

                            NAPOLEON FAMILY.

The names of the male crowned heads of the extinct Napoleon dynasty form
a remarkable acrostic:—

                   N apoleon, Emperor of the French.
                   I oseph, King of Spain.
                   H ieronymus, King of Westphalia.
                   I oachim, King of Naples.
                   L ouis, King of Holland.


Rachel, on one occasion, received a most remarkable present. It was a
diadem, in antique style, adorned with six jewels. The stones were so
set as to spell, in acrostic style, the name of the great _artiste_, and
also to signify six of her principal _rôles_, thus:

                       R uby,         R oxana,
                       A methyst,     A menaide,
                       C ornelian,    C amille,
                       H ematite,     H ermione,
                       E merald,      E milie,
                       L apis Lazuli, L aodice.

This mode of constructing a name or motto by the initial letters of gems
was formerly fashionable on wedding rings.

                            MASONIC MEMENTO.

The following curious memento was written in the early part of last

               M—Magnitude, Moderation, Magnanimity.
               A—Affability, Affection, Attention.
               S—Silence, Secrecy, Security.
               O—Obedience, Order, Œconomy.
               N—Noble, Natural, Neighborly.
               R—Rational, Reciprocative, Receptive.
               Y—Yielding, Ypight (fixed), Yare (ready).

Which is explained thus:—

  Masonry, of things, teaches how to attain their just Magnitude.
  To inordinate affections the art of                  Moderation.
  It inspires the soul with true                       Magnanimity.
  It also teaches us                                   Affability.
  To love each other with true                         Affection.
  And to pay to things sacred a just                   Attention.
  It instructs us how to keep                          Silence,
  To maintain                                          Secrecy,
  And preserve                                         Security;
  Also, to whom it is due,                             Obedience,
  To observe good                                      Order,
  And a commendable                                    Œconomy.
  It likewise teaches us how to be worthily            Noble,
  Truly                                                Natural,
  And without reserve                                  Neighborly.
  It instils principles indisputably                   Rational,
  And forms in us a disposition                        Reciprocative,
  And                                                  Receptive.
  It makes us, to things indifferent,                  Yielding,
  To what is absolutely necessary, perfectly           Ypight,
  And to do all that is truly good, most willingly     Yare.


Bacon says, “The trivial prophecy which I heard when I was a child and
Queen Elizabeth was in the flower of her years was—

                           When Hempe is spun
                           England’s done;

whereby it was generally conceived that after the sovereigns had reigned
which had the letters of that word HEMPE, (which were Henry, Edward,
Mary, Philip, Elizabeth,) England should come to utter confusion; which,
thanks be to God, is verified in the change of the name, for that the
King’s style is now no more of _England_, but of _Britain_.”

                       THE BREVITY OF HUMAN LIFE.

                   _Behold, alas! our days we spend:
                 How vain they be, how soon they end!_
                            How short a span
                         Was long enough of old
                    To measure out the life of man;
             In those well-tempered days his time was then
       Surveyed, cast up, and found but threescore years and ten.
                           What is all that?
                      They come and slide and pass
                  Before my tongue can tell thee what.
             The posts of time are swift, which having run
     Their seven short stages o’er, their short-lived task is done.
                                OUR DAYS
                             Begun, we bend
                        To sleep, to antic plays
                  And toys, until the first stage end;
              12 waning moons, twice 5 times told, we give
           To unrecovered loss: we rather breathe than live.
                                WE SPEND
                          A ten years’ breath
                          Before we apprehend
                  What ’tis to live in fear of death;
            Our childish dreams are filled with painted joys
           Which please our sense, and waking prove but toys.
                               HOW VAIN,
                            How wretched is
                       Poor man, that doth remain
                    A slave to such a state as this!
              His days are short at longest; few at most;
          They are but bad at best, yet lavished out, or lost.
                                THEY BE
                           The secret springs
                       That make our minutes flee
                On wings more swift than eagles’ wings!
              Our life’s a clock, and every gasp of breath
    Breathes forth a warning grief, till time shall strike a death.
                                HOW SOON
                           Our new-born light
                       Attains to full-aged noon!
                And this, how soon to gray-haired night;
              We spring, we bud, we blossom, and we blast,
         Ere we can count our days, our days they flee so fast.
                                THEY END
                           When scarce begun,
                          And ere we apprehend
                That we begin to live, our life is done.
             Man, count thy days; and if they fly too fast
       For thy dull thoughts to count, count every day the last.

                              A VALENTINE.

The reader, by taking the first letter of the first of the following
lines, the second letter of the second line, the third of the third, and
so on to the end, can spell the name of the lady to whom they were
addressed by Edgar A. Poe.

  For her this rhyme is penned whose luminous eyes,
    BRightly expressive as the twins of Lœda,
  ShAll find her own sweet name, that nestling lies
    UpoN the page, enwrapped from every reader.
  SearCh narrowly the lines!—they hold a treasure
    DivinE—a talisman—an amulet
  That muSt be worn _at heart_. Search well the measure—
    The wordS—the syllables! Do not forget
  The triviAlest point, or you may lose your labor!
    And yet theRe is in this no Gordian knot
  Which one miGht not undo without a sabre,
    If one could mErely comprehend the plot.
  Enwritten upoN the leaf where now are peering
    Eyes scintillaTing soul, there lie _perdus_
  Three eloquent wOrds, oft uttered in the hearing
    Of poets, by poets—aS the name’s a poet’s, too.
  Its letters, althouGh naturally lying
    Like the knight PintO—Mendez Ferdinando—
  Still form a synonym fOr Truth. Cease trying!
    You will not read the riDdle, though you do the best you _can do_.


        But with still more disordered march advance
        (Nor march it seemed, but wild fantastic dance)
        The uncouth Anagrams, distorted train,
        Shifting in double mazes o’er the plain.—_Scribleriad._

Camden, in a chapter in his _Remains_, on this frivolous and now almost
obsolete intellectual exercise, defines Anagrams to be a dissolution of
a name into its letters, as its elements; and a new connection into
words is formed by their transposition, if possible, without addition,
subtraction, or change of the letters: and the words should make a
sentence applicable to the person or thing named. The anagram is
complimentary or satirical; it may contain some allusion to an event, or
describe some personal characteristic. Thus, Sir Thomas Wiat bore his
own designation in his name:—

                              Wiat—A Wit.

_Astronomer_ may be made _Moon-starer_, and _Telegraph_, _Great Help_.
_Funeral_ may be converted into _Real Fun_, and _Presbyterian_ may be
made _Best in prayer_. In _stone_ may be found _tones_, _notes_, or
_seton_; and (taking _j_ and _v_ as duplicates of _i_ and _u_) the
letters of the alphabet may be arranged so as to form the words _back_,
_frown’d_, _phlegm_, _quiz_, and _Styx_. _Roma_ may be transposed into
_amor_, _armo_, _Maro_, _mora_, _oram_, or _ramo_. The following epigram
occurs in a book printed in 1660:

           Hate and debate Rome through the world has spread;
           Yet Roma _amor_ is, if backward read:
           Then is it strange Rome hate should foster? No;
           For out of backward _love_ all hate doth grow.

It is said that the cabalists among the Jews were professed
anagrammatists, the third part of their art called _themuru_ (changing)
being nothing more than finding the hidden and mystical meaning in
names, by transposing and differently combining the letters of those
names. Thus, of the letters of _Noah’s_ name in Hebrew, they made
_grace_; and of the _Messiah_ they made _he shall rejoice_.

Lycophron, a Greek writer who lived three centuries before the Christian
era, records two anagrams in his poem on the siege of Troy entitled
_Cassandra_. One is on the name of Ptolemy Philadelphus, in whose reign
Lycophron lived:—

                  ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΣ ΑΠΟ ΜΕΛΙΤΟΣ—Made of honey.

The other is on Ptolemy’s queen, Arsinoë:—

                    ΑΡΣΙΝΟΕ. ΕΡΑΣ ΙΟΝ—Juno’s violet.

Eustachius informs us that this practice was common among the Greeks,
and gives numerous examples; such, for instance, as the transposition of
the word Αρετη, virtue, into Ερατη, lovely.

Owen, the Welsh epigrammatist, sometimes called the British Martial,
lived in the golden age of anagrammatism. The following are fair
specimens of his ingenuity:—


            _Angelus_ es bonus anne malus; _Galene!_ salutis
              Humana custos, _angelus_ ergo bonus,

                    §De Fide—Anagramma quincuplex.§

      _Recta_ fides, _certa_ est, _arcet_ mala schismata, non est,
        Sicut _Creta_, fides fictilis, arte _caret_.

                     §Brevitas—Anagramma triplex.§

            Perspicua brevitate nihil magis afficit aures
            In _verbis_, _ubi res_ postulat, esto _brevis_.

In a _New Help to Discourse_, 12mo, London, 1684, occurs an anagram with
a very quaint epigrammatic “exposition:”—

                             TOAST—A SOTT.

               A toast is like a sot; or, what is most
               Comparative, a sot is like a toast;
               For when their substances in liquor sink,
               Both properly are said to be in drink.

Cotton Mather was once described as distinguished for—

        “Care to guide his flock and feed his lambs
        By words, works, prayers, psalms, alms, _and anagrams_.”

Sylvester, in dedicating to his sovereign his translation of Du Bartas,
rings the following loyal change on the name of his liege:—

                      James Stuart—A just master.

Of the poet Waller, the old anagrammatist said:—

             His brows need not with _Lawrel_ to be bound,
             Since in his name with _Lawrel_ he is crowned.

The author of an extraordinary work on heraldry was thus expressively

                           Randle Holmes.
                           Lo, Men’s Herald!

The following on the name of the mistress of Charles IX. of France is
historically true:—

                            Marie Touchet,
                            Je charme tout.

In the assassin of Henry III.,

                         Frère Jacques Clement,

they discovered

                      C’est l’enfer qui m’a crée.

The French appear to have practised this art with peculiar facility. A
French poet, deeply in love, in one day sent his mistress, whose name
was _Magdelaine_, three dozen of anagrams on her single name.

The father Pierre de St. Louis became a Carmelite monk on discovering
that his lay name—

                          Ludovicus Bartelemi—

yielded the anagram—

                          Carmelo se devovet.

Of all the extravagances occasioned by the anagrammatic fever when at
its height, none equals what is recorded of an infatuated Frenchman in
the seventeenth century, named André Pujom, who, finding in his name the
anagram _Pendu à Riom_, (the seat of criminal justice in the province of
Auvergne,) felt impelled to fulfill his destiny, committed a capital
offence in Auvergne, and was actually hung in the place to which the
omen pointed.

The anagram on General Monk, afterwards Duke of Albemarle, on the
restoration of Charles II., is also a chronogram, including the date of
that important event:—

                   Georgius Monke, Dux de Aumarle,
                   Ego Regem reduxi Ano. Sa. MDCLVV.

The mildness of the government of Elizabeth, contrasted with her
intrepidity against the Iberians, is thus picked out of her title: she
is made the English lamb and the Spanish lioness.

                       Elizabetha Regina Angliæ,
                       Anglis Agna, Hiberiæ Lea.

The unhappy history of Mary Queen of Scots, the deprivation of her
kingdom, and her violent death, are expressed in the following Latin

                   Maria Steuarda Scotorum Regina.
                   Trusa vi Regnis, morte amara cado.

In Taylor’s _Suddaine Turne of Fortune’s Wheele_, occurs the following
very singular example:—

           But, holie father, I am certifyed
           That they your power and policye deride;
           And how of you they make an anagram,
           The best and bitterest that the wits could frame.

                                As thus:

                      _Supremus Pontifex Romanus_.


                    _O non sum super petrum fixus_.

The anagram on the well-known bibliographer, William Oldys, may claim a
place among the first productions of this class. It was by Oldys
himself, and was found by his executors among his MSS.

              In word and §WILL I AM§ a friend to you;
              And one friend §OLD§ is worth a hundred new.

The following anagram, preserved in the files of the First Church in
Roxbury, was sent to Thomas Dudley, a governor and major-general of the
colony of Massachusetts, in 1645. He died in 1653, aged 77.

                             THOMAS DUDLEY.

                            Ah! old must dye.
            A death’s head on your hand you neede not weare,
            A dying head you on your shoulders beare.
            You need not one to mind you, you must dye,
            You in your name may spell mortalitye.
            Younge men may dye, but old men, these dye must;
            ’Twill not be long before you turne to dust.
            Before you turne to dust! ah! must! old! dye!
            What shall younge doe when old in dust doe lye?
            When old in dust lye, what N. England doe?
            When old in dust doe lye, it’s best dye too.

In an Elegy written by Rev. John Cotton on the death of John Alden, a
magistrate of the old Plymouth Colony, who died in 1687, the following
_phonetic_ anagram occurs:—

                        John Alden—End al on hi.

The Calvinistic opponents of Arminius made of his name a not very
creditable Latin anagram:—

                           Jacobus Arminius,
                           Vani orbis amicus;
                     (The friend of a false world.)

while his friends, taking advantage of the Dutch mode of writing it,
_H_arminius, hurled back the conclusive argument,

                          Habui curam Sionis.
                      (I have had charge of Zion.)

Perhaps the most extraordinary anagram to be met with, is that on the
Latin of Pilate’s question to the Saviour, “What is truth?”—St. John,
xviii. 38.

                           Quid est veritas?
                           Est vir qui adest.
                   (It is the man who is before you.)

           Live, vile, and evil, have the self-same letters;
           He lives but vile, whom evil holds in fetters.

             If you transpose what ladies wear—§Veil§,
             ’Twill plainly show what bad folks are—§Vile§.
             Again if you transpose the same,
             You’ll see an ancient Hebrew name—§Levi§.
             Change it again, and it will show
             What all on earth desire to do—§Live§.
             Transpose the letters yet once more,
             What bad men do you’ll then explore—§Evil§.


A lady, being asked by a gentleman to join in the bonds of matrimony
with him, wrote the word “§Stripes§,” stating at the time that the
letters making up the word stripes could be changed so as to make an
answer to his question. The result proved satisfactory.

          When _I cry that I sin_ is transposed, it is clear,
          My resource _Christianity_ soon will appear.

The two which follow are peculiarly appropriate:—

                        Florence Nightingale,
                        Flit on, charming angel.

                            John Abernethy,
                            Johnny the bear.

                                T I M E
                                I T E M
                                M E T I
                                E M I T

This word, Time, is the only word in the English language which can be
thus arranged, and the different transpositions thereof are all at the
same time Latin words. These words, in English as well as in Latin, may
be read either upward or downward. Their signification as Latin words is
as follows:—Time—fear thou; Item—likewise; Meti—to be measured; Emit—he

Some striking German and Latin anagrams have been made of Luther’s name,
of which the following are specimens. Doctor Martinus Lutherus
transposed, gives _O Rom, Luther ist der schwan_. In D. Martinus
Lutherus may be found _ut turris das lumen_ (like a tower you give
light). In Martinus Lutherus we have _vir multa struens_ (the man who
builds up much), and _ter matris vulnus_ (he gave three wounds to the
mother church). Martin Luther will make _lehrt in Armuth_ (he teaches in

Jablonski welcomed the visit of Stanislaus, King of Poland, with his
noble relatives of the house of Lescinski, to the annual examination of
the students under his care, at the gymnasium of Lissa, with a number of
anagrams, all composed of the letters in the words _Domus Lescinia_. The
recitations closed with a heroic dance, in which each youth carried a
shield inscribed with a legend of the letters. After a new evolution,
the boys exhibited the words _Ades incolumis_; next, _Omnis es lucida_;
next, _Omne sis lucida_; fifthly, _Mane sidus loci_; sixthly, _Sis
columna Dei_; and at the conclusion, _I scande solium_.

                       A TELEGRAM ANAGRAMMATISED.

     Though but a _late germ_, with a wondrous elation,
     Yet like a _great elm_ it o’ershadows each station.
     _Et malgré_ the office is still a large fee mart,
     So joyous the crowd was, you’d thought it a _glee mart_;
     But they raged at no news from the nation’s belligerent,
     And I said _let’m rage_, since the air is refrigerant.
     I then _met large_ numbers, whose drink was not sherbet,
     Who scarce could look up when their eyes the gas-_glare met_;
     So when I had learned from commercial adviser
     That _mere galt_ for sand was the great fertilizer,
     I bade _Mr. Eaglet_, although ’twas ideal,
     Get some from the clay-pit, and so _get’m real_;
     Then, just as my footstep was leaving the portal,
     I met an _elm targe_ on a great Highland mortal,
     With the maid he had woo’d by the loch’s flowery _margelet_,
     And row’d in his boat, which for rhyme’s sake call bargelet,
     And blithe to the breeze would have set the sail daily,
     But it blew at that rate which the sailors _term gale_, aye;
     I stumbled against the fair bride he had married,
     When a _merle gat_ at large from a cage that she carried;
     She gave a loud screech! and I could not well blame her,
     But lame as I was, I’d no wish to _get lamer_;
     So I made my escape—ne’er an antelope fleeter,
     Lest my verse, like the poet, should limp through _lag metre_.

Anagrams are sometimes found in old epitaphial inscriptions. For
example, at St. Andrews:—

                       Catharine Carstairs,
                       _Casta rara Christiana_.
                       _Chaste, rare Christian._

At Newenham church, Northampton:—

                          William Thorneton.
                        _O little worth in man._

At Keynsham:—

                           Mrs. Joane Flover.
                             _Love for anie._

At Mannington, 1631:—

                         Katherine Lougher,
                         _Lower taken higher_.

Maitland has the following curious specimen:—

How much there is in a word—_monastery_, says I: why, that makes _nasty
Rome_; and when I looked at it again, it was evidently _more nasty_—a
very vile place _or mean sty_. _Ay, monster_, says I, you are found out.
What monster? said the Pope. What monster? said I. Why, your own image
there, _stone Mary_. That, he replied, is _my one star_, my Stella
Maris, my treasure, my guide! No, said I, you should rather say, _my
treason_. _Yet no arms_, said he. No, quoth I, quiet may suit best, as
long as you have _no mastery_, I mean _money arts_. No, said he again,
those are _Tory means_; and Dan, _my senator_, will baffle them. I don’t
know that, said I, but I think one might make no _mean story_ out of
this one word—_monastery_.


Addison, in his remarks on the different species of false wit, (Spect.
No. 60,) thus notices the chronogram. “This kind of wit appears very
often on modern medals, especially those of Germany, when they represent
in the inscription the year in which they were coined. Thus we see on a
medal of Gustavus Adolphus the following words:—

                     §ChrIstVs DuX ergo trIVMphVs.§

If you take the pains to pick the figures out of the several words, and
range them in their proper order, you will find they amount to
MDCXVVVII, or 1627, the year in which the medal was stamped; for as some
of the letters distinguish themselves from the rest and overtop their
fellows, they are to be considered in a double capacity, both as letters
and as figures. Your laborious German wits will turn over a whole
dictionary for one of these ingenious devices. A man would think they
were searching after an apt classical term; but instead of that they are
looking out a word that has an L, an M, or a D, in it. When therefore we
meet with any of these inscriptions, we are not so much to look in them
for the thought as for the year of the Lord.”

Apropos of this humorous allusion to the _Germanesque_ character of the
chronogram, it is worthy of notice that European tourists find far more
numerous examples of it in the inscriptions on the churches on the banks
of the Rhine than in any other part of the continent.

                  *       *       *       *       *

On the title-page of “_Hugo Grotius his Sophompaneas_” the date, 1652,
is not given in the usual form, but is included in the name of the
author, thus:—

                          §franCIs goLDsMIth.§

Howell, in his _German Diet_, after narrating the death of Charles, son
of Philip II. of Spain, says:—

If you desire to know the year, this chronogram will tell you:

             §fILIVs ante DIeM patrIos InqVIrIt In annos.§
                        MDLVVIIIIIIII, or 1568.

The following commemorates the death of Queen Elizabeth:—

               _My Day Is Closed In Immortality._ (1603.)

A German book was issued in 1706, containing fac-similes and
descriptions of more than two hundred medals coined in honor of Martin
Luther. An inscription on one of them expresses the date of his death,
1546, as follows:—

    §ECCe nVnc MorItVs IVstVs In paCe ChrIstI exItV tVto et beato.§

The most extraordinary attempt of this kind that has yet been made,
bears the following title:—

_Chronographica Gratulatio in Felicissimum adventum Serenissimi
Cardinalis Ferdinandi, Hispaniarum Infantis, a Collegio Soc. Jesu._

A dedication to St. Michael and an address to Ferdinand are followed by
one hundred hexameters, _every one of which is a chronogram_, and each
gives the same result, 1634. The first and last verses are subjoined as
a specimen.

              AngeLe CæLIVogI MIChaëL LUX UnICa CætUs.
              VersICULIs InCLUsa, fLUent In sæCULa CentUM.



The only fair specimen we can find of reciprocal words, or those which,
read backwards or forwards, are the same, is the following couplet,
which, according to an old book, cost the author a world of foolish

             Odo tenet mulum, madidam mulum tenet Odo.
             Anna tenet mappam, madidam mappam tenet Anna.

The following admired reciprocal lines, addressed to St. Martin by
Satan, according to the legend, the reader will find on perusal, either
backwards or forwards, precisely the same:—

               Signa te signa; temere me tangis et angis;
               Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor.

  [St. Martin having given up the profession of a soldier, and having
  been made Bishop of Tours, when prelates neither kept carriages nor
  servants, had occasion to go to Rome, in order to consult the Pope
  upon ecclesiastical matters. As he was walking along the road he met
  the devil, who politely accosted him, and ventured to observe how
  fatiguing and indecorous it was for him to perform so long a journey
  on foot, like the commonest pilgrim. The Saint understood the drift of
  Old Nick’s address, and commanded him immediately to become a beast of
  burden, or _jumentum_; which the devil did in a twinkling by assuming
  the shape of a mule. The Saint jumped upon the fiend’s back, who at
  first trotted cheerfully along, but soon slackened his pace. The
  bishop of course had neither whip nor spurs, but was possessed of a
  much more powerful stimulus, for, says the legend, he made the sign of
  the cross, and the smarting devil instantly galloped away. Soon
  however, and naturally enough, the father of sin returned to sloth and
  obstinacy, and Martin hurried him again with repeated signs of the
  cross, till, twitched and stung to the quick by those crossings so
  hateful to him, the vexed and tired reprobate uttered the foregoing
  distich in a rage, meaning, _Cross, cross yourself; you annoy and vex
  me without necessity; for owing to my exertions, Rome, the object of
  your wishes, will soon be near_.]

The Palindrome changes the sense in the backward reading; the _Versus
Cancrinus_ retains the sense in both instances unchanged, as in this

                   Bei Leid lieh stets Heil die Lieb.
                 (In trouble comfort is lent by love.)

Similarly recurrent is the lawyer’s motto,—

                           Si nummi immunis,

translated by Camden, “Give me my fee, I warrant you free.”

The Greek inscription on the mosque of St. Sophia, in Constantinople,

                   Νίφον ἀνομήματα μὴ μόναν ὄφιν,[5]

Footnote 5:

  Meaning in substance, _Purify the mind as well as the body_.

presents the same words, whether read from left to right, or from right
to left. So also the expressions in English,—

                   Madam, I’m Adam. (_Adam to Eve._)
                            Name no one man.
              Able was I ere I saw Elba. (_Napoleon loq._)
                 Snug & raw was I ere I saw war & guns.
           Red rum did emit revel ere Lever time did murder.
                       Red root put up to order.
                  Trash? even interpret Nineveh’s art.
                   Lewd did I live, evil I did dwel.
                        Draw pupil’s lip upward.

This enigmatical line surrounds a figure of the sun in the mosaic
pavement of Sa. Maria del Fiori, at Florence:—

                En giro torte sol ciclos et rotor igne.

These lines are supposed to be addressed to a young man detained at Rome
by a love affair:—

                 Roma ibi tibi sedes—ibi tibi Amor;
                 Roma etsi te terret et iste Amor,
                 Ibi etsi vis te non esse—sed es ibi,
                 Roma te tenet et Amor.

               At Rome you live—at Rome you love;
                 From Rome that love may you affright,
               Although you’d leave, you never move,
                 For love and Rome both bar your flight.

Dean Swift wrote a letter to Dr. Sheridan, composed of Latin words
strung together as mere gibberish but each word, when read backwards,
makes passable English. Take for example the following short sentences:—

  Mi Sana. Odioso ni mus rem. Moto ima os illud dama nam? (I’m an ass. O
  so I do in summer. O Tom, am I so dull, I a mad man?)

Inscription for a hospital, paraphrased from the Psalms:—

               Acide me malo, sed non desola me, medica.

The ingenious Latin verses subjoined are reversible verbally only, not
literally, and will be found to embody opposite meanings by commencing
with the last word and reading backwards:—

             Prospicimus modo, quod durabunt tempore longo,
             Fœdera, nec patriæ pax cito diffugiet.

             Diffugiet cito pax patriæ, nec fœdera longo,
             Tempore durabunt, quod modo prospicimus.

The following hexameter from Santa Marca Novella, Florence, refers to
the sacrifice of Abel (Gen. iv. 4). Reversed, it is a pentameter, and
refers to the sacrifice of Cain (iv. 3).

               Sacrum pingue dabo non macram sacrificabo,
               Sacrificabo macram non dabo pingue sacrum.

The subjoined distich arose from the following circumstance. A tutor,
after having explained to his class one of the odes of Horace, undertook
to dictate the same in hexameter verses, as an exercise (as he said). It
cost him considerable trouble: he hesitated several times, and
occasionally substituted other words, but finally succeeded. Some of his
scholars thought he would not accomplish his task; others maintained
that, having begun, it was a point of honor to complete it.

                Retro mente labo, non metro continuabo;
                Continuabo metro; non labo mente retro.

Addison mentions an epigram called the _Witches’ Prayer_, that “fell
into verse when it was read either backward or forward, excepting only
that it cursed one way, and blessed the other.”

One of the most remarkable palindromes on record is the following. Its
distinguishing peculiarity is that the first letter of each successive
word unites to spell the first word; the second letter of each, the
second word; and so on throughout; and the same will be found precisely
true on reversal.

                     SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS.

But the neatest and prettiest specimen that has yet appeared comes from
a highly cultivated lady who was attached to the court of Queen
Elizabeth. Having been banished from the court on suspicion of too great
familiarity with a nobleman then high in favor, the lady adopted this
device,—_the moon covered by a cloud_,—and the following palindrome for
a motto:—

                            ABLATA AT ALBA.

                       (Banished, but blameless.)

The merit of this kind of composition was never in any example so
heightened by appropriateness and delicacy of sentiment.

Paschasius composed the recurrent epitaph on Henry IV.:—

               Arca serenum me gere regem, munere sacra,
               Solem, arcas, animos, omina sacra, melos.

A very curious continuous series of palindromes was printed in Vienna in
1802. It was written in ancient Greek by a modern Greek named Ambrosius,
who called it Πόιημα καρκινικὸν. It contains 455 lines, every one of
which is a literal palindrome. A few are selected at random, as

              Ἰσα πασι Ση τε υη, Συ ὁ Μουσηγετης ις απασι.
              Νεαν ασω μελιφωνον, ὦ φιλε, Μωσαν αεν.
              Ὠ λακωνικε, σε μονω τω Νομε, σε κινω καλω.
              Ἀρετα πηγασε σε σα γη πατερα.
              Σωτηρ συ εσο, ὦ ελεε θεε λεω ος ευς ρητως.

The following line is expressive of the sentiments of a Roman Catholic;
read backwards, of those of a Huguenot:—

              Patrum dicta probo, nec sacris belligerabo.
              Belligerabo sacris, nec probo dicta patrum.

These lines, written to please a group of youthful folk, serve to show
that our English tongue is as capable of being twisted into uncouth
shapes as is the Latin, if any one will take the trouble:—

  One winter’s eve, around the fire, a cozy group we sat,
  Engaged, as was our custom old, in after-dinner chat;
  Small-talk it was, no doubt, because the smaller folk were there,
  And they, the young monopolists! absorbed the lion’s share.
  Conundrums, riddles, rebuses, cross-questions, puns atrocious,
  Taxed all their ingenuity, till Peter the precocious—
  Old head on shoulders juvenile—cried, “Now for a new task:
  Let’s try our hand at _Palindromes_!” “Agreed! But first,” we ask,
  “Pray, Peter, what _are_ Palindromes?” The forward imp replied,
  “A _Palindrome_’s a string of words of sense or meaning void,
  Which reads both ways the same: and here, with your permission,
  I’ll cite some half a score of samples, lacking all precision
  (But held together by loose rhymes, to test my definition):—

  “A milksop, jilted by his lass, or wandering in his wits,
  Might murmur, ‘_Stiff, O dairy-man, in a myriad of fits!_’

  “A limner by photography dead-beat in competition,
  Thus grumbled, ‘_No, it is opposed; art sees trade’s opposition!_’

  “A nonsense-loving nephew might his soldier-uncle dun
  With ‘_Now stop, major-general, are negro jam-pots won?_’

  “A supercilious grocer, if inclined that way, might snub
  A child with ‘_But regusa store, babe, rots a sugar-tub_.’

  “Thy spectre, Alexander, is a fortress, cried Hephaestion.
  Great A. said, ‘_No, it’s a bar of gold, a bad log for a bastion!_’

  “A timid creature, fearing rodents—mice and such small fry—
  ‘_Stop, Syrian, I start at rats in airy spots_,’ might cry.

  “A simple soul, whose wants are few, might say, with hearty zest,
  ‘_Desserts I desire not, so long no lost one rise distressed_.’

  “A stern Canadian parent might in earnest, not in fun,
  Exclaim, ‘_No sot nor Ottawa law at Toronto, son!_’

  “A crazy dentist might declare, as something strange or new,
  That ‘_Paget saw an Irish tooth, sir, in a waste gap!_’ True!

  “A surly student, hating sweets, might answer with _elan_,
  ‘_Name tarts? no, medieval slave, I demonstrate man!_’

  “He who in Nature’s bitters findeth sweet food every day,
  ‘_Eureka! till I pull up ill I take rue_,’ well might say.”


                                AT ROME.

First read the letter across, then double it in the middle, and read the
first column.

 §Sir§,—Mons. Compigne, a Savoyard by birth, a Friar of the order of Saint Benedict,
 is the man who will present to you          as his passport to your protection,
 this letter. He is one of the most          discreet, the wisest and the least
 meddling persons that I have ever known     or have had the pleasure to converse with.
 He has long earnestly solicited me          to write to you in his favor, and
 to give him a suitable character,           together with a letter of credence;
 which I have accordingly granted to         his real merit, rather I must say, than to
 his importunity; for, believe me, Sir,      his modesty is only exceeded by his worth,
 I should be sorry that you should be        wanting in serving him on account of being
 misinformed of his real character;          I should be afflicted if you were
 as some other gentlemen have been,          misled on that score, who now esteem him,
 and those among the best of my friends;     wherefore, and from no other motive
 I think it my duty to advertise you         that you are most particularly desired,
 to have especial attention to all he does,  to show him all the respect imaginable,
 nor venture to say any thing before him,    that may either offend or displease him
 in any sort; for I may truly say, there is  no man I love so much as M. Compigne,
 none whom I should more regret to see       neglected, as no one can be more worthy to be
 received and trusted in decent society.     Base, therefore, would it be to injure him.
 And I well know, that as soon as you        are made sensible of his virtues, and
 shall become acquainted with him            you will love him as I do; and then
 you will thank me for this my advice.       The assurance I entertain of your
 Courtesy obliges me to desist from          urging this matter to you further, or
 saying any thing more on this subject.          Believe me, Sir, &c.       RICHELIEU.

                             A LOVE-LETTER.

The reader, after perusing it, will please read it again, commencing on
the first line, then the third and fifth, and so on, reading each
alternate line to the end.

     §To Miss M——.§

             —The great love I have hitherto expressed for you
               is false and I find my indifference towards you
             —increases daily. The more I see of you, the more
               you appear in my eyes an object of contempt.
             —I feel myself every way disposed and determined
               to hate you. Believe me, I never had an intention
             —to offer you my hand. Our last conversation has
               left a tedious insipidity, which has by no means
             —given me the most exalted idea of your character.
               Your temper would make me extremely unhappy
             —and were we united, I should experience nothing but
               the hatred of my parents added to the anything but
             —pleasure in living with you. I have indeed a heart
               to bestow, but I do not wish you to imagine it
             —at your service. I could not give it to any one more
               inconsistent and capricious than yourself, and less
             —capable to do honor to my choice and to my family.
               Yes, Miss, I hope you will be persuaded that
             —I speak sincerely, and you will do me a favor
               to avoid me. I shall excuse you taking the trouble
             —to answer this. Your letters are always full of
               impertinence, and you have not a shadow of
             —wit and good sense. Adieu! adieu! believe me
               so averse to you, that it is impossible for me even
             —to be your most affectionate friend and humble
               servant.                                L——.

                         INGENIOUS SUBTERFUGE.

A young lady newly married, being obliged to show to her husband all the
letters she wrote, sent the following to an intimate friend. The key is,
to read the first and then every alternate line only.

          —I cannot be satisfied, my dearest friend!
            blest as I am in the matrimonial state,
          —unless I pour into your friendly bosom,
            which has ever been in unison with mine,
          —the various sensations which swell
            with the liveliest emotion of pleasure,
          —my almost bursting heart. I tell you my dear
            husband is the most amiable of men,
          —I have now been married seven weeks, and
            never have found the least reason to
          —repent the day that joined us. My husband is
            both in person and manners far from resembling
          —ugly, cross, old, disagreeable, and jealous
            monsters, who think by confining to secure—
          —a wife, it is his maxim to treat as a
            bosom friend and confidant, and not as a
          —plaything, or menial slave, the woman
            chosen to be his companion. Neither party
          —he says, should always obey implicitly;
            but each yield to the other by turns.
          —An ancient maiden aunt, near seventy,
            a cheerful, venerable, and pleasant old lady,
          —lives in the house with us; she is the de-
            light of both young and old; she is ci-
          —vil to all the neighborhood round,
            generous and charitable to the poor.
          —I am convinced my husband loves nothing more
            than he does me; he flatters me more
          —than a glass; and his intoxication
            (for so I must call the excess of his love)
          —often makes me blush for the unworthiness
            of its object, and wish I could be more deserving
          —of the man whose name I bear. To
            say all in one word, my dear, and to
          —crown the whole—my former gallant lover
            is now my indulgent husband; my husband
          —is returned, and I might have had
            a prince without the felicity I find in
          —him. Adieu! may you be blest as I am un-
            able to wish that I could be more

                          DOUBLE-FACED CREED.

The following cross-reading from a history of Popery, published in 1679,
and formerly called in New England _The Jesuits’ Creed_, will suit
either Catholic or Protestant accordingly as the lines are read downward
in single columns or across the double columns:—

          Pro fide teneo sana     Quæ docet Anglicana,
        Affirmat quæ Romana       Videntur mihi vana.
        Supremus quando rex est   Tum plebs est fortunata,
        Erraticus tum Grex est    Cum caput fiat papa.
        Altari cum ornatur        Communio fit inanis,
        Populus tum beatur        Cum mensa vina panis.
        Asini nomen meruit        Hunc morem qui non capit,
        Missam qui deseruit       Catholicus est et sapit.

        I hold for faith          What England’s church allows,
        What Rome’s church saith, My conscience disavows.
        Where the king is head    The flock can take no shame,
        The flock’s misled,       Who hold the pope supreme.
        Where the altar’s drest   The worship’s scarce divine,
        The people’s blest,       Whose table’s bread and wine.
        He’s but an ass           Who their communion flies,
        Who shuns the mass,       Is Catholic and wise.

                         REVOLUTIONARY VERSES.

The author of the following Revolutionary double entendre, which
originally appeared in a Philadelphia newspaper, is unknown. It may be
read in three different ways,—1st. Let the whole be read in the order in
which it is written; 2d. Then the lines downward on the left of each
comma in every line; and 3d. In the same manner on the right of each
comma. By the first reading it will be observed that the Revolutionary
cause is condemned, and by the others, it is encouraged and lauded:—

     Hark! hark! the trumpet sounds, the din of war’s alarms,
     O’er seas and solid grounds, doth call us all to arms;
     Who for King George doth stand, their honors soon shall shine;
     Their ruin is at hand, who with the Congress join.
     The acts of Parliament, in them I much delight,
     I hate their cursed intent, who for the Congress fight,
     The Tories of the day, they are my daily toast,
     They soon will sneak away, who Independence boast;
     Who non-resistance hold, they have my hand and heart.
     May they for slaves be sold, who act a Whiggish part;
     On Mansfield, North, and Bute, may daily blessings pour,
     Confusion and dispute, on Congress evermore;
     To North and British lord, may honors still be done,
     I wish a block or cord, to General Washington.


        I love with all my heart      The Tory party here
        The Hanoverian part           Most hateful do appear
        And for that settlement       I ever have denied
        My conscience gives consent   To be on James’s side
        Most righteous is the cause   To fight for such a king
        To fight for George’s laws    Will England’s ruin bring
        It is my mind and heart       In this opinion I
        Though none will take my part Resolve to live and die.
                                           _Lansdowme MSS. 852_

                            THE NEW REGIME.

The following equivoque was addressed to a republican at the
commencement of the French Revolution, in reply to the question, “What
do you think of the new constitution?”

         A la nouvelle loi          Je veux être fidèle
         Je renonce dans l’âme      Au régime ancien,
         Comme épreuve de ma foi    Je crois la loi nouvelle
         Je crois celle qu’on blâme Opposée à tout bien;
         Dieu vous donne la paix    Messieurs les démocrats
         Noblesse désolée           Au diable allez-vous en;
         Qu’il confonde à jamais    Tous les Aristocrats
         Messieurs de l’Assemblée   Ont eux seuls le bon sens.

         The newly made law         ’Tis my wish to esteem
         From my soul I abhor       The ancient regime
         My faith to prove good,    I maintain the new code
         I maintain the old code    Is opposed to all good.
         May God give you peace,    Messieurs Democrats,
         Forsaken Noblesse,         To the devil go hence.
         May He ever confound       All the Aristocrats
         The Assembly all round     Are the sole men of sense.

                         FATAL DOUBLE MEANING.

Count Valavoir, a general in the French service under Turenne, while
encamped before the enemy, attempted one night to pass a sentinel. The
sentinel challenged him, and the count answered “_Va-la-voir_,” which
literally signifies “Go and see.” The soldier, who took the words in
this sense, indignantly repeated the challenge, and was answered in the
same manner, when he fired; and the unfortunate Count fell dead upon the
spot,—a victim to the whimsicality of his surname.

                           A TRIPLE PLATFORM.

Among the memorials of the sectional conflict of 1861–5, is an American
platform arranged to suit all parties. The first column is the
_Secession_; the second, the _Abolition_ platform; and the whole, read
together, is the Democratic platform:—

                         Hurrah for The Old Union
                          Secession Is a curse
                       We fight for The Constitution
                    The Confederacy Is a league with hell
                            We love Free speech
                      The rebellion Is treason
                        We glory in A Free Press
                         Separation Will not be tolerated
                   We fight not for The negro’s freedom
                     Reconstruction Must be obtained
                    We must succeed At every hazard
                          The Union We love
                        We love not The negro
                      We never said Let the Union slide
                            We want The Union as it was
               Foreign intervention Is played out
                         We cherish The old flag
                 The stars and bars Is a flaunting lie
                        We venerate The _heabus corpus_
                  Southern chivalry Is hateful
                           Death to Jeff Davis
                        Abe Lincoln Isn’t the Government
                          Down with Mob law
                      Law and order Shall triumph.

                        LOYALTY, OR JACOBINISM?

This piece of amphibology was circulated among the United Irishmen,
previous to the Rebellion of 1798. First, read the lines as they stand,
then according to the numerals prefixed:—

                1. I love my country—but the king,
                3. Above all men his praise I sing,
                2. Destruction to his odious reign,
                4. That plague of princes, Thomas Paine;
                5. The royal bankers are displayed,
                7. And may success the standard aid
                6. Defeat and ruin seize the cause
                8. Of France her liberty and laws.

                             NON COMMITTAL.

                             NEAT EVASION.

Bishop Egerton, of Durham, avoided three impertinent questions by
replying as follows:—

            1. What inheritance he received from his father?
                “Not so much as he expected.”
            2. What was his lady’s fortune?
                “Less than was reported.”
            3. What was the value of his living of Ross?
                “More than he made of it.”

                           A PATRIOTIC TOAST.

Most readers will remember the story of a non-committal editor who,
during the Presidential canvass of 1872, desiring to propitiate
subscribers of both parties, hoisted the ticket of “Gr—— and ——n” at the
top of his column, thus giving those who took the paper their choice of
interpretations between “Grant and Wilson” and “Greeley and Brown.” A
story turning on the same style of point—and probably quite as
apocryphal—though the author labels it “_historique_”—is told of an army
officers’ mess in France. A brother-soldier from a neighboring
detachment having come in, and a _champenoise_ having been uncorked in
his honor, “Gentlemen,” said the guest, raising his glass, “I am about
to propose a toast at once patriotic and political.” A chorus of hasty
ejaculations and of murmurs at once greeted him. “Yes, gentlemen,”
coolly proceeded the orator, “I drink to a thing which—an object
that—Bah! I will out with it at once. It begins with an _R_ and ends
with an _e_.”

“Capital!” whispers a young lieutenant of Bordeaux promotion. “He
proposes the _République_, without offending the old fogies by saying
the word,”

“Nonsense! He means the _Radicale_,” replies the other, an old Captain

“Upon my word,” says a third, as he lifts his glass, “our friend must
mean _la Royauté_.”

“I see!” cries a one-legged veteran of Froschweiler: “we drink to _la

In fact the whole party drank the toast heartily, each interpreting it
to his liking.

In the hands of a Swift, even so trivial an instance might be made to
point a moral on the facility with which, alike in theology and
politics—from Athanasian creed to Cincinnati or Philadelphia
platform—men comfortably interpret to their own diverse likings some
doctrine that “begins with an _R_ and ends with an _e_,” and swallow it
with great unanimity and enthusiasm.

                      THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL.

During the war of the Rebellion, a merchant of Milwaukee, who is an
excellent hand at sketching, drew most admirably on the wall of his
store a negro’s head, and underneath it wrote, in a manner worthy of the
Delphic oracle, “Dis-Union for eber.” Whether the sentence meant loyalty
to the Union or not, was the puzzling question which the gentleman
himself never answered, invariably stating to the inquirers, “Read it
for yourselves, gentlemen.” So from that day to this, as the saying
goes, “no one knows how dat darkey stood on de war question.”

Another question is puzzling the young ladies who attend a Western
Female College. It seems that one of them discovered that some person
had written on the outer wall of the college, “Young women should set
good examples; for young men _will_ follow them.” The question that is
now perplexing the heads of several of the young ladies of the college
is, whether the writer meant what he or she (the handwriting was rather
masculine) wrote, in a moral sense or in an ironical one.


A servant robbed Mlle. Mars of her diamonds one evening while she was at
the theatre. Arrested, he was put upon trial, and witnesses were
summoned to bear testimony to his guilt. Among these was Mlle. Mars. She
was greatly annoyed at this, as, according to the rules of French
practice, the witness, after being sworn, gives his age. Now the age of
Mlle. Mars was an impenetrable mystery, for it was a theme she never
alluded to, and she possessed the art of arresting time’s flight, or at
least of repairing its ravages so effectually that her face never
revealed acquaintance with more than twenty years. She was for some days
evidently depressed; then, all at once, her spirits rose as buoyant as
ever. This puzzled the court—for people in her eminent position always
have a court; parasites are plenty in Paris—they did not know whether
she had determined frankly to confess her age, or whether she had hit
upon some means of eluding this thorny point of practice.

The day of trial came, and she was at her place. The court-room was
filled, and when she was put in the witness-box every ear was bent
towards her to catch the age she would give as her own. “Your name?”
said the presiding judge. “Anne Francoise Hippolyte Mars.” “What is your
profession?” “An actress of the French Comedy.” “What is your age?”
“——ty years.” “What?” inquired the presiding judge, leaning forward. “I
have just told your honor!” replied the actress, giving one of those
irresistible smiles which won the most hostile pit. The judge smiled in
turn, and when he asked, as he did immediately, “Where do you live?”
hearty applause long prevented Mlle. Mars from replying.

Mlle. Cico was summoned before a court to bear witness in favor of some
cosmetic assailed as a poison by victims and their physicians. All the
youngest actresses of Paris were there, and they reckoned upon a good
deal of merriment and profit when Mlle. Cico came to disclose her age.
She was called to the stand—sworn—gave her name and profession. When the
judge said “How old are you?” she quitted the stand, went up to the
bench, stood on tip-toe, and whispered in the judge’s ear the malicious
mystery. The bench smiled, and kept her secret.

                               The Cento.

A cento primarily signifies a cloak made of patches. In poetry it
denotes a work wholly composed of verses, or passages promiscuously
taken from other authors and disposed in a new form or order, so as to
compose a new work and a new meaning. According to the rules laid down
by Ausonius, the author of the celebrated _Nuptial Cento_, the pieces
may be taken from the same poet, or from several; and the verses may be
either taken entire, or divided into two, one half to be connected with
another half taken elsewhere; but two verses are never to be taken

The Empress Eudoxia wrote the life of Jesus Christ in centos taken from
Homer. Proba Falconia, and, long after him, Alexander Ross, both
composed a life of the Saviour, in the same manner, from Virgil. The
title of Ross’ work, which was republished in 1769, was _Virgilius
Evangelizans, sive historia Domini et Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi
Virgilianis verbis et versibus descripta_.

Subjoined are some modern specimens of this literary confectionery,
called in modern parlance

                             MOSAIC POETRY.

      I only knew she came and went               _Lowell._
      Like troutlets in a pool;                   _Hood._
      She was a phantom of delight,               _Wordsworth._
        And I was like a fool.                    _Eastman._

      “One kiss, dear maid,” I said and sighed,   _Coleridge._
        “Out of those lips unshorn.”              _Longfellow._
      She shook her ringlets round her head,      _Stoddard._
        And laughed in merry scorn.               _Tennyson._

      Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky!      _Tennyson._
        You hear them, oh my heart?               _Alice Cary._
      ’Tis twelve at night by the castle clock,   _Coleridge._
        Beloved, we must part!                    _Alice Cary._

      “Come back! come back!” she cried in grief, _Campbell._
        “My eyes are dim with tears—              _Bayard Taylor._
      How shall I live through all the days,      _Mrs. Osgood._
        All through a hundred years?”             _T. S. Perry._

      ’Twas in the prime of summer time,          _Hood._
        She blessed me with her hand;             _Hoyt._
      We strayed together, deeply blest,          _Mrs. Edwards._
        Into the Dreaming Land.                   _Cornwall._

      The laughing bridal roses blow,             _Patmore._
        To dress her dark brown hair;             _Bayard Taylor._
      No maiden may with her compare,             _Brailsford._
        Most beautiful, most rare!                _Read._

      I clasped it on her sweet cold hand,        _Browning._
        The precious golden link;                 _Smith._
      I calmed her fears, and she was calm,       _Coleridge._
        “Drink, pretty creature, drink!”          _Wordsworth._

      And so I won my Genevieve,                  _Coleridge._
        And walked in Paradise;                   _Hervey._
      The fairest thing that ever grew            _Wordsworth._
        Atween me and the skies.                  _Osgood._

                  *       *       *       *       *

               Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
               Who never to himself hath said,
                   Shoot folly as it flies?
               Ah, more than tears of blood can tell,
               Are in that word farewell, farewell;
                   ’Tis folly to be wise.

               And what is Friendship but a name
               That burns on Etna’s breast of flame?
                   Thus runs the world away.
               Sweet is the ship that’s under sail
               To where yon taper points the vale
                   With hospitable ray.

               Drink to me only with thine eyes
               Through cloudless climes and starry skies,
                   My native land, good-night.
               Adieu, adieu, my native shore;
               ’Tis Greece, but living Greece no more.
                   Whatever is is right.

               Oh, ever thus from childhood’s hour,
               Daughter of Jove, relentless power,
                   In russet mantle clad.
               The rocks and hollow mountains rung
               While yet in early Greece she sung,
                   I’m pleased, and yet I’m sad.

               In sceptred pall come sweeping by,
               O, thou, the nymph with placid eye,
                   By Philip’s warlike son;
               And on the light fantastic toe
               Thus hand-in-hand through life we’ll go;
                   Good-night to Marmion.


        1.—Why all this toil for triumphs of an hour?
        2.—Life’s a short summer, man a flower.

        3.—By turns we catch the vital breath and die—
        4.—The cradle and the tomb, alas! so nigh.

        5.—To be is better far than not to be,
        6.—Though all man’s life may seem a tragedy.

        7.—But light cares speak when mighty griefs are dumb;
        8.—The bottom is but shallow whence they come.

        9.—Your fate is but the common fate of all,
       10.—Unmingled joys, here, to no man befall.

       11.—Nature to each allots his proper sphere,
       12.—Fortune makes folly her peculiar care.

       13.—Custom does not often reason overrule
       14.—And throw a cruel sunshine on a fool.

       15.—Live well, how long or short permit, to heaven;
       16.—They who forgive most, shall be most forgiven.

       17.—Sin may be clasped so close we cannot see its face—
       18.—Vile intercourse where virtue has not place.

       19.—Then keep each passion down, however dear,
       20.—Thou pendulum, betwixt a smile and tear;

       21.—Her sensual snares let faithless pleasure lay,
       22.—With craft and skill, to ruin and betray.

       23.—Soar not too high to fall, but stop to rise;
       24.—We masters grow of all that we despise.

       25.—Oh then renounce that impious self-esteem;
       26.—Riches have wings and grandeur is a dream.

       27.—Think not ambition wise, because ’tis brave,
       28.—The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

       29.—What is ambition? ’Tis a glorious cheat,
       30.—Only destructive to the brave and great.

       31.—What’s all the gaudy glitter of a crown?
       32.—The way to bliss lies not on beds of down.

       33.—How long we live, not years but actions tell;
       34.—That man lives twice who lives the first life well.

       35.—Make then, while yet ye may, your God your friend,
       36.—Whom Christians worship, yet not comprehend.

       37.—The trust that’s given guard, and to yourself be just;
       38.—For, live we how we can, yet die we must.

  1. Young. 2. Dr. Johnson. 3. Pope. 4. Prior. 5. Sewell. 6. Spenser. 7.
  Daniel. 8. Sir Walter Raleigh. 9. Longfellow. 10. Southwell. 11.
  Congreve. 12. Churchill. 13. Rochester. 14. Armstrong. 15. Milton. 16.
  Baily. 17. Trench. 18. Somerville. 19. Thompson. 20. Byron. 21.
  Smollet. 22. Crabbe. 23. Massinger. 24. Crowley. 25. Beattie. 26.
  Cowper. 27. Sir Walter Davenant. 28. Grey. 29. Willis. 30. Addison.
  31. Dryden. 32. Francis Quarles. 33. Watkins. 34. Herrick. 35. William
  Mason. 36. Hill. 37. Dana. 38. Shakespeare.

                            CENTO FROM POPE.

 ’Tis education forms the common mind;                _Moral Essays._
   A mighty maze! but not without a plan.             _Essay on Man._
 Ask of the learned the way? The learned are blind;   _Essay on Man._
   The proper study of mankind is man.                _Essay on Man._

 A little learning is a dangerous thing;              _Essay on Criticism._
   Some have at first for wits, then poets passed—    _Essay on Criticism._
 See from each clime the learned their incense bring, _Essay on Criticism._
   For rising merit will buoy up at last.             _Essay on Criticism._

 Tell (for you can) what is it to be wise.—           _Essay on Man._
   Virtue alone is happiness below;                   _Essay on Man._
 Honor and shame from no condition rise,              _Essay on Man._
   And all our knowledge is ourselves to know.        _Essay on Man._

 Who shall decide when doctors disagree?              _Moral Essay._
   One truth is clear, whatever is, is right.         _Essay on Man._
 Since men interpret texts, why should not we         _January and May._
   Read them by day and meditate by night?            _Essay on Criticism._

                            BIBLICAL CENTO.

             Cling to the Mighty One,    Ps. lxxxix. 19.
               Cling in thy grief;       Heb. xii. 11.
             Cling to the Holy One,      Ps. xxxix. 18.
               He gives relief;          Ps. lxxxvi. 7.
             Cling to the Gracious One,  Ps. cxvi. 5.
               Cling in thy pain;        Ps. lv. 4.
             Cling to the Faithful One,  1 Thess. v. 24.
               He will sustain.          Ps. xxviii. 8.

             Cling to the Living One,    Heb. vii. 25.
               Cling in thy woe;         Ps. lxxxvi. 7.
             Cling to the Loving One,    1 John iv. 16.
               Through all below;        Rom. viii. 38, 39.
             Cling to the Pardoning One, Isa. lv. 7.
               He speaketh peace;        John xiv. 27.
             Cling to the Healing One,   Exod. xv. 26.
               Anguish shall cease.      Ps. cxlvii. 3.

             Cling to the Bleeding One,  1 John i. 7.
               Cling to His side;        John xx. 27.
             Cling to the Risen One,     Rom. vi. 9.
               In Him abide;             John xv. 4.
             Cling to the Coming One,    Rev. xxii. 20.
               Hope shall arise;         Titus ii. 13.
             Cling to the Reigning One,  Ps. xcvii. 1.
               Joy lights thine eyes.    Ps. xvi. 11.

                         THE RETURN OF ISRAEL.

      I will surely gather the remnant of Israel.—§Micah§ ii. 12.

          And the Temple again shall be built,
            And filled as it was of yore;
          And the burden be lift from the heart of the world,
            And the nations all adore;
          Prayers to the throne of Heaven,
            Morning and eve shall rise,
          And unto and not of the Lamb
            Shall be the sacrifice.—§Festus.§

      In many strange and Gentile lands          Micah v. 8.
        Where Jacob’s scattered sons are driven, Jer. xxiii. 8.
      With longing eyes and lifted hands,        Lam. i. 17.
        They wait Messiah’s sign from heaven.    Matth. xxiv. 30

      The cup of fury they have quaffed,         Isa. li. 17.
        Till fainted like a weary flock;         Isa. li. 20.
      But Heaven will soon withdraw the draught, Isa. li. 22.
        And give them waters from the rock.      Exod. xvii. 6.

      What though their bodies, as the ground,   Isa. li. 23.
        Th’ Assyrian long has trodden o’er!      Isa. lii. 4.
      Zion, a captive daughter bound,            Isa. lii. 2.
        Shall rise to know her wrong no more.    Isa. liv. 3, 4.

      The veil is passing from her eyes,         2 Cor. iii. 16.
        The King of Nations she shall see;       Zech. xiv. 9.
      Judea! from the dust arise!                Isa. lii. 2.
        Thy ransomed sons return to thee!        Jer. xxxi. 17.

      How gorgeous shall thy land appear,        Isa. liv. 12.
        When, like the jewels of a bride,        Isa. xlix. 18.
      Thy broken bands, all gathered there,      Zech. xi. 14.
        Shall clothe thy hills on every side!    Isa. xlix. 18.

      When on thy mount, as prophets taught,     Isa. xxiv. 23.
        Shall shine the throne of David’s Son;   Ezek. xxxvii. 22.
      The Gospel’s latest triumphs brought       Micah iv. 2.
        Where first its glorious course begun.   Luke xxiv. 47.

      Gentiles and Kings, who thee oppressed,    Isa. lx. 14.
        Shall to thy gates with praise repair;   Isa. lx. 11.
      A fold of flocks shall Sharon rest,        Isa. lxv. 10.
        And clustered fruits its vineyard bear.  Joel ii. 22.

      Then shall an Eden morn illume             Isa. li. 3.
        Earth’s fruitful vales, without a thorn: Isa. lv. 13.
      The wilderness rejoice and bloom,          Isa. xxxv. 1.
        And nations in a day be born.            Zech. ii. 11.

      The §Lord§ his holy arm makes bare;        Isa. lii. 10.
        Zion! thy cheerful songs employ!         Zeph. iii. 14.
      Thy robes of bridal beauty wear,           Isa. lii. 1.
        And shout, ye ransomed race, for joy!    Isa. lii. 9.

                            Macaronic Verse.

                         “A TREATISE OF WINE.”

The following specimen of macaronic verse, from the commonplace book of
Richard Hilles, who died in 1535, is probably the best of its kind
extant. The scriptural allusions and the large intermixture of Latin
evidently point to the refectory of some genial monastery as its

               The best tree if ye take intent,
                 Inter ligna fructifer,
               Is the vine tree by good argument,
                 Dulcia ferens pondera.

               Saint Luke saith in his Gospel,
                 Arbor fructu noscitu,
               The vine beareth wine as I you tell,
                 Hinc aliis præponitur.

               The first that planted the vineyard,
                 Manet in cœli gaudi,
               His name was Noe, as I am learned,
                 Genesis testimonio.

               God gave unto him knowledge and wit,
                 A quo procedunt omni,
               First of the grape wine for to get,
                 Propter magna mysteria.

               The first miracle that Jesus did,
                 Erat in vino rube,
               In Cana of Galilee it betide,
                 Testante Evangelio.

               He changed water into wine,
                 Aquæ rubescunt hydri,
               And bade give it to Archetcline,
                 Ut gustet tunc primarie.

               Like as the rose exceedeth all flowers,
                 Inter cuncta floriger,
               So doth wine all other liquors,
                 Dans multa salutifera.

               David, the prophet, saith that wine
                 Lætificat cor homini,
               It maketh men merry if it be fine,
                 Est ergo digni nominis.

               It nourisheth age if it be good,
                 Facit ut esset juveni,
               It gendereth in us gentle blood,
                 Nam venas purgat sanguinis.

               By all these causes ye should think
                 Quæ sunt rationabile,
               That good wine should be best of all drink
                 Inter potus potabiles.

               Wine drinkers all, with great honor,
                 Semper laudate Dominu,
               The which sendeth the good liquor
                 Propter salutem hominum.

               Plenty to all that love good wine,
                 Donet Deus largiu,
               And bring them some when they go hence,
                 Ubi non sitient amplius.

                     THE SUITOR WITH NINE TONGUES.

                  Τι σοι λεγω, μειρακιον,
                  Now that this fickle heart is won?
                  Me semper amaturam te
                  And never, never, never stray?
                  Herzschätzchen, Du verlangst zu viel
                  When you demand so strict a seal.
                  N’est-ce pas assez que je t’aime
                  Without remaining still the same?
                  Gij daarom geeft u liefde niet
                  If others may not have a treat.
                  Muy largo es mi corazon,
                  And fifty holds as well as one.
                  Non far nell’ acqua buco che
                  I am resolved to have my way;
                  Im lo boteach atta bi,
                  I’m willing quite to set you free:
                  Be you content with half my time,
                  As half in English is my rhyme.


                Blest man, who far from busy hum,
                Ut prisca gens mortalium,
                Whistles his team afield with glee
                Solutus omni fenore:
                He lives in peace, from battles free,
                Nec horret iratum mare;
                And shuns the forum, and the gay
                Potentiorum limina.
                Therefore to vines of purple gloss
                Altas maritat populos,
                Or pruning off the boughs unfit
                Feliciores inserit.

                       *       *       *       *       *

                Alphius the usurer, babbled thus,
                Jam jam futurus rusticus,
                Called in his cast on th’Ides—but he
                Quærit Kalendis ponere.

                           CONTENTI ABEAMUS.

               Come, jocund friends, a bottle bring,
                 And push around the jorum;
               We’ll talk and laugh, and quaff and sing,
                 Nunc suavium amorum.

               While we are in a merry mood,
                 Come, sit down ad bibendum;
               And if dull care should dare intrude,
                 We’ll to the devil send him.

               A moping elf I can’t endure
                 While I have ready rhino;
               And all life’s pleasures centre still
                 In venere ac vino.

               Be merry then, my friends, I pray,
                 And pass your time in joco,
               For it is pleasant, as they say,
                 Desipere in loco.

               He that loves not a young lass
                 Is sure an arrant stultus,
               And he that will not take a glass
                 Deserves to be sepultus.

               Pleasure, music, love and wine
                 Res valde sunt jucundæ,
               And pretty maidens look divine,
                 Provided ut sunt mundæ.

               I hate a snarling, surly fool,
                 Qui latrat sicut canis,
               Who mopes and ever eats by rule,
                 Drinks water and eats panis.

               Give me the man that’s always free,
                 Qui finit molli more,
               The cares of life, what’er they be;
                 Whose motto still is “Spero.”

               Death will turn us soon from hence,
                 Nigerrimas ad sedes;
               And all our lands and all our pence
                 Ditabunt tune heredes.

               Why should we then forbear to sport?
                 Dum vivamus, vivamus,
               And when the Fates shall cut us down
                 Contenti abeamus.

                          FLY-LEAF SCRIBBLING.

                       Iste liber pertinet,
                     And bear it well in mind,
                       Ad me, Johannem Rixbrum,
                     So courteous and so kind.
                       Quem si ego perdam,
                     And by you it shall be found,
                       Redde mihi iterum,
                     Your fame I then will sound.
                       Sed si mihi redeas,
                     Then blessed thou shalt be,
                       Et ago tibi gratias
                     Whenever I thee see.

                         THE CAT AND THE RATS.

                 Felis sedit by a hole,
                 Intentus he, cum omni soul,
                       Prendere rats
                 Mice cucurrerunt trans the floor,
                 In numero duo, tres, or more—
                       Obliti cats.

                 Felis saw them, oculis;
                 “I’ll have them,” inquit he, “I guess,
                       Dum ludunt.”
                 Tunc ille crept toward the group,
                 “Habeam,” dixit, “good rat soup—
                       Pingues sunt.”

                 Mice continued all ludere,
                 Intenti they in ludum vere,
                 Tunc rushed the felis into them,
                 Et tore them omnes limb from limb,


                      Mures omnes, nunc be shy,
                      Et aurem præbe mihi,
                      Sit hoc satis—“verbum sat,”
                      Avoid a whopping big tom-cat

                         POLYGLOT INSCRIPTION.

The following advertisement in five languages, is inscribed on the
window of a public house in Germany:—

                In questa casa trovarete
                Toutes les choses que vous souhaitez;
                Vinum bonum, costas, carnes,
                Neat post-chaise, and horse and harness.
                Βους, ὄρνιθές, ἴχθυς, ἄρνες.

                      PARTING ADDRESS TO A FRIEND,

Written by a German gentleman on the termination of a very agreeable,
but brief acquaintance.

            I often wished I had a friend,
            Dem ich mich anvertrauen könnt’,
            A friend in whom I could confide,
            Der mit mir theilte Freud und Leid;
            Had I the riches of Girard—
            Ich theilte mit ihm Haus und Heerd;
            For what is gold? ’tis but a passing metal,
            Der Henker hol’ für mich den ganzen Bettel.
            Could I purchase the world to live in it alone,
            Ich gäb’ dafür nicht eine hohle Bohn’;
            I thought one time in you I’d find that friend,
            Und glaubte schon mein Sehnen hät ein End;
            Alas! your friendship lasted but in sight,
            Doch meine grenzet an die Ewigkeit.

                               AM RHEIN.

               Oh, the Rhine—the Rhine—the Rhine—
                 Comme c’est beau! wie schön! che bello!
               He who quaffs thy Luft und Wein,
                 Morbleu! is a lucky fellow.

               How I love thy rushing streams,
                 Groves of ash and birch and hazel,
               From Schaffhausen’s rainbow beams
                 Jusqu’à l’écho d’Oberwesel!

               Oh, que j’aime thy Brüchen when
                 The crammed Dampfschiff gayly passes!—
               Love the bronzed pipes of thy men,
                 And the bronzed cheeks of thy lasses!

               Oh, que j’aime the “oui,” the “bah,”
                 From thy motley crowds that flow,
               With the universal “ja,”
                 And the allgemeine “so”!

                     THE DEATH OF THE SEA SERPENT.

 Arma virumque cano, qui first in Monongahela
 Tarnally squampushed the sarpent, mittens horrentia tella.
 Musa, look sharp with your Banjo! I guess to relate this event, I
 Shall need all the aid you can give; so nunc aspirate canenti.
 Mighty slick were the vessels progressing, Jactata per æquora ventis,
 But the brow of the skipper was sad, cum solicitudine mentis;
 For whales had been scarce in those parts, and the skipper, so long as
    he’d known her,
 Ne’er had gathered less oil in a cruise to gladden the heart of her
 “Darn the whales,” cries the skipper at length, “with a telescope forte
 Aut pisces, aut terras.” While speaking, just two or three points on the
    lea bow,
 He saw coming towards them as fast as though to a combat ’twould tempt
 A monstrum horrendum informe (qui lumen was shortly ademptum).
 On the taffrail up jumps in a hurry, dux fortis, and seizing a trumpet,
 Blows a blast that would waken the dead, mare turbat et aera rumpit—
 “Tumble up all you lubbers,” he cries, “tumble up, for careering before
 Is the real old sea sarpent himself, cristis maculisque decorus.”
 “Consarn it,” cried one of the sailors, “if e’er we provoke him he’ll
    kill us,
 He’ll certainly chaw up hos morsu, et longis, implexibus illos.”
 Loud laughs the bold skipper, and quick premit alto corde dolorem;
 (If he does feel like running, he knows it won’t do to betray it before
 “O socii”, inquit. “I’m sartin you’re not the fellers to funk, or
 Shrink from the durem certamen, whose fathers fit bravely at Bunker
 You, who have waged with the bears, and the buffalo, prœlia dura,
 Down to the freshets, and licks of our own free enlightened Missourer;
 You could whip your own weight, catulus sævis sine telo,
 Get your eyes skinned in a twinkling, et ponite tela phæsello!”
 Talia voce refert, curisque ingentibus æger,
 Marshals his cute little band, now panting their foes to beleaguer
 Swiftly they lower the boats, and swiftly each man at the oar is,
 Excipe Britanni timidi duo, virque coloris.

 (Blackskin, you know, never feels, how sweet, ’tis pro patria mori;
 Ovid had him in view when he said, “Nimium ne crede colori.”)
 Now swiftly they pull towards the monster, who seeing the cutter and gig
 Glares at them with terrible eyes, suffectis sanguine et igni,
 And, never conceiving their chief will so quickly deal him a floorer,
 Opens wide to receive them at once, his linguis vibrantibis ora;
 But just as he’s licking his lips, and gladly preparing to taste ’em,
 Straight into his eyeball the skipper stridentem conjicit hastam.
 Straight as he feels in his eyeball the lance, growing mightly sulky,
 At ’em he comes in a rage, ora minax, lingua trusulca.
 “Starn all,” cry the sailors at once, for they think he has certainly
    caught ’em,
 Præsentemque viris intentant omnia mortem.
 But the bold skipper exclaims, “O terque quaterque beati!
 Now with a will dare viam, when I want you, be only parati;
 This hoss feels like raising his hair, and in spite of his scaly old
 Full soon you shall see that his corpse rapidus vorat æquore vortex.”
 Hoc ait, and choosing a lance: “With this one I think I shall hit it,
 He cries, and straight into his mouth, ad intima viscera mittit.”
 Screeches the creature in pain, and writhes till the sea is commotum,
 As if all its waves had been lashed in a tempest por Eurum et Notum.
 Interea terrible shindy Neptunus sensit, et alto
 Prospiciens sadly around, wiped his eye with the cuff of his paletôt;
 And, mad at his favorite’s fate, of oaths uttered one or two thousand,
 Such as “Corpo di Bacco! Mehercle! Sacre! Mille Tonnerres! Potztausend!”
 But the skipper, who thought it was time to this terrible fight dare
 With a scalping-knife jumps on the neck of the snake secat et dextrâ
 And hurling the scalp in the air, half mad with delight to possess it,
 Shouts “Darn it—I’ve fixed up his flint, for in ventos vita recessit!”

                     Concatenation or Chain Verse.

                         LASPHRISE’S NOVELTIES.

Lasphrise, a French poet of considerable merit, claims the invention of
several singularities in verse, and among them the following, in which
it will be found that the last word of every line is the first word of
the following line:—

            Falloit-il que le ciel me rendit amoureux,
            Amoureaux, jouissant d’une beauté craintive,
            Craintive à recevoir douceur excessive,
            Excessive au plaisir qui rend l’amant heureux?
            Heureux si nous avions quelques paisibles lieux,
            Lieux où plus surement l’ami fidèle arrive,
            Arrive sans soupçon de quelque ami attentive,
            Attentive à vouloir nous surprendre tous deux.

Subjoined are examples in our own vernacular:—

                               TO DEATH.

               The longer life, the more offence;
                 The more offence, the greater pain;
               The greater pain, the less defence;
                 The less defence, the lesser gain—
               The loss of gain long ill doth try,
               Wherefore, come, death, and let me die.

               The shorter life, less count I find;
                 The less account, the sooner made;
               The count soon made, the merrier mind;
                 The merrier mind doth thought invade—
               Short life, in truth, this thing doth try,
               Wherefore, come, death, and let me die.

               Come, gentle death, the ebb of care;
                 The ebb of care the flood of life;
               The flood of life, the joyful fare;
                 The joyful fare, the end of strife—
               The end of strife that thing wish I,
               Wherefore, come, death and let me die.


                 Nerve thy soul with doctrines noble,
                   Noble in the walks of Time,
                 Time that leads to an eternal,
                   An eternal life sublime;
                 Life sublime in moral beauty,
                   Beauty that shall ever be,
                 Ever be to lure thee onward,
                   Onward to the fountain free;
                 Free to every earnest seeker,
                   Seeker at the Fount of Youth,
                 Youth exultant in its beauty,
                   Beauty found in the quest of Truth.

                             TRYING SKYING.

                 Long I looked into the sky,
                   Sky aglow with gleaming stars,
                 Stars that stream their courses high,
                   High and grand, those golden cars,
                 Cars that ever keep their track,
                   Track untraced by human ray,
                 Ray that zones the zodiac,
                   Zodiac with milky-way,
                 Milky-way where worlds are sown,
                   Sown like sands along the sea,
                 Sea whose tide and tone e’er own,
                   Own a feeling to be free,
                 Free to leave its lowly place,
                   Place to prove with yonder spheres,
                 Spheres that trace athrough all space,
                   Space and years—unspoken years.

                            A RINGING SONG.

The following gem is from an old play of Shakspeare’s time, called _The
True Trojans_:—

                The sky is glad that stars above
                  Do give a brighter splendor;
                The stars unfold their flaming gold,
                  To make the ground more tender:
                The ground doth send a fragrant smell,
                  That air may be the sweeter;
                The air doth charm the swelling seas
                  With pretty chirping metre;
                The sea with rivers’ water doth
                  Feed plants and flowers so dainty;
                The plants do yield their fruitful seed,
                  That beasts may live in plenty;
                The beasts do give both food and cloth,
                  That men high Jove may honor;
                And so the World runs merrily round,
                  When Peace doth smile upon her!
                Oh, then, then oh! oh then, then oh!
                  This jubilee last forever;
                That foreign spite, or civil fight,
                  Our quiet trouble never!

                              Bouts Rimés.

Bouts Rimés, or Rhyming Ends, afford considerable amusement. They are
said by Goujet to have been invented by Dulot, a French poet, who had a
custom of preparing the rhymes of sonnets, leaving them to be filled up
at leisure. Having been robbed of his papers, he was regretting the loss
of three hundred sonnets. His friends were astonished that he had
written so many of which they had never heard. “They were blank
sonnets,” said he, and then explained the mystery by describing his
“Bouts Rimés.” The idea appeared ridiculously amusing, and it soon
became a fashionable pastime to collect some of the most difficult
rhymes, and fill up the lines. An example is appended:—


The rhymes may be thus completed:—

                  Tender-handed stroke a nettle,
                    And it stings you for your pains;
                  Grasp it like a man of mettle,
                    And it soft as silk remains.
                  ’Tis the same with common natures,
                    Use them kindly, they rebel;
                  But be rough as nutmeg-graters,
                    And the rogues obey you well.

A sprightly young belle, who was an admirer of poetry, would often tease
her beau, who had made some acquaintance with the muses, to write verses
for her. One day, becoming quite importunate, she would take no denial.
“Come, pray, do now write some poetry for me—won’t you? I’ll help you
out. I’ll furnish you with rhymes if you will make lines for them. Here

                             please, moan,
                             tease,  bone.”

He at length good-humoredly complied, and filled up the measure as

         To a form that is faultless, a face that must—please,
         Is added a restless desire to—tease;
         O, how my hard fate I should ever be—moan,
         Could I but believe she’d be bone of my—bone!

Mr. Bogart, a young man of Albany, who died in 1826, at the age of
twenty-one, displayed astonishing facility in impromptu writing.

It was good-naturedly hinted on one occasion that his “impromptus” were
prepared beforehand, and he was asked if he would submit to the
application of a test of his poetic abilities. He promptly acceded, and
a most difficult one was immediately proposed.

Among his intimate friends were Col. J. B. Van Schaick and Charles Fenno
Hoffman, both of whom were present. Said Van Schaick, taking up a copy
of Byron, “The name of Lydia Kane” (a lady distinguished for her beauty
and cleverness, who died a few years ago, but who was then just blushing
into womanhood) “has in it the same number of letters as a stanza of
Childe Harold has lines: write them down in a column.” They were so
written by Bogart, Hoffman, and himself. “Now,” he continued, “I will
open the poem at random; and for the ends of the lines in Miss Lydia’s
_Acrostic_ shall be used the words ending those of the verse on which my
finger may rest.” The stanza thus selected was this:—

    And must they fall, the young, the proud, the brave,
    To swell one bloated chief’s unwholesome reign?
    No step between submission and a grave?
    The rise of rapine and the fall of Spain?
    And doth the Power that man adores ordain
    Their doom, nor heed the suppliant’s appeal?
    Is all that desperate valor acts in vain?
    And counsel sage, and patriotic zeal,
    The veteran’s skill, youth’s fire, and manhood’s heart of steel?

The following stanza was composed by Bogart within the succeeding ten
minutes,—the period fixed in a wager,—finished before his companions had
reached a fourth line, and read to them as here presented:[6]—

        L ovely and loved, o’er the unconquered         brave
        Y our charms resistless, matchless girl, shall  reign!
        D ear as the mother holds her infant’s          grave
        I n Love’s own region, warm, romantic           Spain!
        A nd should your fate to court your steps       ordain,
        K ings would in vain to regal pomp              appeal,
        A nd lordly bishops kneel to you in             vain,
        N or valor’s fire, law’s power, nor churchman’s zeal
        E ndure ’gainst love’s (time’s up!) untarnished steel.

Footnote 6:

  The truth of this circumstance was confirmed by Mr. Hoffman in the
  course of a conversation upon that and similar topics several years

The French also amuse themselves with _bouts rimés retournés_, in which
the rhymes are taken from some piece of poetry, but the order in which
they occur is reversed. The following example is from the album of a
Parisian lady of literary celebrity, the widow of one of the Crimean
heroes. The original poem is by Alfred de Musset, the _retournés_ by
Marshal Pelissier, who improvised it at the lady’s request. In the
translation which ensues, the reversed rhymes are carefully preserved.

                             BY DE MUSSET.

                 Quand la fugitive espérance
                 Nous pousse le coude en passant,
                 Puis à tire d’ailes s’élance
                 Et se retourne en souriant,
                 Où va l’homme? où son cœur l’appelle;
                 L’hirondelle suit le zéphir,
                 Et moins légère est l’hirondelle
                 Que l’homme qui suit son désir.
                 Ah! fugitive enchanteresse,
                 Sais-tu seulement ton chemin?
                 Faut-il donc que le vieux destin
                 Ait une si jeune maîtresse!

                     BY PELISSIER, DUC DE MALAKOFF.

                  Pour chanter la jeune maîtresse
                  Que Musset donne au vieux destin,
                  J’ai trop parcouru de chemin
                  Sans atteindre l’enchanteresse;
                  Toujours vers cet ancien désir
                  J’ai tendu comme l’hirondelle,
                  Mais sans le secours du zéphir
                  Qui la porte où son cœur l’appelle.
                  Adieu, fantôme souriant,
                  Vers qui la jeunesse s’élance,
                  La raison me crie en passant;
                  Le souvenir vaut l’espérance.


                When Hope, a fugitive, retreating
                Elbows us, as away she flies,
                Then swift returns, another greeting
                To offer us with laughing eyes.
                Man goeth when his heart is speaking,
                The swallows through the zephyrs dart,
                And man, who’s every fancy seeking,
                Hath yet a more inconstant heart.
                Enchantress, fugitive, coquetting!
                Know’st thou then true, alone, thy way?
                Hath then stern Fate, so old and gray,
                So young a mistress never fretting?

                            REVERSED RHYMES.

              To sing the mistress, never fretting,
              Musset gives Fate, so old and gray,
              Too long I’ve travelled on my way,
              And ne’er attained her dear coquetting.
              To find that longing of the heart,
              I’ve been, like yonder swallow, seeking,
              Yet could not through the zephyrs dart,
              Nor reach the wish the heart is speaking.
              Adieu then, shade, with laughing eyes,
              Towards whom youth ever sends its greeting;
              Better, cries Reason, as she flies,
              Remembrance now, than Hope retreating.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Among the eccentricities of literature may be classed _Rhopalic verses_,
which begin with a monosyllable and gradually increase the length of
each successive word. The name was suggested by the shape of Hercules’
club, ῥόπαλον. Sometimes they run from the butt to the handle of the
club. Take as an example of each,—

              Rem tibi confeci, doctissime, dulcisonoram.
              Vectigalibus armamenta referre jubet Rex.

                           Emblematic Poetry.

         A pair of scissors and a comb in verse.—§Ben Jonson.§

    On their fair standards by the wind displayed,
    Eggs, altars, wings, pipes, axes, were portrayed.—_Scribleriad._

The quaint conceit of making verses assume grotesque shapes and devices,
expressive of the theme selected by the writer, appears to have been
most fashionable during the seventeenth century. Writers tortured their
brains in order to torture their verses into all sorts of fantastic
forms, from a flowerpot to an obelisk, from a pin to a pyramid. Hearts
and fans and knots were chosen for love-songs; wineglasses, bottles, and
casks for Bacchanalian songs; pulpits, altars, and monuments for
religious verses and epitaphs. Tom Nash, according to Disraeli, says of
Gabriel Harvey, that “he had writ verses in all kinds: in form of a pair
of gloves, a pair of spectacles, a pair of pot-hooks, &c.” Puttenham, in
his _Art of Poesie_, gives several odd specimens of poems in the form of
lozenges, pillars, triangles, &c. Butler says of Benlowes, “the
excellently learned,” who was much renowned for his literary freaks, “As
for temples and pyramids in poetry, he has outdone all men that way; for
he has made a _grid-iron_ and a _frying-pan_ in verse, that, besides the
likeness in shape, the very tone and sound of the words did perfectly
represent the noise made by these utensils! When he was a captain, he
made all the furniture of his horse, from the bit to the crupper, the
beaten poetry, every verse being fitted to the proportion of the thing,
with a moral allusion to the sense of the thing: as the _bridle of
moderation_, the _saddle of content_, and the _crupper of constancy_; so
that the same thing was the epigram and emblem, even as a mule is both
horse and ass.” Mr. Alger tells us that the Oriental poets are fond of
arranging their poems in the form of drums, swords, circles, crescents,
trees, &c., and that the Alexandrian rhetoricians used to amuse
themselves by writing their satires and invectives in the shape of an
axe or a spear. He gives the following erotic triplet, composed by a
Hindu poet, the first line representing a bow, the second its string,
the third an arrow aimed at the heart of the object of his passion:—


  O lovely maid, thou art the fairest slave in all God’s mart!
  Those charms to win, with all my empire I would gladly part.
  One kiss I send, to pierce, like fire, thy too reluctant heart.

                            THE WINE GLASS.

                  Who  hath  woe?   Who  hath  sorrow?
                   Who    hath    contentions?    Who
                    hath   wounds   without   cause?
                     Who  hath   redness  of  eyes?
                      They that tarry  long at the
                       wine!  They   that  go  to
                        seek  mixed  wine.  Look
                         not   thou   upon  the
                          wine when it is red,
                           when it giveth its
                            color   in   the
                                when it
                             moveth itself
                                the last
                            it biteth like a
                  serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

The following specimen of this affectation was written by George Wither,
who lived from 1588 to 1677. It is called by Mr. Ellis a

                           RHOMBOIDAL DIRGE.

                         Sweet groves, to you!
                     You hills that highest dwell,
                   And all  you humble  vales, adieu!
               You  wanton  brooks  and solitary  rocks,
           My dear companions all, and you my tender flocks!
  Farewell, my pipe! and all those pleasing songs whose moving strains
  Delighted  once  the fairest  nymphs  that  dance  upon  the plains.
           You discontents, whose deep and over-deadly smart
               Have without pity broke the truest heart,
                   Sighs, tears, and every sad annoy,
                     That erst did  with me dwell,
                         And    others    joy,

The Christian monks of the Middle Ages, who amused themselves similarly,
preferred for their hymns the form of

                               THE CROSS.

                         Blest they  who seek,
                         While in their youth,
                         With   spirit   meek,
                         The  way   of  truth.
             To  them the  Sacred Scriptures  now  display,
             Christ  as  the  only  true  and  living  way:
             His  precious  blood   on  Calvary  was  given
             To make them heirs of endless bliss in heaven.
             And e’en on  earth the child of  God can trace
             The glorious blessings  of his Saviour’s face.
                         For   them  He   bore
                         His  Father’s  frown,
                         For   them  He   wore
                         The   thorny   crown;
                         Nailed to  the cross,
                         Endured   its   pain,
                         That his  life’s loss
                         Might be  their gain.
                         Then haste  to choose
                         That   better   part—
                         Nor    dare    refuse
                         The Lord  your heart,
                         Lest   He   declare,—
                         “I  know   you  not;”
                         And   deep    despair
                         Shall  be  your  lot.
            Now  look  to   Jesus   who  on  Calvary  died,
            And trust on Him alone who there was crucified.

                              TWO THIEVES.

                                      ◊ INRI ◊
                    ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊      ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊
                    ◊ My God! My God!          vers of my tears ◊
                    ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊      ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊
     I come to Thee;                  ◊      ◊  bow down thy blessed ears
     To hear me wretch, oh,           ◊      ◊  let thine eyes, which sleep
     Did never close,                 ◊      ◊  behold a sinner weep.
     Let not, O God!                  ◊      ◊  my God! my faults, though great
     And numberless, bet              ◊  w   ◊  een thy mercy-seat
     And my poor soul be t            ◊  h   ◊  rown, since we are taught,
               ◊◊◊◊◊◊                 ◊      ◊                    ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊
               ◊    ◊                 ◊      ◊                    ◊     ◊
         ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊    ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊           ◊      ◊               ◊◊◊◊◊◊     ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊
 Thou,   ◊ Lord! remember ◊ est th    ◊  y   ◊ ne,           ◊  if thou beest ◊ sought.
         ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊    ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊           ◊      ◊               ◊◊◊◊◊◊     ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊
 I co          ◊ me ◊ not, Lord wit   ◊  h   ◊ any o              ◊ the ◊ r merit
 Then          ◊ wh ◊ at I by my S    ◊  a   ◊ viour              ◊ Ch  ◊ rist inherit;
 Be th         ◊ en ◊ his wound       ◊  s   ◊ my balm, his st    ◊ ri  ◊ pes my bliss,
 My crown his  ◊ th ◊ orns, my dea    ◊  t   ◊ h be lo            ◊ st  ◊ in his,
 And th        ◊ ou ◊ my bles         ◊  t   ◊ Redeemer,          ◊ Sa  ◊ viour God!
 Quit my ac    ◊ co ◊ unts, with      ◊  h   ◊ old thy            ◊  v  ◊ engeful rod;
 O beg for     ◊ me ◊ my h            ◊  o   ◊ pes on the         ◊  e  ◊ are set,
 Thou Chri     ◊ st ◊ forgi           ◊  v   ◊ e, as well as pay  ◊ th  ◊ e debt.
 The liv       ◊ in ◊ g fount, the li ◊  f   ◊ e, the wa          ◊  y  ◊ I know;
 And but       ◊ to ◊ thee            ◊  o   ◊ whither            ◊  s  ◊ hould I go?
 All o         ◊ th ◊ er helps a      ◊  r   ◊ e vain, giv        ◊  e  ◊ thine to me;
 For by th     ◊ y  ◊ cross my        ◊  s   ◊ aving hea          ◊  l  ◊ th must be.
 Oh hear       ◊ k  ◊ en then, wh     ◊  a   ◊ t I with           ◊  f  ◊ aith implore,
 Lest s        ◊ in ◊ and death sin   ◊  k   ◊ me forev           ◊  e  ◊ r more.
 Oh Lord! my   ◊ G  ◊ od! my way      ◊  e   ◊ s direct           ◊  a  ◊ nd keep,
 In            ◊ d  ◊ eath defe       ◊  n   ◊ d that from thee I ◊  n  ◊ e’er slip;
 And at the do ◊ om ◊ let             ◊  m   ◊ e be raise         ◊  d  ◊ then,
 To liv        ◊ e  ◊ with the        ◊  e.  ◊ Sweet Jes          ◊ us  ◊ say, Amen!
               ◊◊◊◊◊◊                 ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊                    ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊


The middle cross represents our Saviour; those on either side, the two
thieves. On the top and down the middle cross are our Saviour’s
expression, “My God! My God! why hast thou forsaken me?” and on the top
of the cross is the Latin inscription, “INRI”—Jesus Nazarenus Rex
Judæorum, _i.e._ Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. Upon the cross on
the right-hand is the prayer of one of the thieves:—“Lord! remember me
when thou comest into thy kingdom.” On the left-hand cross is the
saying, or reproach, of the other:—“If thou beest the Christ, save
thyself and us.” The whole, comprised together, makes a piece of
excellent poetry, which is to be read across all the columns, and makes
as many lines as there are letters in the alphabet. It is perhaps one of
the most curious pieces of composition to be found on record.

                            INGENIOUS CYPHER

The following was written by Prof. Whewell at the request of a young

                         U 0 a 0 but I 0 U,
                         O 0 no 0 but O 0 me;
                         O let not my 0 a 0 go.
                         But give 0 0 I 0 U so.

                          _Thus de-cyphered_:

          (You _sigh for_ a _cypher_, but I _sigh for_ you;
          O _sigh for_ no _cypher_, but O _sigh for_ me:
          O let not my _sigh for_ a _cypher_ go,
          But give _sigh for sigh, for_ I _sigh for_ you so.)


We once saw a young man gazing at the *ry heavens, with a † in 1 ☞ and a
︷ of pistols in the other. We endeavored to attract his attention by
.ing to a ¶ in a paper we held in our ☞, relating 2 a young man in that
§ of the country, who had left home in a state of mental derangement. He
dropped the † and pistols from his ☞☜ with the !

“It is I of whom U read. I left home be4 my friends knew of my design. I
had s0 the ☞ of a girl who refused 2 lis10 2 me, but smiled b9nly on
another. I ——ed madly from the house, uttering a wild ’ 2 the god of
love, and without replying 2 the ??? of my friends, came here with this
† & ︷ of pistols, 2 put a . 2 my existence. My case has no || in this

                              OXFORD JOKE.

A gentleman entered the room of Dr. Barton, Warden of Merton College,
and told him that Dr. Vowel was dead. “What!” said he, “Dr. Vowel dead!
well, thank heaven it was neither U nor I.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

In an old church in Westchester county, N. Y., the following consonants
are written beside the altar, under the Ten Commandments. What vowel is
to be placed between them, to make sense and rhyme of the couplet?

                 P. R. S. V. R. Y. P. R. F. C. T. M. N.
              V. R. K. P. T. H. S. P. R. C. P. T. S. T. N.

                      ESSAY TO MISS CATHARINE JAY.

                  An S A now I mean 2 write
                    2 U sweet K T J,
                  The girl without a ||,
                    The belle of U T K.

                  I 1 der if U got that 1
                    I wrote 2 U B 4
                  I sailed in the R K D A,
                    And sent by L N Moore.

                  My M T head will scarce contain
                    A calm I D A bright
                  But A T miles from U I must
                    M︷ this chance 2 write.

                  And 1st, should N E N V U,
                    B E Z, mind it not,
                  Should N E friendship show, B true;
                    They should not B forgot

                  From virt U nev R D V 8;
                    Her influence B 9
                  A like induces 10 dern S,
                    Or 40 tude D vine.

                  And if U cannot cut a ——
                    Or cut an !
                  I hope U’ll put a .
                    2 1 ?.

                  R U for an X ation 2,
                    My cous N?—heart and ☞
                  He off R’s in a ¶
                    A § 2 of land.

                  He says he loves U 2 X S,
                    U R virtuous and Y’s,
                  In X L N C U X L
                    All others in his i’s.

                  This S A, until U I C,
                    I pray U 2 X Q’s,
                  And do not burn in F E G
                    My young and wayward muse.

                  Now fare U well, dear K T J,
                    I trust that U R true—
                  When this U C, then you can say,
                    An S A I O U.


            “And ten low words oft creep in one dull line.”

Some of our best writers have very properly taken exception to the above
line in Pope’s Essay on Criticism, and have shown, by reference to
abundant examples, that many of the finest passages in our language are
nearly, if not altogether, monosyllabic. Indeed, it could not well be
otherwise, if it be true that, as Dean Swift has remarked, the English
language is “overstocked with monosyllables.” It contains more than five
hundred formed by the vowel _a_ alone; four hundred and fifty by the
vowel _e_; nearly four hundred by the vowel _i_; more than four hundred
by the vowel _o_; and two hundred and sixty by the vowel _u_; besides a
large number formed by diphthongs. Floy has written a lengthy and very
ingenious article, entirely in monosyllables, in which he undertakes, as
he says, to “prove that short words, in spite of the sneer in the text,
need not creep, nor be dull, but that they give strength, and life, and
fire to the verse of those who know how to use them.”

Pope himself, however, has confuted his own words by his admirable
writings more effectively than could be done by labored argument. Many
of the best lines in the Essay above referred to, as well as in the
Essay on Man,—and there are few “dull” or “creeping” verses to be found
in either,—are made up entirely of monosyllables, or contain but one
word of greater length, or a contracted word pronounced as one syllable.
The Universal Prayer—one of the most beautiful and elaborate pieces,
both in sentiment and versification, ever produced in any
language—contains three hundred and four words, of which there are two
hundred and forty-nine monosyllables to fifty-five polysyllables, thus
averaging but one of the latter to every line. A single stanza is
appended as a specimen:—

                   If I am right, thy grace impart
                     Still in the right to stay;
                   If I am wrong, oh, teach my heart
                     To find that better way!

Rogers, conversing on this subject, cited two lines from _Eloisa to
Abelard_, which he declared could not possibly be improved:—

             Pant on thy lip, and to thy heart be press’d;
             Give all thou canst—and let me dream the rest.

Among the illustrations employed by Floy, are numerous selections from
the hymnology in common congregational use, such as the following:—

             Sweet is the work, my God, my King,
             To praise thy name, give thanks, and sing;
             To show thy love by morning light,
             And talk of all thy truth at night.—§Watts.§

             Are there no foes for me to face?
               Must I not stem the flood?
             Is this vile world a friend to grace
               To help me on to God?—§Watts.§

             Save me from death; from hell set free;
             Death, hell, are but the want of thee:
             My life, my only heav’n thou art,—
             O might I feel thee in my heart!—§C. Wesley.§

The same writer, to show Shakspeare’s fondness for small words, and
their frequent subservience to some of his most masterly efforts, enters
upon a monosyllabic analysis of King Lear, quoting from it freely
throughout. Those who read the play with reference to this point will be
struck with the remarkable number of forcible passages made up of words
of one syllable:—

   Thou know’st the first time that we smell the air,
   We wawl and cry: I will preach to thee; mark me.
   When we are born, we cry that we are come
   To this great stage of fools.—This a good block?—_Act IV. Sc. 6._

The following occurs in the play of King John, where the King is pausing
in his wish to incite Hubert to murder Arthur:—

 Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so yet;
 But thou shalt have; and creep time ne’er so slow,
 Yet it shall come, for me to do thee good.
 I had a thing to say.—But let it go.—_Act III. Sc. 3._

 But who I was, or where, or from what cause,
 Knew not; to speak I tried, and forthwith spake
                 ——Thou sun, said I, fair light,
 And thou enlightened earth, so fresh and gay,
 Ye hills, and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains,
 And ye that live and move, fair creatures, tell,
 Tell, if ye saw how I came thus, how here?—
 Tell me, how may I know Him, how adore,
 From whom I have that thus I move and live?—_Paradise Lost, B. VIII._

Herrick says, in his address to the daffodils:—

          We have short time to stay as you,
            We have as short a spring;
          As quick a growth to meet decay
            As you or any thing.
                  We die
          As your hours do, and dry
            Like to the rain,
            Or as the pearls of dew.

      Now I am here, what thou wilt do for me,
        None of my books will show;
      I read, and sigh, and wish I were a tree,
        For sure I then should grow
      To fruit or shade: at least some bird might trust
      Her household to me, and I should be just.—§George Herbert.§

                  Thou who hast given me eyes to see
                    And love this sight so fair,
                  Give me a heart to find out Thee,
                    And read Thee everywhere.—§Keble.§

             The bell strikes one. We take no note of time
             Save by its loss; to give it then a tongue
             Were wise in man.—§Young.§

               Ah, yes! the hour is come
               When thou must haste thee home,
                 Pure soul! to Him who calls.
               The God who gave thee breath
               Walks by the side of death,
                 And naught that step appalls.—§Landor.§

   New light new love, new love new life hath bred;
     A life that lives by love, and loves by light;
   A love to Him to whom all loves are wed;
     A light to whom the sun is darkest night:
   Eye’s light, heart’s love, soul’s only life, He is;
   Life, soul, love, heart, light, eyes, and all are His;
   He eye, light, heart, love, soul; He all my joy and bliss.—
                                       §Fletcher’s§ _Purple Island_.

Bailey’s _Festus_, that extraordinary poem the perusal of which makes
the reader feel as if he had “eaten of the insane root that takes the
reason prisoner,” abounds with examples:—

            Night brings out stars as sorrow shows us truths:
            Though many, yet they help not; bright, they light not.
            They are too late to serve us; and sad things
            Are aye too true. We never see the stars
            Till we can see naught but them. So with truth.
            And yet if one would look down a deep well,
            Even at noon, we might see those same stars——

            Life’s more than breath, and the quick round of blood—
            We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths—
            We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
            Who thinks most—feels the noblest—acts the best.
            Life’s but a means unto an end—

      §Helen§ (_sings_.) Oh! love is like the rose,
                         And a month it may not see,
                         Ere it withers where it grows—

                         I loved thee from afar;
                         Oh! my heart was lift to thee
                         Like a glass up to a star—

                         Thine eye was glassed in mine
                         As the moon is in the sea,
                         And its shine is on the brine—

                         The rose hath lost its red,
                         And the star is in the sea,
                         And the briny tear is shed—

               §Festus.§ What the stars are to the night, my love,
                         What its pearls are to the sea,
                         What the dew is to the day, my love,
                               Thy beauty is to me.

               We may say that the sun is dead, and gone
               Forever; and may swear he will rise no more;
               The skies may put on mourning for their God,
               And earth heap ashes on her head; but who
               Shall keep the sun back when he thinks to rise?
               Where is the chain shall bind him? Where the cell
               Shall hold him? Hell he would burn down to embers,
               And would lift up the world with a lever of light
               Out of his way: yet, know ye, ’twere thrice less
               To do thrice this, than keep the soul from God.

Many of the most expressive sentences in the Bible are monosyllabic. A
few are subjoined, selected at random:—

  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the
  light, that it was good.—_Gen. I._

  At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he
  fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.—_Judges V._

  O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. O Lord,
  thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive,
  that I should not go down to the pit. Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints
  of his, and give thanks.—_Psalm XXX._

  And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?—_Ezek. XXXVII._

  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.—_1 Thess. V._

  For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him.—_2 Tim. II._

  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to
  stand?—_Rev. VI._

  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day; for there shall
  be no night there.—_Rev. XXI._

                       THE POWER OF SHORT WORDS.

    Think not that strength lies in the big round word,
      Or that the brief and plain must needs be weak.
    To whom can this be true who once has heard
      The cry for help, the tongue that all men speak,
    When want or woe or fear is in the throat,
      So that each word gasped out is like a shriek
    Pressed from the sore heart, or a strange wild note,
      Sung by some fay or fiend? There is a strength
    Which dies if stretched too far or spun too fine,
      Which has more height than breadth, more depth than length.
    Let but this force of thought and speech be mine,
      And he that will may take the sleek fat phrase
    Which glows and burns not, though it gleam and shine—
      Light, but no heat—a flash, but not a blaze!

    Nor is it mere strength that the short word boasts:
      It serves of more than fight or storm to tell,
    The roar of waves that clash on rock-bound coasts,
      The crash of tall trees when the wild winds swell,
    The roar of guns, the groans of men that die
      On blood-stained fields. It has a voice as well
    For them that far off on their sick-beds lie;
      For them that weep, for them that mourn the dead;
    For them that laugh and dance and clap the hand;
      To joy’s quick step, as well as grief’s slow tread,
    The sweet, plain words we learnt at first keep time,
      And though the theme be sad, or gay, or grand,
    With each, with all, these may be made to chime,
      In thought, or speech, or song, in prose or rhyme.
                              §Dr. Alexander§, _Princeton Magazine_.

                               The Bible.

      God’s cabinet of revealed counsel ’tis,
      Where weal and woe are ordered so
      That every man may know which shall be his;
      Unless his own mistake false application make.

      It is the index to eternity.
      He cannot miss of endless bliss,
      That takes this chart to steer by,
      Nor can he be mistook, that speaketh by this book.

      It is the book of God. What if I should
      Say, God of books, let him that looks
      Angry at that expression, as too bold,
      His thoughts in silence smother, till he find such another.

                         ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE.

One of the most remarkable results of modern research is the
confirmation of the accuracy of the historical books of the Old
Testament. The ruins of Babylon and Nineveh shed a light on those books
which no skepticism can invalidate. What surprises us most is their
marvellous accuracy in minute details, which are now substantiated by
recent discoveries. The fact seems to be that when writing was
laboriously performed on stone, men had an almost superstitious
conscientiousness in making their records true, and had not learned the
modern indifference to truth which our facile modes of communicating
thought have encouraged. A statement to be chiselled on rock must be
correct; a statement which can be written in five minutes is likely to
embody only first impressions, which may be amended in five minutes
thereafter. Hence it comes to pass that we know more exactly many things
which took place in the wars between Sennacherib and Hezekiah, than we
know what is the precise truth with regard to some of the occurrences in
the battle of Bunker’s Hill. Sir Henry Rawlinson, speaking of his
researches in Babylon, states that the name and situation of every town
of note in ancient Assyria, mentioned in the Bible, can be substantiated
by the ruins of that city. The visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon is
perfectly verified. The prosecution of the researches will be regarded
with great interest as corroborating the truth of Scripture.

An astonishing feature of the word of God is, notwithstanding the time
at which its compositions were written, and the multitude of the topics
to which it alludes, there is not one physical error,—not one assertion
or allusion disproved by the progress of modern science. None of those
mistakes which the science of each succeeding age discovered in the
books preceding; above all, none of those absurdities which modern
astronomy indicates in such great numbers in the writings of the
ancients,—in their sacred codes, in their philosophy, and even in the
finest pages of the fathers of the Church,—not one of these errors is to
be found in any of our sacred books. Nothing there will ever contradict
that which, after so many ages, the investigations of the learned world
have been able to reveal to us on the state of our globe, or on that of
the heavens. Peruse with care the Scriptures from one end to the other,
to find such blemishes, and, whilst you apply yourselves to this
examination, remember that it is a book which speaks of every thing,
which describes nature, which recites its creation, which tells us of
the water, of the atmosphere, of the mountains, of the animals, and of
the plants. It is a book which teaches us the first revolutions of the
world, and which also foretells its last. It recounts them in the
circumstantial language of history, it extols them in the sublimest
strains of poetry, and it chants them in the charms of glowing song. It
is a book which is full of Oriental rapture, elevation, variety, and
boldness. It is a book which speaks of the heavenly and invisible world,
whilst it also speaks of the earth and things visible. It is a book
which nearly fifty writers, of every degree of cultivation, of every
state, of every condition, and living through the course of fifteen
hundred years, have concurred to make. It is a book which was written in
the centre of Asia, in the sands of Arabia, in the deserts of Judea, in
the court of the Temple of the Jews, in the music-schools of the
prophets of Bethel and Jericho, in the sumptuous palaces of Babylon, and
on the idolatrous banks of Chebar; and finally, in the centre of Western
civilization, in the midst of the Jews and of their ignorance, in the
midst of polytheism and its sad philosophy. It is a book whose first
writer had been forty years a pupil of the magicians of Egypt, in whose
opinion the sun, the stars, and elements were endowed with intelligence,
reacted on the elements, and governed the world by a perpetual illuvium.
It is a book whose first writer preceded, by more than nine hundred
years, the most ancient philosophers of ancient Greece and Asia,—the
Thaleses, and the Pythagorases, the Zaleucuses, the Xenophons, and the
Confuciuses. It is a book which carries its narrations even to the
hierarchies of angels—even to the most distant epochs of the future, and
the glorious scenes of the last day. Well: search among its fifty
authors, search among its sixty-six books, its eleven hundred and
eighty-nine chapters, and its thirty-one thousand one hundred and
seventy-three verses; search for only one of those thousand errors which
the ancients and moderns have committed in speaking of the heavens or of
the earth—of their revolutions, of their elements; search—but you will
find none.

                     THE TESTIMONY OF LEARNED MEN.

§Sir William Jones’§ opinion of the Bible was written on the last leaf
of one belonging to him, in these terms:—“I have regularly and
attentively read these Holy Scriptures, and am of opinion that this
volume, independently of its Divine origin, contains more sublimity and
beauty, more pure morality, more important history and finer strains of
poetry and eloquence, than can be collected from all other books, in
whatever age or language they may have been composed.”

§Rousseau§ says, “This Divine Book, the only one which is indispensable
to the Christian, need only be read with reflection to inspire love for
its author, and the most ardent desire to obey its precepts. Never did
virtue speak so sweet a language; never was the most profound wisdom
expressed with so much energy and simplicity. No one can arise from its
perusal without feeling himself better than he was before.”

§Wilberforce§, in his dying hour, said to a friend, “Read the Bible. Let
no religious book take its place. Through all my perplexities and
distresses, I never read any other book, and I never knew the want of
any other. It has been my hourly study; and all my knowledge of the
doctrines, and all my acquaintance with the experience and realities, of
religion, have been derived from the Bible only. I think religious
people do not read the Bible enough. Books about religion may be useful
enough, but they will not do instead of the simple truth of the Bible.”

§Lord Bolingbroke§ declared that “the Gospel is, in all cases, one
continued lesson of the strictest morality, of justice, of benevolence,
and of universal charity.”

Similar testimony has been accorded in the strongest terms by §Locke§,
§Newton§, §Boyle§, §Selden§, §Salmasius§, §Sir Walter Scott§, and
numberless others.

§Daniel Webster§, having been commended for his eloquence on a memorable
occasion, replied, “If any thing I have ever said or written deserves
the feeblest encomiums of my fellow-countrymen, I have no hesitation in
declaring that for their partiality I am indebted, solely indebted, to
the daily and attentive perusal of the Holy Scriptures, the source of
all true poetry and eloquence, as well as of all good and all comfort.”

§John Quincy Adams§, in a letter to his son in 1811, says, “I have for
many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year.
My custom is to read four or five chapters every morning, immediately
after rising from my bed. It employs about an hour of my time, and seems
to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day. In whatsoever light
we regard the Bible, whether with reference to revelation, to history,
or to morality, it is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge
and virtue.”

§Addison§ says, in relation to the poetry of the Bible, “After perusing
the Book of Psalms, let a judge of the beauties of poetry read a literal
translation of Horace or Pindar, and he will find in these two last such
an absurdity and confusion of style, with such a comparative poverty of
imagination, as will make him sensible of the vast superiority of
Scripture style.”

§Lord Byron§, in a letter to Mrs. Sheppard, said, in reference to the
truth of Christianity, “Indisputably, the firm believers in the Gospel
have a great advantage over all others, for this simple reason:—that, if
true, they will have their reward hereafter; and if there be no
hereafter, they can be but with the infidel in his eternal sleep, having
had the assistance of an exalted hope through life, without subsequent
disappointment, since (at the worst, for them) out of nothing nothing
can arise,—not even sorrow.” The following lines of Walter Scott are
said to have been copied in his Bible:—

           Within this awful volume lies
           The mystery of mysteries.
           Oh! happiest they of human race,
           To whom our God has given grace
           To hear, to read, to fear, to pray,
           To lift the latch, and force the way;
           But better had they ne’er been born,
           Who read to doubt, or read to scorn.—_Monastery._

                      ENGLISH BIBLE TRANSLATIONS.

  Our version of the Bible is to be loved and prized for this, as for a
  thousand other things,—that it has preserved a purity of meaning to
  many terms of natural objects. Without this holdfast, our vitiated
  imaginations would refine away language to mere abstractions. Hence
  the French have lost their poetical language; and Blanco White says
  the same thing has happened to the Spanish.—§Coleridge.§

_Wickliffe’s Bible._—This was the first translation made into the
language. It was translated by John Wickliffe, about the year 1384, but
never printed, though there are manuscript copies of it in several
public libraries.

_Tyndale’s Bible._—The translation of William Tyndale, assisted by Miles
Coverdale, was the first printed Bible in the English language. The New
Testament was published in 1526. It was revised and republished in 1530.
In 1532, Tyndale and his associates finished the whole Bible, except the
Apocrypha, and printed it abroad.

_Matthews’ Bible._—While Tyndale was preparing a second edition of the
Bible, he was taken up and burned for heresy in Flanders. On his death,
Coverdale and John Rogers revised it, and added a translation of the
Apocrypha. It was dedicated to Henry VIII., in 1537, and was printed at
Hamburg, under the borrowed name of Thomas Matthews, whence it was
called Matthews’ Bible.

_Cranmer’s Bible._—This was the first Bible printed by authority in
England, and publicly set up in the churches. It was Tyndale’s version,
revised by Coverdale, and examined by Cranmer, who added a preface to
it, whence it was called Cranmer’s Bible. It was printed by Grafton, in
large folio, in 1539. After being adopted, suppressed, and restored
under successive reigns, a new edition was brought out in 1562.

_The Geneva Bible._—In 1557, the whole Bible in quarto was printed at
Geneva by Rowland Harte, some of the English refugees continuing in that
city solely for that purpose. The translators were Bishop Coverdale,
Anthony Gilby, William Whittingham, Christopher Woodman, Thomas Sampson,
and Thomas Cole—to whom some add John Knox, John Bodleigh, and John
Pullain, all zealous Calvinists, both in doctrine and discipline. But
the chief and most learned of them were the first three. Of this
translation there were about thirty editions, mostly printed by the
King’s and Queen’s printers, from 1560 to 1616. In this version, the
first distinction in verses was made. The following is a copy of the
title-page of the edition of 1559, omitting two quotations from the

                               THE BIBLE.
                            THAT IS. THE HO-
                         LY SCRIPTURES CONTEI-
                        NED IN THE OLDE AND NEWE
                          Translated According
            to the Ebrew and Greeke, and conferred with the
                 best translations in divers languages.
           With most profitable Annotations vpon all the hard
                 and other things of Great importance.
                          IMPRINTED AT LONDON
         by the Deputies of Christopher Barker, Printer to the
                    Queenes most excellent Maiestie,
                            Cum priuilegio.

To some editions of the Geneva Bible, one of which is this of 1599, is
subjoined Beza’s translation of the new text into English by L. Tomson,
who was under-secretary to Sir Francis Walsingham. But, though he
pretends to translate from Beza, he has seldom varied a word from the
Geneva translation. Dr. Geddes gives honorable testimony to the last
Geneva version, as he does not hesitate to declare that he thinks it in
general better than that of the King James translators. Our readers will
hardly agree with him when they read some extracts from it appended in a
succeeding paragraph.

The typographical appearance of this work is quite a curiosity. Like
most of the old books, it is well printed, and is ornamented with the
pen. The head and foot rules, as well as the division of the columns,
are made with the pen in red ink. The title-page is quite profusely
ornamented with red lines.

This translation of the Bible is known as “the breeches Bible,” from the
following rendering of Genesis iii. 7:—

  Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were
  naked; and they sewed fig tree leaves together, and made themselves

A peculiarity in this Bible is the substitution of the letter _v_ for
_u_, and, _vice versa_, _u_ for _v_. The name of Eve is printed Heuah
(Hevah); Cain is printed Kain; Abel, Habel; Enoch, Henock; Isaac, Ishak;
Hebrew, Ebrew, &c. The translations of many of the passages differ
materially from our received version. The following will serve as

  Thus he cast out man; and at the East side of the garden of Eden he
  set the cherubims, and the blade of a sword shaken, to keep the way of
  the tree of life.—Genesis iii. 24.

  Then it repented the Lorde that he had made man in the earth, and he
  was sorie in his heart.—Gen. vi. 6.

  Make thee an Arkee of pine trees; thou shalt make cabins in the Arkee,
  and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. Thou shalt make it
  with the lower, second and third roome.—Gen. vi. 14, 10.

  And he said, Hagar, Sarais maide, whence comest thou? & whether wilt
  thou go? and she said, I flee from my dame Sarai.—Gen. xvi. 8.

  When Abram was ninetie years old & nine, the Lord appeared to Abram,
  and said unto him, I am God all sufficient, walke before me, and be
  thou upright.—Gen. xvii. 1.

  Then Abraham rose vp from the sight of his corps, and talked with the
  Hittites, saying, I am a stranger and a forreiner among you, &c.—Gen.
  xxiii. 3, 4.

  Then Abraham yielded the spirit and died in a good age, an olde man,
  and of great yeeres, and was gathered to his people.—Gen. xxv. 8.

  As many were astonied at thee (his visage was so deformed of men, and
  his forme of the sonnes of men) so shall hee spunckle many
  nations.—Isa. lii. 14. This chapter has but fourteen verses in it.

  Can the blacke Moore change his skinne? or the leopard his spots?—Jer.
  xiii. 23.

  And after those days we trussed up our fardles, and went up to
  Jerusalem.—Acts xxi. 15.

  But Jesus sayde vnto her, Let the children first bee fed; for it is
  not good to take the childrens bread, and to cast it unto whelps. Then
  shee answered, and said unto him, Truthe, Lorde; yet in deede the
  whelps eate under the table of the childrens crummes.—Mark vii. 27,

  And she broght forth her fyrst begotten sonne, and wrapped him in
  swadlyng clothes, and layd him in a cretche, bccause there was no
  rowme for them with in the ynne.—Luke ii. 7.

_The Bishops’ Bible._—Archbishop Parker engaged bishops and other
learned men to bring out a new translation. They did so in 1568, in
large folio. It made what was afterwards called the great English Bible,
and commonly the Bishops’ Bible. In 1589 it was published in octavo, in
small, but fine black letter. In it the chapters were divided into
verses, but without any breaks for them.

_Matthew Parker’s Bible._—The Bishops’ Bible underwent some corrections,
and was printed in large folio in 1572, and called Matthew Parker’s
Bible. The version was used in the churches for forty years.

_The Douay Bible._—The New Testament was brought out by the Roman
Catholics in 1582, and called the Rhemish New Testament. It was
condemned by the Queen of England, and copies were seized by her
authority and destroyed. In 1609 and 1610, the Old Testament was added,
and the whole published at Douay, hence called the Douay Bible.

_King James’s Bible._—The version now in use was brought out by King
James’s authority in 1611. Fifty-four learned men were employed to
accomplish the work of revising it. From death or other cause, seven of
them failed to enter upon it. The remaining forty-seven were ranged
under six divisions, and had different portions of the Bible assigned to
those divisions. They commenced their task in 1607. After some three or
four years of diligent labor, the whole was completed. This version was
generally adopted, and the other translations fell into disuse. It has
continued in use until the present time.


 Books in the Old Testament        39│In the New      27│Total        66
 Chapters                         929│In the New     260│Total     1,189
 Verses                        23,214│In the New   7,959│Total    31,173
 Words                        592,439│In the New 181,253│Total   773,692
 Letters                    2,728,100│In the New 838,380│Total 3,566,480


 Chapters                         183│Verses       6,081│Words   152,185

The middle chapter and the least in the Bible is Psalm cxvii.

The middle verse is the eighth of Psalm cxviii.

The middle line is in 2d Chronicles, 4th chapter, 16th verse.

The word _and_ occurs in the Old Testament 35,543 times.

The same in the New Testament, 10,684.

The word _Jehovah_ occurs 6,855 times.

                             OLD TESTAMENT.

The middle book is Proverbs.

The middle chapter is Job xxix.

The middle verse is in 2d Chronicles, 20th chapter, between the 17th and
18th verses.

The least verse is in 1st Chronicles, 1st chapter, and 25th verse.

                             NEW TESTAMENT.

The middle book is the 2d epistle to Thessalonians.

The middle chapter is between the 13th and 14th of Romans.

The middle verse is the 17th chapter of Acts, and 17th verse.

The least verse is the 11th chapter of John, verse 35.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The 21st verse of the 7th chapter of Ezra has all the letters of the
alphabet in it.

The 19th chapter of the 2d book of Kings, and the 37th of Isaiah, are

                  *       *       *       *       *

N.B.—Three years are said to have been spent in this curious but idle

                      DISTINCTIONS IN THE GOSPELS.

1. In regard to their external features and characteristics:

The point of view of the first gospel is mainly Israelitic; of the
second, Gentile; of the third, universal; of the fourth, Christian.

The general aspect, and so to speak, physiognomy of the first, mainly,
is oriental; of the second, Roman; of the third, Greek; of the fourth,

The style of the first is stately and rhythmical; of the second, terse
and precise; of the third, calm and copious; of the fourth, artless and

The striking characteristic of the first is symmetry; of the second
compression; of the third, order; of the fourth, system.

The thought and language of the first are both Hebraistic; of the third,
both Hellenistic; while in the second, thought is often accidental
though the language is Hebraistic; and in the fourth, the language is
Hellenistic, but the thought Hebraistic.

2. In respect to their subject-matter and contents:

In the first gospel, narrative; in the second, memoirs; in the third,
history; in the fourth, dramatic portraiture.

In the first we often have the record of events in their accomplishment;
in the second, events in detail; in the third, events in their
connection; in the fourth, events in relation to the teaching springing
from them.

Thus in the first we often meet with the notice of impressions; in the
second, of facts; in the third, of motives; in the fourth, of words

And, lastly, the record of the first is mainly collective, and often
antithetical; of the second, graphic and circumstantial; of the third,
didactic and reflective; of the fourth, selective and supplemental.

3. In respect to their portraiture of our Lord:

The first presents him to us mainly as the Messiah; the second, mainly
as the God-man; the third, as the Redeemer; the fourth, as the only
begotten Son of God.


1. The Prophecy of Enoch. See Epistle to Jude, 14.

2. The Book of the Wars of the Lord. See Numb. xxi. 14.

3. The Prophetical Gospel of Eve, which relates to the Amours of the
Sons of God with the Daughters of Men. See Origen cont. Celsum, Tertul.

4. The Book of Jasher. See Joshua x. 13; and 2 Samuel i. 18.

5. The Book of Iddo the Seer. See 2 Chronicles ix. 29, and xii. 15.

6. The Book of Nathan the Prophet. See as above.

7. The Prophecies of Ahijah, the Shilonite. See as above.

8. The acts of Rehoboam, in Book of Shemaiah. See 2 Chronicles xii. 15.

9. The Book of Jehu the Son of Hanani. See 2 Chronicles xx. 34.

10. The Five Books of Solomon, treating on the nature of trees, beasts,
fowl, serpents, and fishes. See 1 Kings iv. 33.

11. The 151st Psalm.

                           THE WORD “SELAH.”

The translators of the Bible have left the Hebrew word Selah, which
occurs so often in the Psalms, as they found it, and of course the
English reader often asks his minister, or some learned friend, what it
means. And the minister or learned friend has most often been obliged to
confess ignorance, because it is a matter in regard to which the most
learned have by no means been of one mind. The Targums, and most of the
Jewish commentators, give to the word the meaning of _eternally
forever_. Rabbi Kimchi regards it as a sign to elevate the voice. The
authors of the Septuagint translation appear to have considered it a
musical or rhythmical note. Herder inclines to the opinion that it
indicates a change of tone, which is expressed either by increase of
force, or by a transition into another time and mode. Matheson thinks it
is a musical note, equivalent, perhaps, to the word _repeat_. According
to Luther and others, it means _silence_. Gesenius explains it to mean,
“Let the instruments play and the singers stop.” Wocher regards it as
equivalent to _sursum corda_,—up, my soul! Sommer, after examining all
the seventy-four passages in which the word occurs, recognizes in every
case “an actual appeal or summons to Jehovah.” They are calls for aid,
and prayers to be heard, expressed either with entire directness, or if
not in the imperative, Hear, Jehovah! or Awake, Jehovah, and the like,
still, earnest addresses to God that he would remember and hear, &c. The
word itself he considers indicative of a blast of trumpets by the
priests, Selah being an abridged expression for Higgaion Selah,—Higgaion
indicating the sound of the stringed instruments, and Selah a vigorous
blast of trumpets.

                        HEXAMETERS IN THE BIBLE.

                            _In the Psalms._

 Gōd cāme | ūp wĭth ă | shōut: ōur | Lōrd wĭth thĕ | sōund ŏf ă |
 Thēre ĭs ă | rīvĕr thĕ | flōwĭng whĕre- | ōf shāll | glāddĕn thĕ |
 Hăllĕ- | lūjăh thĕ | cīty̆ ŏf | Gōd! Jē- | hōvăh hăth | blēst hēr.‖

                        _In the New Testament._

 Art thŏu hĕ | thāt shōuld | cōme, ōr | dō wē | loōk fŏr ă- | nōthēr?‖
 Hūsbānds, | lōve yoūr | wīves, ānd | bē nōt | bīttĕr ă- | gāinst thēm.‖
 Blēss’d ăre thĕ | pōor īn | spīrĭt, fŏr | thēirs ĭs thĕ | kĭngdŏm ŏf |

Mr. Coleridge, whose enthusiastic and reverential admiration of the
rhetorical beauty and poetic grandeur with which the Bible abounds,—all
the more beautiful and the more sublime because casual and unsought by
the sacred writers,—took great delight in pointing out the _hexametrical
rhythm_ of numerous passages, particularly in the book of Isaiah:—

 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, | O earth: for the Lord hath spoken.
 I have nourished and brought up children, | and they have rebelled
    against me.
 The ox knoweth his owner, | and the ass his master’s crib:
 But Israel doth not know, | my people doth not consider.

Winer points out the following hexameters in the original Greek version
of the New Testament:—

 Κρῆτες ἀ | εὶ ψεῦ | σται, κακἀ | θηρία | γαστέρες | ἀργαί.—Titus i. 12.

  Πᾶσα δό | σις ἀγα | θὴ καὶ | πᾶν δώ | ρημα τέ | λειον,—James i. 17.

 Καὶ τροχι | ὰς ὀρ | θὰς ποι | ήσατε | τοῖς ποσὶν | ὑμῶν,—Heb. xii 13.


The prominent characteristic of the Hebrew poetry is what Bishop Lowth
entitles _Parallelism_, that is, a certain equality, resemblance, or
relationship, between the members of each period; so that in two lines,
or members of the same period, things shall answer to things, and words
to words, as if fitted to each other by a kind of rule or measure. The
Psalms, Proverbs, Solomon’s Song, Job, and all the Prophets, except
Daniel and Jonah, abound with instances.

It is in a great measure owing to this form of composition that our
admirable authorized version, though executed in prose, retains so much
of a poetical cast; for, being strictly word for word after the
original, the form and order of the original sentences are preserved;
which, by this artificial structure, this regular alternation and
correspondence of parts, makes the ear sensible of a departure from the
common style and tone of prose.

The different kinds of parallels are illustrated in the following

                 _Parallels Antithetic._—Prov. x. 1, 7.

           A wise son maketh a glad father;
           But a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
           The memory of the just is blessed;
           But the name of the wicked shall rot.

                _Parallels Synthetic._—Prov. vi. 16–19.

               These six things doth the Lord hate;
               Yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
               A proud look, a lying tongue,
               And hands that shed innocent blood,
               A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,
               Feet that be swift in running to mischief,
               A false witness that speaketh lies,
               And he that soweth discord among brethren.

                    _Constructive._—Psalm xix. 7–9.

     The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
     The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
     The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
     The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
     The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
     The judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.

                 _Parallels Synonymous._—Psalm xx. 1–4.

               The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble;
               The name of the God of Jacob defend thee;
               Send thee help from the sanctuary,
               And strengthen thee out of Zion;
               Remember all thine offerings,
               And accept thy burnt sacrifice;
               Grant thee according to thine own heart,
               And fulfil all thy counsel.

                       _Gradational._—Psalm i. 1.

                  Blessed is the man
            That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
            Nor standeth in the way of sinners,
            Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

             _Parallels Introverted._—Prov. xxiii. 15, 16.

                My son, if thy heart be wise,
                      My heart shall rejoice, even mine;
                      Yea, my reins shall rejoice
                When thy lips speak right things.

It may be objected to Hebrew poetry, says Gilfillan, that it has no
regular rhythm except a rude parallelism. What then? Must it be,
therefore, altogether destitute of music? Has not the rain a rhythm of
its own, as it patters on the pane, or sinks on the bosom of its kindred
pool? Has not the wind a harmony, as it bows the groaning woods, or
howls over the mansions of the dead? Have not the waves of ocean their
wild bass? Has not the thunder its own deep and dreadful organ-pipe? Do
they speak in rhyme? Do they murmur in blank verse? Who taught them to
begin in Iambics, or to close in Alexandrines? And shall not God’s own
speech have a peculiar note, no more barbarous than is the voice of the
old woods or the older cataracts?

Besides, to call parallelism a coarse or uncouth rhythm, betrays an
ignorance of its nature. Without entering at large on the subject of
Hebrew versification, we may ask any one who has paid even a slight
attention to the subject, if the effect of parallels such as the
foregoing examples, perpetually intermingled as they are, be not to
enliven the composition, often to give distinctness and precision to the
train of thought, to impress the sentiments upon the memory, and to give
out a harmony which, if inferior to rhyme in the compression produced by
the difficulty (surmounted) of uniting varied sense with recurring
sound, and in the pleasure of surprise; and to blank verse, in freedom,
in the effects produced by the variety of pause, and in the force of
long and linked passages, as well as of insulated lines, is less slavish
than the one, and less arbitrary than the other? Unlike rhyme, its point
is more that of thought than of language; unlike blank verse, it never
can, however managed, degenerate into heavy prose. Such is parallelism,
which generally forms the differential quality of the poetry of
Scripture, although there are many passages in it destitute of this aid,
and which yet, in the spirit they breathe, and the metaphors by which
they are garnished, are genuine and high poetry. And there can be little
question that in the parallelism of the Hebrew tongue we can trace many
of the peculiarities of modern writing, and in it find the fountain of
the rhythm, the pomp and antithesis, which lend often such grace, and
always such energy, to the style of Johnson, of Junius, of Burke, of
Hall, of Chalmers,—indeed, of most writers who rise to the grand swells
of prose-poetry.

                          SIMILARITY OF SOUND.

There is a remarkable similarity of sound in a passage in the Second
Book of Kings, ch. iii. v. 4, to the metrical rhythm of Campbell’s
_Battle of the Baltic_:—

                      A hundred thousand lambs,
                      And a hundred thousand rams,
                        With the wool.

                     By each gun the lighted brand,
                     In a bold determined hand,
                     And the Prince of all the land
                       Led them on.


An English minister, Rev. T. R. Eaton, has written a work entitled
_Shakspeare and the Bible_, for the purpose of showing how much
Shakspeare was indebted to the Bible for many of his illustrations,
rhythms, and even modes of feeling. The author affirms that, in storing
his mind, the immortal bard went first to the word, and then to the
works, of God. In shaping the truths derived from these sources, he
obeyed the instinct implanted by Him who had formed him Shakspeare.
Hence his power of inspiring us with sublime affection for that which is
properly good, and of chilling us with horror by his fearful
delineations of evil. Shakspeare perpetually reminds us of the Bible,
not by direct quotations, indirect allusion, borrowed idioms, or
palpable imitation of phrase or style, but by an elevation of thought
and simplicity of diction which are not to be found elsewhere. A
passage, for instance, rises in our thoughts, unaccompanied by a clear
recollection of its origin. Our first impression is that it must belong
either to the Bible or Shakspeare. No other author excites the same
feeling in an equal degree. In Shakspeare’s plays religion is a vital
and active principle, sustaining the good, tormenting the wicked, and
influencing the hearts and lives of all.

Although the writer carries his leading idea too far, by straining
passages to multiply the instances in which Shakspeare has imitated
scriptural sentences in thought and construction, and by leading his
readers to infer that it was from the Bible Shakspeare drew not only his
best thoughts, but in fact his whole power of inspiring us with
affection for good and horror for evil, it is certainly true that some
hundreds of Biblical allusions, however brief and simple, show
Shakspeare’s conversance with the Bible, his fondness for it, and the
almost unconscious recurrence of it in his mind. The following examples
of his parallelisms will be found interesting:—

  _Othello._—Rude am I in my speech.—i. 3.

  But though I be rude in speech.—2 Cor. xi. 6.

  _Witches._—Show his eyes and grieve his heart.—_Macbeth_, iv. 1.

  Consume thine eyes and grieve thine heart.—1 Sam. ii. 33.

  _Macbeth._—Lighted fools the way to dusty death.—v. 5.

  Thou hast brought me into the dust of death.—Ps. xxii. 15.

Dusty death alludes to the sentence pronounced against Adam:—

  Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.—Gen. iii. 19.

  _Macbeth._—Life’s but a walking shadow.—v. 5.

  Man walketh in a vain show.—Ps. xxxix. 6.

  _Prince of Morocco._—Mislike me not for my complexion,
    The shadow’d livery of the burnished sun.—_Merch. Ven._ ii. 1.

  Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon
    me.—Sol. Song, i. 6.

  _Othello._—I took by the throat, the circumcised dog, and smote
     him.—v. 2.

  I smote him, I caught him by his beard and smote him, and slew him.—1
    Sam. xvii. 35.

  _Macbeth._—Let this pernicious hour stand aye accursed in the
     calendar.—iv. 1.

  Opened Job his mouth and cursed his day; let it not be joined unto the
    days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months.—Job
    iii. 1, 6.

  _Hamlet._—What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason, how
    infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how express and
    admirable! In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a
    God! The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!—ii. 2.

  What is man, that thou art mindful of him? For thou hast made him a
    little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and
    honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy
    hands.—Ps. viii. 4, 5, 6.

  _Macbeth._—We will die with harness on our back.—v. 5.

  Nicanor lay dead in his harness.—2 Maccabees xv. 28.

  _Banquo._—Woe to the land that’s governed by a child.

  Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child.—Eccles. x. 16.

  _Banquo._—In the great hand of God I stand.—_Macbeth_, ii. 3.

  Thy right hand hath holden me up.—Ps. xviii. 35.

  Man the image of his Maker.—_Henry VIII._, iii. 2.—_Gen. I._ 27.

  Blessed are the peacemakers.—_2 Henry VI._, ii. 1.—_Matt. V._ 29.

  And when he falls he falls like Lucifer.—_Henry VIII._, iii. 2.

  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!—Isaiah
    xiv. 12.

  No, Bolingbroke, if ever I were traitor,
  My name be blotted from the book of life.—_Richard II._, i. 3.

  Whose names were not written in the book of life.—Rev. xx., xxi.

  Swear by thy gracious self.—_Romeo and Juliet_, ii. 2.

  He could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.—Heb. vi. 13.

  My stay, my guide, and lantern to my feet.—_2 Henry VI._, ii. 3.

  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.—Ps. cxix.

  Who can call him his friend that dips in the same dish?—_Timon of
    Athens_, iii. 2.

  He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray
    me.—Matt. xxvi. 23.

  You shall see him a palm in Athens again, and flourish with the
    highest.—_Timon of Athens_, v. 1.

  The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree.—Ps. xcii. 12.

  It is written, they appear to men like angels of light.—_Com. of
    Errors_, iv. 3

  Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.—2 Cor. xi. 14.

                  And lose my way
  Among the thorns and dangers of this world.—_King John_, iv. 3.

  Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward.—Prov. xxii. 5.

  When we first put this dangerous stone a rolling,
  ’Twould fall upon ourselves.—_Henry VIII._, v. 2.

  He that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.—Prov. xxvi. 27.

The speech of Ulysses, in “Troilus and Cressida,” i. 3, is almost a
paraphrase of St. Luke xxi. 25, 26:—

                     But when the planets
           In evil mixture to disorder wander,
           What plagues, and what portents! What mutiny!
           What raging of the sea! Shaking of earth!
           Commotion in the winds! frights, changes, horrors,
           Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
           The unity and married calm of states
           Quite from their fixture.

  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the
    stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the
    sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and
    for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for
    the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

_Hermia_ and _Lear_ both use an expression derived from the same

  _Hermia._—An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
    Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.—_Mid. N. Dream_, iii.

  _Lear._—Struck me with her tongue,
    Most serpent-like, upon the very heart.—ii. 4.

  They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is
    under their lips.—Ps. cxl. 3.

  _Lear._—All the stored vengeances of heaven fall on her ingrateful
    top.—ii. 4.

  As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of
    their own lips cover them.—Ps. cxl. 9.

  _Fool to King Lear._—We’ll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee
    there’s no laboring in the winter.—ii. 4.

  The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the
    summer.—Prov. xxx. 25. See also Prov. vi. 6.

                       WHO IS THE TRUE GENTLEMAN?

The answer to this question will afford one of numberless instances that
can be adduced to show the superiority of inspired composition. Compare
Bishop Doane’s admired definition with that of the Psalmist:—

  A gentleman is but a _gentle_ man—no more, no less; a diamond polished
  that was a diamond in the rough: a gentleman is gentle; a gentleman is
  modest; a gentleman is courteous; a gentleman is generous; a gentleman
  is slow to take offence, as being one that never gives it; a gentleman
  is slow to surmise evil, as being one that never thinks it; a
  gentleman goes armed only in consciousness of right; a gentleman
  subjects his appetites; a gentleman refines his tastes; a gentleman
  subdues his feelings; a gentleman controls his speech; and finally, a
  gentleman deems every other better than himself.

In the paraphrase of Psalm xv. it is thus answered:—

                ’Tis he whose every thought and deed
                  By rules of virtue moves;
                Whose generous tongue disdains to speak
                  The thing his heart disproves.
                Who never did a slander forge,
                  His neighbor’s fame to wound,
                Nor hearken to a false report,
                  By malice whispered round.
                Who vice, in all its pomp and power,
                  Can treat with just neglect,
                And piety, though clothed in rags,
                  Religiously respect.
                Who to his plighted vows and trust
                  Has ever firmly stood;
                And though he promise to his loss,
                  He makes his promise good.
                Whose soul in usury disdains
                  His treasure to employ;
                Whom no rewards can ever bribe
                  The guiltless to destroy.


  “God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.”[7] From Sterno’s
  _Sentimental Journey to Italy_. Compare Isaiah xxvii. 8.

Footnote 7:

    In a collection of proverbs published in 1594, we find, “_Dieu
    mesure le vent à la brebis tondue_,” and Herbert has in his Jacula
    Prudentum, “To a close shorn sheep God gives wind by measure.”

  “In the midst of life we are in death.” From the Burial Service; and
  this, originally, from a hymn of Luther.

  “Bread and wine which the Lord hath commanded to be received.” From
  the English Catechism.

  “Not to be wise above what is written.” Not in Scripture.

  “That the Spirit would go from heart to heart as oil from vessel to
  vessel.” Not in Scripture.

  “The merciful man is merciful to his beast.” The scriptural form is,
  “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast.”—Prov. xii. 10.

  “A nation shall be born in a day.” In Isaiah it reads, “Shall a nation
  be born at once?”—lxvi. 8.

  “As iron sharpeneth iron, so doth a man the countenance of his
  friend.” “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of
  his friend.” Prov. xxvii. 17.

  “That he who runs may read.” “That he may run that readeth.”—Hab. ii.

  “Owe no man any thing but love.” “Owe no man any thing, but to love
  one another.”—Rom. xiii. 8.

  “Prone to sin as the sparks fly upward.” “Born unto trouble, as the
  sparks fly upward.”—Job v. 7.

  “Exalted to heaven in point of privilege.” Not in the Bible.

  Eve was not Adam’s _helpmate_, but merely a help meet for him; nor was
  Absalom’s long hair, of which he was so proud, the instrument of his
  destruction;[8] his head, and not the hair upon it, having been caught
  in the boughs of the tree. (2 Samuel xviii. 9.)

Footnote 8:

  A London periwig-maker once had a sign upon which was painted Absalom
  suspended from the branches of the oak by his hair, and underneath the
  following couplet:—

                  If Absalom hadn’t worn his own hair,
                  He’d ne’er been found a hanging there.

  “Money is the root of evil.” Paul said, I. Timothy, vi. 10, “The love
  of money is the root of all evil.”

  “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,” Gen. iii. 19.
  Commonly quoted “brow.”

  “Cleanliness akin to godliness.” Not in the Bible.

  Our Lord’s hearing the doctors in the Temple, and asking them
  questions, is frequently called his disputing with the doctors.

                           A SCRIPTURAL BULL.

In the book of Isaiah, chapter xxxvii. verse 36, is the following
confusion of ideas:—

  Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the
  Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and _when they
  arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses_.

                      WIT AND HUMOR IN THE BIBLE.

“Shocking!” many a good old saint will cry, at the very thought of it.
“The Bible a jest-book! What godless folly shall we have up next?” No,
the Bible is not a jest-book. But there is wit in it of the first
quality; and a good reason why it should be there. Take a few specimens.

Job, in his thirtieth chapter, is telling how he scorned the low-lived
fellows, who pretend to look down on him in his adversities. They are
fools. They belong to the long-eared fraternity. Anybody, with less wit,
might come out bluntly and call them asses. But Job puts it more deftly
(xxx. 7): “Among the bushes they _brayed_; under the _nettles_ they were
gathered together.” If that is not wit, there is no such thing as wit.
And yet the commentators don’t see it, or won’t see it. They are
perfectly wooden when they come to any such gleam of humor.

Take another instance—Elijah’s ridicule of the prophets of Baal. They
are clamoring to their god, to help them out of a very awkward
predicament. And, while they are at it, the prophet shows them up in a
way that must have made the people roar with laughter. The stiff,
antiquated style of our English Bible tames down his sallies. Take them
in modern phrase. These quack prophets have worked themselves into a
perfect desperation, and are capering about on the altar as if they had
the St. Vitus’s dance. The scene (I. Kings xviii. 26, 27) wakes up all
Elijah’s sense of the ridiculous. “Shout louder! He is a god, you know.
Make him hear! Perhaps he is chatting with somebody, or he is off on a
hunt, or gone traveling. Or maybe he is taking a nap. Shout away! Wake
him up!” Imagine the priests going through their antics on the altar,
while Elijah bombards them in this style, at his leisure.

Paul shows a dry humor more than once, as in II. Cor. xii. 13: “Why
haven’t you fared as well as the other churches? Ah! there is one
grievance—that you haven’t had _me to support_. Pray do not lay it up
against me!”

These instances might be multiplied from the Old and New Testaments
both. What do they show? That the Bible is, on the whole, a humorous
book? Far from it. That religion is a humorous subject—that we are to
throw all the wit we can into the treatment of it? No. But they show
that the sense of the ludicrous is put into a man by his Maker; that it
has its uses, and that we are not to be ashamed of it, or to roll up our
eyes in a holy horror of it.

                     THE OLD AND THE NEW TESTAMENT.

The name Old Testament was applied to the books of Moses by St. Paul
(II. Cor. iii. 14), inasmuch as the former covenant comprised the whole
scheme of the Mosaic revelation, and the history of this is contained in
them. The phrase “book of the covenant,” taken from Exod. xxiv. 7, was
transferred in the course of time by metonymy to signify the writings
themselves. The term New Testament has been in common use since the
third century, and was employed by Eusebius in the sense in which it is
now applied.

                           A SCRIPTURAL SUM.

                 Add to your faith, virtue;
                 And to virtue, knowledge;
                 And to knowledge, temperance:
                 And to temperance, patience;
                 And to patience, godliness;
                 And to godliness, brotherly kindness;
                 And to brotherly kindness, charity.

  _The Answer_:—For if these things be in you and abound, they make you
  that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our
  Lord Jesus Christ.—2 Peter i. 5, 8.


Bibliomancy, or divination by the Bible, had become so common in the
fifth century, that several councils were obliged expressly to forbid
it, as injurious to religion, and savoring of idolatry.

This kind of divination was named _Sortes Sanctorum_, or _Sortes Sacræ_,
Lots of the Saints, or Sacred Lots, and consisted in suddenly opening,
or dipping into, the Bible, and regarding the passage that first
presented itself to the eye as predicting the future lot of the
inquirer. The _Sortes Sanctorum_ had succeeded the _Sortes Homericæ_ and
_Sortes Virgilianæ_ of the Pagans; among whom it was customary to take
the work of some famous poet, as Homer or Virgil, and write out
different verses on separate scrolls, and afterwards draw one of them,
or else, opening the book suddenly, consider the first verse that
presented itself as a prognostication of future events. Even the vagrant
fortune-tellers, like some of the gypsies of our own times, adopted this
method of imposing upon the credulity of the ignorant. The nations of
the East retain the practice to the present day. The famous usurper,
Nadir Shah, twice decided upon besieging cities, by opening at random
upon verses of the celebrated poet Hafiz.

This abuse, which was first introduced into the church about the third
century, by the superstition of the people, afterwards gained ground
through the ignorance of some of the clergy, who permitted prayers to be
read in the churches for this very purpose. It was therefore found
necessary to ordain in the Council of Vannes, held §A.D.§ 465, “That
whoever of the clergy or laity should be detected in the practice of
this art should be cast out of the communion of the church.” In 506, the
Council of Agde renewed the decree; and in 578, the Council of Auxerre,
amongst other kinds of divination, forbade the Lots of the Saints, as
they were called, adding, “Let all things be done in the name of the
Lord;” but these ordinances did not effectually suppress them, for we
find them again noticed and condemned in a capitulary or edict of
Charlemagne, in 793. Indeed, all endeavors to banish them from the
Christian church appear to have been in vain for ages.

                            The Name of God.

          Tell them I AM, §Jehovah§ said
          To Moses, while earth heard in dread;
            And, smitten to the heart,
          At once, above, beneath, around,
          All nature, without voice or sound,
            Replied, O §Lord§! THOU ART!
                      _Christopher Smart, an English Lunatic._

It is singular that the _name of God_ should be spelled with _four
letters_ in almost every known language. It is in Latin, Deus; Greek,
Zeus; Hebrew, Adon; Syrian, Adad; Arabian, Alla; Persian, Syra;
Tartarian, Idga; Egyptian, Aumn, or Zeut; East Indian, Esgi, or Zenl;
Japanese, Zain; Turkish, Addi; Scandinavian, Odin; Wallachian, Zenc;
Croatian, Doga; Dalmatian, Rogt; Tyrrhenian, Eher; Etrurian, Chur;
Margarian, Oese; Swedish, Codd; Irish, Dich; German, Gott; French, Dieu;
Spanish, Dios; Peruvian, Lian.

The name _God_ in the Anglo-Saxon language means _good_, and this
signification affords singular testimony of the Anglo-Saxon conception
of the essence of the Divine Being. He is goodness itself, and the
Author of all goodness. Yet the idea of denoting the Deity by a term
equivalent to abstract and absolute perfection, striking as it may
appear, is perhaps less remarkable than the fact that the word _Man_,
used to designate a human being, formerly signified _wickedness_;
showing how well aware were its originators that our fallen nature had
become identified with sin.


The word _Elohim_, as an appellation of Deity, appears to have been in
use before the Hebrews had attained a national existence. That _Jehovah_
is specifically the God of the Hebrews is clear, from the fact that the
heathen deities never receive this name; they are always spoken of as
_Elohim_. Both the pronunciation and the etymological derivation of the
word _Jehovah_ are matters of critical controversy. The Jews of later
periods from religious awe abstained from pronouncing it, and whenever
it occurred in reading, substituted the word _Adonai_ (my Lord); and it
is now generally believed that the sublinear vowel signs attached to the
Hebrew tetragrammaton _Jhvh_ belong to the substituted word. Many
believe Jahveh to be the original pronunciation. The Hebrew root of the
word is believed to be the verb _havah_ or _hayah_, to be; hence its
meaning throughout the Scriptures, “the Being,” or “the Everlasting.”

                           GOD IN SHAKSPEARE.

Michelet (_Jeanne d’Arc_,) speaking of English literature, says that it
is “_Sceptique, judaique, satanique_.” In a note he says, “I do not
recollect to have seen the word §God§ in Shakspeare. If it is there at
all, it is there very rarely, by chance, and without a shadow of
religious sentiment.” Mrs. Cowden Clarke, by means of her admirable
_Concordance to Shakspeare_, enables us to weigh the truth of this
eminent French writer’s remark. The word §God§ occurs in Shakspeare
upwards of _one thousand times_, and the word heaven, which is so
frequently substituted for the word §God§—more especially in the
historical plays—occurs about _eight hundred times_. In the Holy
Scriptures, according to Cruden, it occurs about eight hundred times. It
is true that the word often occurs in Shakspeare without a reverential
sentiment; but M. Michelet says it never occurs with a religious feeling
(_un sentiment religieux_.) This statement is almost as erroneous as
that regarding the absence of the word. It would be easy for an English
scholar to produce from Shakspeare more passages indicative of deep
religious feeling than are to be found in any French writer whatever.

                    THE PARSEE, JEW, AND CHRISTIAN.

A Jew entered a Parsee temple, and beheld the sacred fire. “What!” said
he to the priest, “do you worship the fire?”

“Not the fire,” answered the priest: “it is to us an emblem of the sun,
and of his genial heat.”

“Do you then worship the sun as your god?” asked the Jew. “Know ye not
that this luminary also is but a work of that Almighty Creator?”

“We know it,” replied the priest: “but the uncultivated man requires a
sensible sign, in order to form a conception of the Most High. And is
not the sun the incomprehensible source of light, an image of that
invisible being who blesses and preserves all things?”

“Do your people, then,” rejoined the Israelite, “distinguish the type
from the original? They call the sun their god, and, descending even
from this to a baser object, they kneel before an earthly flame! Ye
amuse the outward but blind the inward eye; and while ye hold to them
the earthly, ye draw from them the heavenly light! ‘Thou shalt not make
unto thyself any image or any likeness.’”

“How do you name the Supreme Being?” asked the Parsee.

“We call him Jehovah Adonai, that is, the Lord who is, who was, and who
will be,” answered the Jew.

“Your appellation is grand and sublime,” said the Parsee; “but it is
awful too.”

A Christian then drew nigh, and said,—

“We call him §Father§.”

The Pagan and the Jew looked at each other, and said,—

“Here is at once an image and a reality: it is a word of the heart.”

Therefore they all raised their eyes to heaven, and said, with reverence
and love, “§Our Father!§” and they took each by the hand, and all three
called one another _brothers_!


[Illustration: IHS]

                           §De Nomine Jesu.§

         =I= n  rebus  tantis   trina  conjunctio  mund =I=
         =E= rigit  humanum   sensum,   laudare  venust =E=
         =S= ola salus nobis,  et mundi summa,  potesta =S=
         =V= enit   peccati  nodum   dissolvere   fruct =V=
         =S= umma salus cunctas nituit per secula terra =S=.[9]

Footnote 9:

       I n times momentous appeared the world’s triple conjunction,
       E ncouraging human hearts to shout melodious praises.
       S ole salvation for us, that power exalted ’bove measure,
       U nloosed the bonds of sin through the precious atonement.
       S alvation illumines all earth through ages unceasing.

The letters I. H. S. so conspicuously appended to different portions of
Catholic churches, are said to have been designed by St. Bernardine of
Sienna, to denote the name and mission of the Saviour. They are to be
found in a circle above the principal door of the Franciscan Church of
the Holy Cross, (_Santa Croce_,) in Florence, and are said to have been
put there by the saint on the termination of the plague of 1347, after
which they were commonly introduced into churches. The letters have
assigned to them the following signification:—

           Jesus hominum Salvator—Jesus, the Saviour of men.
           In hoc salus—In him is salvation.

A maker of playing-cards, which, like missels, were illuminated in those
times, was one day remonstrated with by St. Bernardine, upon the
sinfulness of his business. The card-maker pleaded the needs of his
family. “Well, I will help you,” said the saint, and wrote the letters
I. H. S., which he advised the card-maker to paint and gild. The new
card “took,” and the saint himself travelled about the country as a
poster of these little sacred handbills of the Church.

                          THE FLOWER OF JESSE.


                There is a flower sprung of a tree,
                The root of it is called Jesse,
                A flower of price,—
                There is none such in Paradise.

                Of Lily white and Rose of Ryse,
                Of Primrose and of Flower-de-Lyse,
                Of all flowers in my devyce,
                The flower of Jesse beareth the prize,
                      For most of all
                To help our souls both great and small.

                I praise the flower of good Jesse,
                Of all the flowers that ever shall be,
                Uphold the flower of good Jesse,
                And worship it for aye beautee;
                      For best of all
                That ever was or ever be shall.

                           BEAUTIFUL LEGEND.

One day Rabbi Judah and his brethren, the seven pillars of Wisdom, sat
in the Court of the Temple, on feast-day, disputing about §REST§. One
said that it was to have attained sufficient wealth, yet without sin.
The second, that it was fame and praise of all men. The third, that it
was the possession of power to rule the State. The fourth, that it
consisted only in a happy home. The fifth, that it must be in the old
age of one who is rich, powerful, famous, surrounded by children and
children’s children. The sixth said that all that were vain, unless a
man keep all the ritual law of Moses. And Rabbi Judah, the venerable,
the tallest of the brothers, said, “Ye have spoken wisely; but one thing
more is necessary. He only can find rest, who to all things addeth this,
that he keepeth the tradition of the elders.”

There sat in the Court a fair-haired boy, playing with some lilies in
his lap, and, hearing the talk, he dropped them with astonishment from
his hands, and looked up—that boy of twelve—and said, “Nay, nay,
fathers: he only findeth rest, who loveth his brother as himself, and
God with his whole heart and soul. He is greater than fame, and wealth,
and power, happier than a happy home, happy without it, better than
honored age; he is a law to himself, and above all tradition.” The
doctors were astonished. They said, “When Christ cometh, shall He tell
us greater things?” And they thanked God, for they said, “The old men
are not always wise, yet God be praised, that out of the mouth of this
young suckling has His praise become perfect.”

                           PERSIAN APOLOGUE.

In Sir William Jones’s Persian Grammar may be found the following
beautiful story from §Nisami§. Mr. Alger gives a metrical translation in
his _Poetry of the East_.

One evening Jesus arrived at the gates of a certain city, and sent his
disciples forward to prepare supper, while he himself, intent on doing
good, walked through the streets into the market-place.

And he saw at the corner of the market some people gathered together,
looking at an object on the ground; and he drew near to see what it
might be. It was a dead dog, with a halter around his neck, by which he
appeared to have been dragged through the dirt; and a viler, a more
abject, a more unclean thing never met the eyes of man.

And those who stood by looked on with abhorrence.

“Faugh!” said one, stopping his nose: “it pollutes the air.” “How long,”
said another, “shall this foul beast offend our sight?” “Look at his
torn hide,” said a third: “one could not even cut a shoe out of it.”
“And his ears,” said a fourth, “all draggled and bleeding.” “No doubt,”
said a fifth, “he has been hanged for thieving.”

And Jesus heard them, and looking down compassionately on the dead
creature, he said, “Pearls are not equal to the whiteness of his teeth!”

Then the people turned towards him with amazement, and said among
themselves, “Who is this? It must be Jesus of Nazareth, for only §HE§
could find something to pity and approve even in a dead dog.” And being
ashamed, they bowed their heads before him and went each on his way.


The following description is alleged to be derived from an ancient
manuscript sent by Publius Lentulus, President of Judea, to the Senate
of Rome:—

“There lives at this time in Judea, a man of singular character, whose
name is Jesus Christ. The barbarians esteem him as their prophet; but
his followers adore him as the immediate offspring of the immortal God.
He is endowed with such unparalleled virtue as to call back the dead
from their graves and to heal every kind of disease with a word or a
touch. His person is tall and elegantly shaped; his aspect, amiable and
reverend; his hair flows in those beauteous shades which no united
colors can match, falling in graceful curls below his ears, agreeably
couching on his shoulders, and parting on the crown of his head; his
dress, that of the sect of Nazarites; his forehead is smooth and large;
his cheeks without blemish, and of roseate hue; his nose and mouth are
formed with exquisite symmetry; his beard is thick and suitable to the
hair of his head, reaching a little below his chin, and parting in the
middle below; his eyes are clear, bright, and serene.

“He rebukes with mildness, and invokes with the most tender and
persuasive language,—his whole address, whether in word or deed, being
elegantly grave, and strictly characteristic of so exalted a being. No
man has seen him laugh, but the whole world beholds him weep frequently,
and so persuasive are his tears that the whole multitude cannot withhold
their tears from joining in sympathy with him. He is moderate,
temperate, and wise: in short, whatever the phenomenon may turn out in
the end, he seems at present to be a man of excellent beauty and divine
perfection, every way surpassing man.”

                     DEATH-WARRANT OF JESUS CHRIST.

Of the many interesting relics and fragments brought to light by the
persevering researches of antiquarians, none could be more interesting
to the philanthropist and believer than the following,—to Christians,
the most imposing judicial document ever recorded in human annals. It
has been thus faithfully transcribed:—

  Sentence rendered by Pontius Pilate, acting Governor of Lower Galilee,
    stating that Jesus of Nazareth shall suffer death on the cross.

In the year seventeen of the Emperor Tiberius Cæsar, and the 27th day of
March, the city of the holy Jerusalem—Annas and Caiaphas being priests,
sacrificators of the people of God—Pontius Pilate, Governor of Lower
Galilee, sitting in the presidential chair of the prætory, condemns
Jesus of Nazareth to die on the cross between two thieves, the great and
notorious evidence of the people saying:

1. Jesus is a seducer.

2. He is seditious.

3. He is the enemy of the law.

4. He calls himself falsely the Son of God.

5. He calls himself falsely the King of Israel.

6. He entered into the temple followed by a multitude bearing palm
branches in their hands.

  Orders the first centurion, Quilius Cornelius, to lead him to the
    place of execution.

  Forbids any person whomsoever, either poor or rich, to oppose the
    death of Jesus Christ.

The witnesses who signed the condemnation of Jesus are—

1. Daniel Robani, a Pharisee.

2. Joannus Robani.

3. Raphael Robani.

4. Capet, a citizen.

  Jesus shall go out of the city of Jerusalem by the gate of Struenus.

The foregoing is engraved on a copper plate, on the reverse of which is
written, “A similar plate is sent to each tribe.” It was found in an
antique marble vase, while excavating in the ancient city of Aquilla, in
the kingdom of Naples, in the year 1810, and was discovered by the
Commissioners of Arts of the French army. At the expedition of Naples,
it was enclosed in a box of ebony and preserved in the sacristy of the
Carthusians. The French translation was made by the Commissioners of
Arts. The original is in the Hebrew language.

                           DOUBLE HEXAMETER.

                      { nescis }                     { discis;
          Si Christum {        } nihil est si cætera {
                      { discis }                     { nescis.

                     ANTICIPATORY USE OF THE CROSS.

Madame Calderon de la Barca, in her _Life in Mexico_ (_pub. 1843_), says
that the symbol of the Cross was known to the Indians before the arrival
of Cortez. In the island of Cozumel, near Yucatan, there were several;
and in Yucatan[10] itself there was a stone cross. And there an Indian,
considered a prophet among his countrymen, had declared that a nation
bearing the same as a symbol should arrive from a distant country. More
extraordinary still was a temple dedicated to the Holy Cross by the
Toltec nation in the city of Cholula. Near Tulansingo there is also a
cross engraved on a rock with various characters. In Oajaca there was a
cross which the Indians from time immemorial had been accustomed to
consider as a divine symbol. By order of Bishop Cervantes it was placed
in a chapel in the cathedral. Information concerning its discovery,
together with a small cup, cut out of its wood, was sent to Rome to Paul
V., who received it on his knees, singing the hymn _Vexilla regis. etc._

Footnote 10:

  See also Prescott’s _Conquest of Mexico_, Vol. I. Bk. II. Chap. 4; and
  Stephens’ _Incidents of Travel in Yucatan_, Vol. II. Chap. 20.

                           The Lord’s Prayer.

  _The Lord’s Prayer alone is an evidence of the truth of
  Christianity,—so admirably is that prayer accommodated to all our
  wants._—§Lord Wellington.§

                              THY AND US.

The two divisions of the Lord’s Prayer—the former relating to the glory
of God, the latter to the wants of man—appear very evident on a slight
transposition of the personal pronouns:—

                  _Thy_ name be hallowed.
                  _Thy_ kingdom come.
                  _Thy_ will be done, &c.
                  _Us_ give this day our daily bread.
                  _Us_ forgive our debts, &c.
                  _Us_ lead not into temptation.
                  _Us_ deliver from evil.

                      SPIRIT OF THE LORD’S PRAYER.

The spirit of the Lord’s Prayer is beautiful. This form of petition

 A _filial_ spirit—Father.
 A _catholic_ spirit—Our Father.
 A _reverential_ spirit—Hallowed be Thy name.
 A _missionary_ spirit—Thy kingdom come.
 An _obedient_ spirit—Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
 A _dependent_ spirit—Give us this day our daily bread.
 A _forgiving spirit_—And forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.
 A _cautious_ spirit—And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from
 A _confidential_ and _adoring_ spirit—For thine is the kingdom, and the
    power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

                            GOTHIC VERSION.

Ulphilas, who lived between the years 310 and 388, was bishop of the
Western Goths, and translated the greater part of the Scriptures into
the Gothic language. The following is his rendering of the Lord’s

  Atta unsar thu in himinam. Weihnai namo thein. Quimai thiudinassus
  sijaima, swaswe jah weis afletam thaim skulam unsaraim. Jah ni
  briggais uns in fraistubujai. Ak lausei uns af thamma ubilin, unte
  theina ist thiudangardi, jah maths, jah wulthus in aiwins. Amen.

                           METRICAL VERSIONS.

              Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
              Thy kingdom come: thy will be done the same
              In earth and heaven. Give us daily bread;
              Forgive our sins as others we forgive.
              Into temptation let us not be led;
              Deliver us from evil while we live.
              For kingdom, power, and glory must remain
              For ever and for ever thine: Amen.

Here the sixty-six words of the original, according to the authorized
translation of St. Matthew’s version, are reduced to fifty-nine, though
the latter is fully implied in all points except two. “This day” is
omitted; but, if anything, the Greek is slightly approached, for
ἐπιούσιον refers rather to _to-morrow_ than to _to-day_. The antithesis
in “_But_ deliver us” does not appear: if the word deliver be
sacrificed, we may read, “But keep us safe.”

The subjoined metrical version of the Prayer is at least two and a half
centuries old, and was written for adaptation to music in public

               Our Father which in heaven art,
               All hallowed be thy name;
                 Thy kingdom come,
                 On earth thy will be done,
               Even as the same in heaven is.
               Give us, O Lord, our daily bread this day:
                 As we forgive our debtors,
                 So forgive our debts, we pray.
               Into temptation lead us not,
                 From evil make us free:
               The kingdom, power, and glory thine,
                 Both now and ever be.

The Prayer is commended for its authorship, its efficacy, its
perfection, the order of its parts, its brevity, and its necessity.

The following paraphrase, which has been set to music as a duet, is of
more recent origin:—

                Our Heavenly Father, hear our prayer:
                Thy name be hallowed everywhere;
                Thy kingdom come; on earth, thy will,
                E’en as in heaven, let all fulfill;
                Give this day’s bread, that we may live;
                Forgive our sins as we forgive;
                Help us temptation to withstand;
                From evil shield us by Thy hand;
                Now and forever, unto Thee,
                The kingdom, power, and glory be. Amen.

                        THE PRAYER ILLUSTRATED.

                     _Our Father._—Isaiah lxiii. 16.

 1. By right of creation.                       Malachi ii. 10.
 2. By bountiful provision.                     Psalm cxlv. 16.
 3. By gracious adoption.                       Ephesians i. 5.

                 _Who art in Heaven._—1 Kings viii. 43.

 1. The throne of thy glory.                    Isaiah lxvi. 1.
 2. The portion of thy children.                1 Peter i. 4.
 3. The temple of thy angels.                   Isaiah vi. 1.

                   Hallowed be thy Name.—Psalm cxv. 1.

 1. By the thoughts of our hearts.              Psalm lxxxvi. 11.
 2. By the words of our lips.                   Psalm li. 15.
 3. By the works of our hands.                  1 Corinthians x. 31.

                    _Thy Kingdom come._—Psalm cx. 2.

 1. Of Providence to defend us.                 Psalm xvii. 8.
 2. Of grace to refine us.                      1 Thessalonians v. 23.
 3. Of glory to crown us.                       Colossians iii. 4.

     _Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven._—Acts xxxi. 14.

 1. Towards us, without resistance.             1 Samuel iii. 18.
 2. By us, without compulsion.                  Psalm cxix. 36.
 3. Universally, without exception.             Luke i. 6.
 4. Eternally, without declension.              Psalm cxix. 93.

                   _Give us this day our daily bread._

 1. Of necessity, for our bodies.               Proverbs xxx. 8.
 2. Of eternal life, for our souls.             John vi. 34.

             _And forgive us our trespasses._—Psalm xxv. 11.

 1. Against the commands of thy law.            1 John iii. 4.
 2. Against the grace of thy gospel.            1 Timothy i. 13.

     _As we forgive them that trespass against us._—Matthew vi. 15.

 1. By defaming our characters.                 Matthew v. 11.
 2. By embezzling our property.                 Philemon 18.
 3. By abusing our persons.                     Acts vii. 60.

  _And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil._—Matthew
                                xxvi. 41.

 1. Of overwhelming afflictions.                Psalm cxxx. 1.
 2. Of worldly enticements.                     1 John ii. 16.
 3. Of Satan’s devices.                         1 Timothy iii. 7.
 4. Of error’s seduction.                       1 Timothy vi. 10.
 5. Of sinful affections.                       Romans i. 26.

 _For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever._—Jude

 1. Thy kingdom governs all.                    Psalm ciii. 19.
 2. Thy power subdues all.                      Philippians iii. 20, 21.
 3. Thy glory is above all.                     Psalm cxlviii. 13.

                        _Amen._—Ephesians i. 11.

 1. As it is in thy purposes.                   Isaiah xiv. 27.
 2. So is it in thy promises.                   2 Corinthians i. 20.
 3. So be it in our prayers.                    Revelation xxii. 20.
 4. So shall it be to thy praise.               Revelation xix. 4.

                         ACROSTICAL PARAPHRASE.

         §Our§ Lord and King, Who reign’st enthroned on high,
         §Father§ of Light! mysterious Deity!
         §Who§ art the great I AM, the last, the first,
         §Art§ righteous, holy, merciful, and just.
         §In§ realms of glory, scenes where angels sing,
         §Heaven§ is the dwelling-place of God our King.
         §Hallowed§ Thy name, which doth all names transcend,
         §Be§ Thou adored, our great Almighty Friend;
         §Thy§ glory shines beyond creation’s bound;
         §Name§ us ’mong those Thy choicest gifts surround.
         §Thy§ kingdom towers beyond Thy starry skies;
         §Kingdom§ Satanic falls, but Thine shall rise.
         §Come§ let Thine empire, O Thou Holy One,
         §Thy§ great and everlasting will be done.
         §Will§ God make known his will, his power display?
         §Be§ it the work of mortals to obey.
         §Done§ is the great, the wondrous work of love;
         §On§ Calvary’s cross he died, but reigns above;
         §Earth§ bears the record in Thy holy word.
         §As§ heaven adores Thy love, let earth, O Lord;
         §It§ shines transcendent in the eternal skies,
         §Is§ praised in heaven—for man, the Saviour dies.
         §In§ songs immortal, angels laud his name;
         §Heaven§ shouts with joy, and saints his love proclaim
         §Give§ us, O Lord, our food, nor cease to give
         §Us§ needful food on which our souls may live!
         §This§ be our boon to-day and days to come,
         §Day§ without end in our eternal home.
         §Our§ needy souls supply from day to day;
         §Daily§ assist and aid us when we pray;
         §Bread§ though we ask, yet, Lord, Thy blessings lend.
         §And§ make us grateful when Thy gifts descend.
         §Forgive§ our sins, which in destruction place
         §Us§, the vile rebels of a rebel race;
         §Our§ follies, faults, and trespasses forgive,
         §Debts§ which we ne’er can pay, nor Thou receive.
         §As§ we, O Lord, our neighbor’s faults o’erlook,
         §We§ beg Thou ’d’st blot ours from Thy memory’s book.
         §Forgive§ our enemies, extend Thy grace
         §Our§ souls to save, e’en Adam’s guilty race.
         §Debtors§ to Thee in gratitude and love,
         §And§ in that duty paid by saints above,
         §Lead§ us from sin, and in thy mercy raise
         §Us§ from the tempter and his hellish ways.
         §Not§ in our own, but in His name who bled,
         §Into§ Thine ear we pour our every need.
         §Temptation’s§ fatal charm help us to shun,
         §But§ may we conquer through Thy conquering Son;
         §Deliver§ us from all that can annoy
         §Us§ in this world, and may our souls destroy.
         §From§ all calamities that man betide,
         §Evil§ and death, O turn our feet aside,—
         §For§ we are mortal worms, and cleave to clay,—
         §Thine§ ’tis to rule, and mortals to obey.
         §Is§ not thy mercy, Lord, forever free?
         §The§ whole creation knows no God but Thee.
         §Kingdom§ and empire in Thy presence fall;
         §The§ King eternal reigns the King of all.
         §Power§ is Thine—to Thee be glory given,
         §And§ be thy name adored by earth and heaven.
         §The§ praise of saints and angels is Thy own;
         §Glory§ to Thee, the Everlasting One.
         §Forever§ be Thy holy name adored.
         AMEN! Hosannah! blessed be the Lord.


Dr. Gill, in his Expository, seriously tells us that the word ABBA read
backwards or forwards being the same, may teach us that God is the
father of his people in adversity as well as in prosperity.

                           THE PRAYER ECHOED.

           If any be distressed, and fain would gather
           Some comfort, let him haste unto
                         Our Father.
           For we of hope and help are quite bereaven
           Except Thou succor us
                         Who art in heaven.
           Thou showest mercy, therefore for the same
           We praise Thee, singing,
                         Hallowed be Thy name.
           Of all our miseries cast up the sum;
           Show us thy joys, and let
                         Thy kingdom come.
           We mortal are, and alter from our birth;
           Thou constant art;
                         Thy will be done on earth.
           Thou madest the earth, as well as planets seven,
           Thy name be blessed here
                         As ’tis in heaven.
           Nothing we have to use, or debts to pay,
           Except Thou give it us.
                         Give us this day
           Wherewith to clothe us, wherewith to be fed,
           For without Thee we want
                         Our daily bread.
           We want, but want no faults, for no day passes
           But we do sin.
                         Forgive us our trespasses.
           No man from sinning ever free did live
           Forgive us, Lord, our sins,
                         As we forgive.
           If we repent our faults, Thou ne’er disdain’st us;
           We pardon them
                         That trespass against us;
           Forgive us that is past, a new path tread us;
           Direct us always in Thy faith,
                         And lead us—
           Us, Thine own people and Thy chosen nation,
           Into all truth, but
                         Not into temptation.
           Thou that of all good graces art the Giver,
           Suffer us not to wander,
                         But deliver
           Us from the fierce assaults of world and devil
           And flesh; so shalt Thou free us
                         From all evil.
           To these petitions let both church and laymen
           With one consent of heart and voice, say,

                       THE PRAYER IN AN ACROSTIC.

In the following curious composition the initial capitals spell, “My
boast is in the glorious Cross of Christ.” The words in _italics_, when
read from top to bottom and bottom to top, form the Lord’s Prayer

        Make known the Gospel truths, _Our_ Father King;
          Yield up thy grace, dear _Father_ from above;
        Bless us with hearts _which_ feelingly can sing,
          “Our life thou _art_ for _ever_, God of Love!”
        Assuage our grief in love _for_ Christ, we pray,
          Since the bright prince of _Heaven_ and _glory_ died,
        Took all our sins and _hallowed_ the display,
          Infinite _be_-ing—first man, and then the crucified.
        Stupendous God! _thy_ grace and _power_ make known;
          In Jesus’ _name_ let all _the_ world rejoice.
        Now all the world _thy_ heavenly _kingdom_ own,
          The blessed _kingdom_ for thy saints _the_ choice.
        How vile to _come_ to thee _is_ all our cry,
          Enemies to _thy_ self and all that’s _thine_,
        Graceless our _will_, we live _for_ vanity,
          Lending to sin our _be_-ing, _evil_ in our design.
        O God, thy will be _done_ _from_ earth to Heaven;
          Reclining _on_ the Gospel let _us_ live,
        In _earth_ from sin _deliver_-ed and forgiven,
          Oh! _as_ thyself _but_ teach us to forgive.
        Unless _it_’s power _temptation_ doth destroy,
          Sure _is_ our fall _into_ the depths of woe,
        Carnal _in_ mind, we’ve _not_ a glimpse of joy
          Raised against _Heaven_; in _us_ no hope can flow.
        O _give_ us grace and _lead_ us on thy way;
          Shine on _us_ with thy love and give _us_ peace;
        Self and _this_ sin that rise _against_ us slay;
          Oh! grant each _day_ our _trespass_-es may cease.
        Forgive _our_ evil deeds _that_ oft we do;
          Convince us _daily_ of _them_ to our shame;
        Help us with heavenly _bread_, _forgive_ us, too,
          Recurrent lusts, _and_ _we_’ll adore thy name.
        In thy _forgive_-ness we _as_ saints can die,
          Since for _us_ and our _trespasses_ so high,
        Thy son, _our_ Saviour, bled on Calvary.


                          EXCESSIVE CIVILITY.

Tom Brown, in his _Laconics_, says that in the reign of Charles II. a
certain worthy divine at Whitehall thus addressed himself to the
auditory at the conclusion of his sermon: “In short, if you don’t live
up to the precepts of the gospel, but abandon yourselves to your
irregular appetites, you must expect to receive your reward in a certain
place, which ’tis not good manners to mention here.” This suggested to
Pope the couplet,

              “To rest, the cushion and soft dean invite,
              Who never mentions hell to ears polite.”

                             SHORT SERMONS.

Dean Swift, having been solicited to preach a charity sermon, mounted
the pulpit, and after announcing his text, “He that giveth to the poor
lendeth to the Lord,” simply said, “Now, my brethren, if you are
satisfied with the security, down with the dust.” He then took his seat,
and there was an unusually large collection.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The following abridgment contains the pith and marrow, sum and
substance, of a sermon which occupied an hour in delivery:—

                     “Man is born to trouble.”
   This subject, my hearers, is naturally divisible into four heads:—
     1. Man’s entrance into the world;
     2. His progress through the world;
     3. His exit from the world; and
     4. Practical reflections from what may be said.
   First, then:—
     1. Man’s ingress in life is naked and bare,
     2. His progress through life is trouble and care,
     3. His egress from it, none can tell where,
     4. But doing well here, he will be well there.
   Now, on this subject, my brethren dear,
   I could not tell more by preaching a year.

                           A SERMON ON MALT.

The Rev. Dr. Dodd lived within a few miles of Cambridge, (England,) and
had offended several students by preaching a sermon on temperance. One
day some of them met him. They said one to another,—

“Here’s Father Dodd: he shall preach us a sermon.” Accosting him with,—

“Your servants.”

“Sirs! yours, gentlemen!” replied the Doctor.

They said, “We have a favor to ask of you, which _must_ be granted.” The
divine asked what it was.

“To preach a sermon,” was the reply.

“Well,” said he, “appoint the time and place, and I will.”

“The time, the present; the place, that hollow tree,” (pointing to it,)
said the students.

“’Tis an imposition!” said the Doctor: “there ought to be consideration
before preaching.”

“If you refuse,” responded they, “we will put you into the tree!”
Whereupon the Doctor acquiesced, and asked them for a text.

“Malt!” said they.

The reverend gentleman commenced:—

“Let me crave your attention, my beloved!

“I am a little man, come at a short warning, to preach a short sermon,
upon a short subject, to a thin congregation, in an unworthy pulpit.
Beloved! my text is ‘§Malt§.’ I cannot divide it into syllables, it
being but a monosyllable: therefore I must divide it into letters, which
I find in my text to be four:—§M-a-l-t.§ M, my beloved, is _moral_—A, is
_allegorical_—L, is _literal_—T, is _theological_.

“1st. The moral teaches such as you drunkards good manners; therefore M,
my masters—A, all of you—L, leave off—T, tippling.

“2d. The allegorical is, when one thing is spoken and another meant; the
thing here spoken is Malt, the thing meant the oil of malt, which _you_
rustics make M, your masters—A, your apparel—L, your liberty—T, your

“3d. The theological is according to the effects it works, which are of
two kinds—the first in this world, the second in the world to come. The
effects it works in this world are, _in some_, M, murder—in others, A,
adultery—_in all_, L, looseness of life—and _particularly in some_, T,
treason. In the world to come, the effects of it are, M, misery—A,
anguish—L, lamentation—T, torment—and thus much for my text, ‘Malt.’

“Infer 1st: As words of exhortation: M, my masters—A, all of you—L,
leave off—T, tippling.

“2d. A word for conviction: M, my masters—A, all of you—L, look for—T,

“3d. A word for caution, take this: A drunkard is the annoyance of
modesty—the spoiler of civility—the destroyer of reason—the brewer’s
agent—the alewife’s benefactor—his wife’s sorrow—his children’s
trouble—his neighbor’s scoff—a walking swill-tub—a picture of a beast—a
monster of a man.”

The youngsters found the truth so unpalatable, that they soon deserted
their preacher, glad to get beyond the reach of his voice.

                          ELOQUENCE OF BASCOM.

The following passages will serve to illustrate the peculiar oratorical
style of Rev. Henry B. Bascom, the distinguished Kentucky preacher:—

“Chemistry, with its fire-tongs of the galvanic battery, teaches that
the starry diamond in the crown of kings, and the black carbon which the
peasant treads beneath his feet, are both composed of the same identical
elements; analysis also proves that a chief ingredient in limestone is
carbon. Then let the burning breath of God pass over all the limestone
of the earth, and bid its old mossy layers crystalize into new beauty;
and lo! at the Almighty _fiat_ the mountain ranges flash into living
gems with a lustre that renders midnight noon, and eclipses all the

He urged the same view by another example, still better adapted to
popular apprehension:—

“Look yonder,” said the impassioned orator, pointing a motionless finger
towards the lofty ceiling, as if it were the sky. “See that wrathful
thunder-cloud—the fiery bed of the lightnings and hissing hail—the
cradle of tempests and floods!—What can be more dark, more dreary, more
dreadful? Say, scoffing skeptic, is it capable of any beauty? You
pronounce, ‘no.’ Well, very well; but behold, while the sneering denial
curls your proud lips, the sun with its sword of light shears through
the sea of vapors in the west, and laughs in your incredulous face with
his fine golden eye. Now, look again at the thunder-cloud! See! where it
was blackest and fullest of gloom, the sunbeams have kissed its hideous
cheek; and where the kiss fell there is now a blush, brighter than ever
mantled on the brow of mortal maiden—the rich blush of crimson and gold,
of purple and vermilion—a pictured blush, fit for the gaze of angels—the
flower-work of pencils of fire and light, wrought at a dash by one
stroke of the right hand of God! Ay, the ugly cloud hath given birth to
the rainbow, that perfection and symbol of unspeakable beauty!”

                            THE LORD BISHOP.

The following incident is said to have occurred in the parish church of
Bradford, England, during a special service, on the occasion of a visit
from the bishop of the diocese:—

The clerk, before the sermon, gave out the psalm in broad Wiltshire
dialect, namely:—“Let us zing to the praayze an’ glawry o’ God, three
varsses o’ the hundred and vourteen zaam—a varsion ’specially ’dapted to
the ’caasion,—by meself:”—

                 Why hop ye zo, ye little hills,
                   An’ what var de’e skip?
                 Is it ’cas you’m proud to see
                   His grace the Lard Bish_ip_?

                 Why skip ye zo, ye little hills,
                   An’ what var de’e hop?
                 Is it ’cas to preach to we
                   Is com’d the Lard Bish_op_!

                 Eese;—he is com’d to preach to we:
                   Then let us aul strick up,
                 An’ zing a glawrious zong of praayze,
                   An’ bless the Lard Bish_up_!


Dr. Echard says of the preachers who lived in the time of
Cromwell,—“Coiners of new phrases, drawers-out of long godly words,
thick pourers-out of texts of Scripture, mimical squeakers and
bellowers, vain-glorious admirers only of themselves, and those of their
own fashioned face and gesture; such as these shall be followed, shall
have their bushels of China oranges, shall be solaced with all manner of
cordial essences, and shall be rubbed down with Holland of ten shillings
an ell.”

One of the singular fashions that prevailed among the preachers of those
days was that of coughing or hemming in the middle of a sentence, as an
ornament of speech; and when their sermons were printed, the place where
the preacher coughed or hemmed was always noted in the margin. This
practice was not confined to England, for Olivier Maillard, a Cordelier,
and famous preacher, printed a sermon at Brussels in the year 1500, and
marked in the margin where the preacher hemmed once or twice, or

                            ORIGIN OF TEXTS.

The custom of taking a text as the basis of a sermon originated with
Ezra, who, we are told, accompanied by several Levites in a public
congregation of men and women, ascended a pulpit, opened the book of the
law, and after addressing a prayer to the Deity, to which the people
said Amen, “read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the
sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” (Nehemiah viii. 8.)

Previous to the time of Ezra, the Patriarchs delivered, in public
assemblies, either prophecies or moral instructions for the edification
of the people; and it was not until the return of the Jews from the
Babylonish captivity, during which time they had almost lost the
language in which the Pentateuch was written, that it became necessary
to explain, as well as to read, the Scriptures to them. In later times,
the book of Moses was thus read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.
(Acts xv. 21.) To this custom our Saviour conformed: in the synagogue at
Nazareth he read a passage from the prophet Isaiah, then closing the
book, returned it to the priest, and preached from the text.

                           CLERICAL BLUNDERS.

In an old book of Sermons by a divine named Milsom, we are told that it
is one among many proofs of the wisdom and benevolence of Providence
that the world was not created in the midst of winter, when Adam and Eve
could have found nothing to eat, but in harvest-time, when there was
fruit on every tree and shrub to tempt the willing hand.

Another commentator praises Divine Goodness for always making the
largest rivers flow close by the most populous towns.

St. Austin undertook to prove that the ten plagues of Egypt were
punishments adapted to the breach of the ten commandments,—forgetting
that the law was given to the Jews, and that the plagues were inflicted
on the Egyptians, and also that the law was not given in the form of
commandments until nearly three months after the plagues had been sent.

                           PROVING AN ALIBI.

A clergyman at Cambridge preached a sermon which one of his auditors
commended. “Yes,” said a gentleman to whom it was mentioned, “it was a
good sermon, but he stole it.” This was told to the preacher. He
resented it, and called on the gentleman to retract what he had said. “I
am not,” replied the aggressor, “very apt to retract my words, but in
this instance I will. I said, you had stolen the sermon; I find I was
wrong; for on returning home, and referring to the book whence I thought
it was taken, I found it there.”

                      WHITEFIELD AND THE SAILORS.

Mr. Whitefield, whose gestures and play of features were so full of
dramatic power, once preached before the seamen at New York, and, in the
course of his sermon, introduced the following bold apostrophe:—

“Well, my boys, we have a clear sky, and are making fine headway over a
smooth sea before a light breeze, and we shall soon lose sight of land.
But what means this sudden lowering of the heavens, and that dark cloud
arising from the western horizon? Hark! Don’t you hear the distant
thunder? Don’t you see those flashes of lightning? There is a storm
gathering! Every man to his duty. How the waves rise and dash against
the ship! The air is dark! The tempest rages! Our masts are gone. The
ship is on her beam ends! What next?” The unsuspecting tars, reminded of
former perils on the deep, as if struck by the power of magic, arose and
exclaimed, “Take to the long boat.”


John Knox, in his Liturgy for Scotch Presbyterians, sets forth the
following form for the exercise of such an attribute of ecclesiastical
authority in Protestant communities as excommunication:—

“O Lord Jesus Christ, thy expressed word is our assurance, and
therefore, in boldness of the same, here in thy name, and at the
commandment of this thy present congregation, we cut off, seclude, and
excommunicate from thy body, and from our society, N. as a pround
contemner, and slanderous person, and a member for the present
altogether corrupted, and pernicious to the body. And this his sin
(albeit with sorrow of our hearts) by virtue of our ministry, we bind
and pronounce the same to be bound in heaven and earth. We further give
over, into the hands and power of the devil, the said N. to the
destruction of his flesh; straitly charging all that profess the Lord
Jesus, to whose knowledge this our sentence shall come, to repute and
hold the said N. accursed and unworthy of the familiar society of
Christians; declaring unto all men that such as hereafter (before his
repentance) shall haunt, or familiarly accompany him, are partakers of
his impiety, and subject to the like condemnation.

“This our sentence, O Lord Jesus, pronounced in thy name, and at thy
commandment, we humbly beseech thee to ratify even according to thy

                         Puritan Peculiarities.

                            BAPTISMAL NAMES.

A Puritan maiden, who was asked for her baptismal name, replied,
“‘Through-much-tribulation-we-enter-the-kingdom-of-Heaven,’ but for
short they call me ‘Tribby.’”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The following names will be found in _Lower’s English Sirnames_, and in
the _Lansdowne Collection_. Most of them are taken from a jury-list of
Sussex County, 1658. The favorite female baptismal names among the
Puritans were Mercy, Faith, Fortune, Honor, Virtue; but there were among
them those who preferred such high-flown names as Alethe, Prothesa,
Euphrosyne, Kezia, Keturah, Malvina, Melinda, Sabrina, Alpina, Oriana.

                  The-gift-of-God Stringer,
                  Repentant Hazel,
                  Zealous King,
                  Be-thankful Playnard,
                  Live-in-peace Hillary,
                  Obediencia Cruttenden,
                  Goodgift Noake,
                  The-work-of-God Farmer,
                  More-tryal Goodwin,
                  Faithful Long,
                  Joy-from-above Brown,
                  Be-of-good-comfort Small,
                  Godward Freeman,
                  Thunder Goldsmith.
                  Faint-not Hewett,
                  Redeemed Compton,
                  God-reward Smart,
                  Earth Adams,
                  Meek Brewer,
                  Repentance Avis,
                  Kill-sin Pimple,
                  Be-faithful Joiner,
                  More-fruit Flower,
                  Grace-ful Harding,
                  Seek-wisdom Wood,
                  Fight-the-good-fight-of-faith White,
                  Accepted Trevor,
                  Make-peace Heaton,
                  Stand-fast-on-high Stringer,
                  Called Lower,
                  Be-courteous Cole,
                  Search-the-scriptures Moreton,
                  Return Spelman,
                  Fly-debate Roberts,
                  Hope-for Bending,
                  Weep-not Billing,
                  Elected Mitchell,
                  The-peace-of-God Knight


   Prayer is Faith’s pump, where’t works till the water come;
   If’t comes not free at first, Faith puts in some.
   Prayer is the sacred bellows; when these blow,
   How doth that live-coal from God’s altar glow!
                                 _Faithful Teate’s Ter. Tria._, 1658.

Walking in the streets, I met a cart that came near the wall; so I
stepped aside, to avoid it, into a place where I was secure enough.
_Reflection_: Lord, sin is that great evil of which thou complainest
that thou art pressed as a cart is pressed: how can it then but bruise
me to powder?—_Caleb Trenchfield’s Chris. Chymestree._


From the early records of Massachusetts we learn that the following
singular punishments were inflicted in that colony two hundred years

Sir Richard Salstonstall, fined four bushels of malt for his absence
from the court.

Josias Plaistowe, for stealing four baskets of corn from the Indians, to
return them eight baskets again, to be fined £5, and hereafter to be
called Josias, not Mr. as he used to be.

Thomas Peter, for suspicions of slander, idleness, and stubbornness, is
to be severely whipped and kept in hold.

Capt. Stone, for abusing Mr. Ludlow by calling him _justass_, fined
£100, and prohibited coming within the patent.

Joyce Dradwick to give unto Alexander Becks 20_s._, for promising him
marriage without her friends’ consent, and now refusing to perform the

Richard Turner, for being notoriously drunk, fined £2.

Edward Palmer, for his extortion in taking 32_s._ 7_d._ for the plank
and work of Boston stocks, fined £5, and sentenced to sit one hour in
the stocks.

John White bound in £10 to good behavior, and not come into the company
of his neighbor Thomas Bell’s wife alone.


From the old records in the Court House of Warwick County, Virginia, we
extract some entries of decisions by the court under date of October 21,
1663. It may be worth while to remark that at that early period tobacco
was not only a staple commodity but a substitute for currency.

“Mr. John Harlow, and Alice his wife, being by the grand inquest
presented for absenting themselves from church, are, according to the
act, fined each of them fifty pounds of tobacco; and the said Mr. John
Harlow ordered forthwith to pay one hundred pounds of tobacco to the
sheriff, otherwise the said sheriff to levy by way of distress.”

“Jane Harde, the wife of Henry Harde, being presented for not ’tending
church, is, according to act, fined fifty pounds of tobacco; and the
sheriff is ordered to collect the same from her, and, in case of
non-payment, to distress.”

“John Lewis, his wife this day refusing to take the oath of allegiance,
being ordered her, is committed into the sheriff’s custody, to remain
until she take the said oath, or until further ordered to the contrary.”

“John Lewis, his wife for absenting herself from church, is fined fifty
pounds of tobacco, to be collected by the sheriff from her husband; and
upon non-payment, the said sheriff to distress.”

“George Harwood, being prosecuted for his absenting himself from church,
is fined fifty pounds of tobacco, to be levied by way of distress by the
sheriff upon his non-payment thereof.”

“Peter White and his wife, being presented for common swearing, are
fined fifty pounds of tobacco, both of them; to be collected by the
sheriff from the said White, and, upon non-payment of the same, to

“Richard King, being presented as a common swearer, is fined fifty
pounds of tobacco, to be levied by the sheriff, by way of distress, upon
his non-payment.”


                  When these free states were colonies
                    Unto the mother nation,
                  And in Connecticut the good
                    Old Blue Laws were in fashion.

The following extracts from the laws ordained by the people of New
Haven, previous to their incorporation with the Saybrook and Hartford
colonies, afford an idea of the strange character of their prohibitions.
As the substance only is given in the transcription, the language is
necessarily modernized:—

No quaker or dissenter from the established worship of the dominion
shall be allowed to give a vote for the election of magistrates, or any

No food or lodging shall be afforded to a quaker, adamite, or other

If any person turns quaker, he shall be banished, and not suffered to
return, but upon pain of death.

No priest shall abide in the dominion: he shall be banished, and suffer
death on his return. Priests may be seized by any one without a warrant.

No man to cross a river but with an authorized ferryman.

No one shall run on the sabbath-day, or walk in his garden, or
elsewhere, except reverently to and from meeting.

No one shall travel, cook victuals, make beds, sweep house, cut hair or
shave, on the sabbath-day.

No woman shall kiss her child on the sabbath or fasting-day.

The sabbath shall begin at sunset on Saturday.

To pick an ear of corn growing in a neighbor’s garden shall be deemed

A person accused of trespass in the night shall be judged guilty, unless
he clear himself by oath.

When it appears that an accused has confederates, and he refuses to
discover them, he may be racked.

No one shall buy or sell lands without permission of the selectmen.

A drunkard shall have a master appointed by the selectmen, who are to
debar him the liberty of buying and selling.

Whoever publishes a lie to the prejudice of his neighbor, shall sit in
the stocks or be whipped fifteen stripes.

No minister shall keep a school.

Men-stealers shall suffer death.

Whoever wears clothes trimmed with gold, silver, or bone lace, above two
shillings by the yard, shall be presented by the grand jurors, and the
selectmen shall tax the offender at £300 estate.

A debtor in prison, swearing he has no estate, shall be let out, and
sold to make satisfaction.

Whoever sets a fire in the woods, and it burns a house, shall suffer
death; and persons suspected of this crime shall be imprisoned without
benefit of bail.

Whoever brings cards or dice into this dominion shall pay a fine of £5.

No one shall read common-prayer, keep Christmas or saint-days, make
minced pies, dance, play cards, or play on any instrument of music,
except the drum, trumpet, and Jews-harp.

No gospel minister shall join people in marriage; the magistrates only
shall join in marriage, as they may do it with less scandal to Christ’s

When parents refuse their children convenient marriages, the magistrate
shall determine the point.

The selectmen, on finding children ignorant, may take them away from
their parents, and put them into better hands, at the expense of their

A man that strikes his wife shall pay a fine of £10; a woman that
strikes her husband shall be punished as the court directs.

A wife shall be deemed good evidence against her husband.

Married persons must live together, or be imprisoned.

No man shall court a maid in person, or by letter, without first
obtaining consent of her parents: £5 penalty for the first offence; £10
for the second; and for the third, imprisonment during the pleasure of
the court.

Every male shall have his hair cut round according to a cap.


           Hard is the job to launch the desperate pun;
           A _pun-job_ dangerous as the Indian one.—§Holmes.§

  Life and language are alike sacred. Homicide and _verbicide_—that is,
  violent treatment of a word with fatal results to its legitimate
  meaning, which is its life—are alike forbidden. _Manslaughter_, which
  is the meaning of the one, is the same as man’s laughter, which is the
  end of the other.—§Ibid.§

The quaint Cardan thus defineth:—“Punning is an art of harmonious
jingling upon words, which, passing in at the ears and falling upon the
diaphragma, excites a titillary motion in those parts; and this, being
conveyed by the animal spirits into the muscles of the face, raises the
cockles of the heart.”

“He who would make a pun would pick a pocket,” is the stereotyped dogma
fulminated by laugh-lynchers from time immemorial; or, as the _Autocrat_
hath it, “To trifle with the vocabulary which is the vehicle of social
intercourse is to tamper with the currency of human intelligence. He who
would violate the sanctities of his mother tongue would invade the
recesses of the paternal till without remorse, and repeat the banquet of
Saturn without an indigestion.” The “inanities of this working-day
world” cannot perceive any wittiness or grace in punning; and yet,
according to the comprehensive definition of wit by Dr. Barrow, the
eminent divine, it occupies a very considerable portion of the realm of
wit. He says, “Wit is a thing so versatile and multiform, appearing in
so many shapes, so many postures, so many garbs, so variously
apprehended by several eyes and judgments, that it seemeth no less hard
to settle a clear and certain notion thereof, than to make a portrait of
Proteus, or to define the figure of the fleeting air. Sometimes it lieth
in _pat allusions to a known story_, or in _seasonable application of a
trivial saying_, or in feigning an apposite tale; sometimes it _playeth
in words and phrases_, taking advantage of the _ambiguity of their
sense, or the affinity of their sound_; sometimes it is wrapped in a
dress of humorous expression, sometimes it lurketh under _an odd
similitude_; sometimes it is lodged in a sly question, in a smart
answer, in a _quirkish_ reason, in a shrewd intimation, in cunningly,
divertingly, or cleverly retorting an objection; sometimes it is couched
in a bold scheme of speech, in a tart irony, in a lusty hyperbole, in a
startling metaphor, in a _plausible reconciling of contradictions_, or
in _acute nonsense_; sometimes a scenic representation of persons or
things, a counterfeit speech, a mimic look or gesture, passeth for it.
Sometimes an affected simplicity, sometimes a presumptuous bluntness,
giveth it being. Sometimes it riseth only from _a lucky hitting upon
what is strange_; sometimes from _a crafty wresting of obvious matter to
the purpose_. Often it consisteth of one knows not what, and springeth
up one can hardly tell how. Its ways are unaccountable and inexplicable,
being answerable to the numberless rovings of fancy and windings of

If this definition be true, there is truth as well as wit in the
punster’s reply to the taunt of the rhetorician that “punning is the
_lowest species_ of wit.” “Yes,” said he, “for it is the _foundation_ of
all wit.” But, whatever may be said of the practice by those who affect
to despise it, it has been much in vogue in all ages. Horne, in his
_Introduction to the Critical Study of the Holy Scriptures_, tells us
that it was a very favorite figure of rhetoric among the Hebrews, and is
yet common among most of the Oriental nations. Professor Stuart, in his
Hebrew grammar, gives numerous examples of it in the Old Testament, and
Winer and Horne point out others in the New Testament, especially in the
writings of St. Paul. These cannot, of course, be equivalently expressed
in English.

Many of the Greek authors exhibit a fondness for this rhetorical figure,
and some of the most excellent puns extant are to be found in the Greek
Anthologies. As a specimen, the following is given from Wesseling’s
Diodorus Siculus:—

Dioscurus, an Egyptian bishop, before he began the service, had the
common custom of saying ειρηνη πασιν, (irene pasin,) _peace be to all_.
It was notorious that the pious churchman had at home a favorite
mistress, whose name was Irene, which incident produced the following
smart epigram:—

                Ειρηνη παντεσσιν επισκοπος ειπεν εχελθων
                Πως δυναται πασιν, ἡν μονος ενδον εχει;

  (The good bishop wishes peace—Irene—to all;
  But how can he give that to all, which he keeps to himself at home?)

                          A PUN-GENT CHAPTER.

At one time there was a general strike among the workingmen of Paris,
and Theodore Hook gave the following amusing account of the affair:—“The
bakers, being ambitious to extend their _do_-mains, declared that a
revolution was _needed_, and, though not exactly _bred_ up to arms, soon
reduced their _crusty_ masters to terms. The tailors called a council of
the _board_, to see what _measures_ should be taken, and, looking upon
the bakers as the _flower_ of chivalry, decided to follow _suit_; the
consequence of which was, that a _cereous_ insurrection was _lighted up_
among the candle-makers, which, however _wick_-ed it might appear in the
eyes of some persons, developed traits of character not unworthy of
ancient _Greece_.”

          Why should no man starve on the deserts of Arabia?
          Because of the _sand which_ is there.
          How came the sandwiches there?
          The tribe of _Ham_ was _bred_ there, and _mustered_.

A clergyman who had united in marriage a couple whose Christian names
were Benjamin and Annie, on being asked by a mutual friend how they
appeared during the ceremony, replied that they appeared both
_annie_-mated and _bene_-fitted.

Mr. Manners, who had but lately been created Earl of Rutland, said to
Sir Thomas More, just made Lord Chancellor,—

“You are so much elated with your preferment that you verify the old

                       _Honores mutant_ §Mores§.”

“No, my lord,” said Sir Thomas: “the pun will do much better in

                      _Honors change_ §Manners§.”

An old writer said that when _cannons_ were introduced as negotiators,
the _canons_ of the church were useless; that the world was governed
first by _mitrum_, and then by _nitrum_,—first by _St. Peter_, and then
by _saltpetre_.

Column, the dramatist, on being asked whether he knew Theodore Hook,
replied, “Oh, yes: _Hook_ and _Eye_ are old associates.”

Punch says, “the milk of human kindness is not to be found in the _pail_
of society.” If so, we think it is time for all hands to “_kick the

Judge Peters, formerly of the Philadelphia Bench, observed to a friend,
during a trial that was going on, that one of the witnesses had a
_vegetable_ head. “How so?” was the inquiry. “He has _carroty_ hair,
_reddish_ cheeks, a _turnup_ nose, and a _sage_ look.”

Tom Hood, seeing over the shop-door of a beer-vendor,—

                           _Bear_ Sold Here,

said it was spelled right, because it was his own _Bruin_.

Charles Mathews, the comedian, was served by a green-grocer, named
Berry, and generally settled his bill once a quarter. At one time the
account was sent in before it was due, and Mathews, laboring under an
idea that his credit was doubted, said, “Here’s a pretty _mull_, Berry.
You have sent in your _bill_, Berry, before it is _due_, Berry. Your
father, the _elder_ Berry, would not have been such a _goose_, Berry;
but you need not look so _black_, Berry, for I don’t care a _straw_,
Berry, and sha’n’t pay you till _Christmas_, Berry.”

Sheridan, being dunned by a tailor to pay at least the interest on his
bill, answered that it was not his interest to pay the principal, nor
his principle to pay the interest.

In the “Old India House” may still be seen a quarto volume of _Interest
Tables_, on the fly-leaf of which is written, in Charles Lamb’s round,
clerkly hand,—

  “A book of much interest.”—_Edinburgh Review._

  “A work in which the interest never flags.”—_Quarterly Review._

  “We may say of this volume, that the interest increases from the
  beginning to the end.”—_Monthly Review._

Turner, the painter, was at a dinner where several artists, amateurs,
and literary men were convened. A poet, by way of being facetious,
proposed as a toast, “_The Painters and Glaziers of England_.” The toast
was drunk; and Turner, after returning thanks for it, proposed “_Success
to the Paper-Stainers_,” and called on the poet to respond.

                         SHORT ROAD TO WEALTH.

    I’ll tell you a plan for gaining wealth,
      Better than banking, trade, or leases;
    Take a bank-note and fold it across,
      And then you will find your money §IN-CREASES§!

    This wonderful plan, without danger or loss,
      Keeps your cash in your hands, and with nothing to trouble it;
    And every time that you fold it across,
      ’Tis plain as the light of the day that you §DOUBLE IT§!

           “I cannot move,” the plaintive invalid cries,
           “Nor sit, nor stand.”—If he says true, he _lies_.

Dr. Johnson having freely expressed his aversion to punning, Boswell
hinted that his illustrious friend’s dislike to this species of small
wit might arise from his inability to play upon words. “Sir”, roared
Johnson, “if I were punish-ed for every pun I shed, there would not be
left a puny shed of my punnish head.” Once, by accident, he made a
singular pun. A person who affected to live after the Greek manner, and
to anoint himself with oil, was one day mentioned to him. Johnson, in
the course of conversation on the singularity of his practice, gave him
the denomination of _this man of Grease_.

Sydney Smith—so Lord Houghton in his _Monographs_ tells us—has written
depreciatingly of all playing upon words; but his rapid apprehension
could not altogether exclude a kind of wit which, in its best forms,
takes fast hold of the memory, besides the momentary amusement it
excites. His objection to the superiority of a city feast: “I cannot
wholly value a dinner by the test you do (_testudo_);”—his proposal to
settle the question of the wood pavement around St. Paul’s: “Let the
Canons once lay their heads together and the thing will be done;”—his
pretty compliment to his friends, Mrs. Tighe and Mrs. Cuffe: “Ah! there
you are: the cuff that every one would wear, the tie that no one would
loose”—may be cited as perfect in their way.

Admiral Duncan’s address to the officers who came on board his ship for
instructions, previous to the engagement with Admiral de Winter, was
laconic and humorous: “Gentlemen, you see a severe Winter approaching; I
have only to advise you to keep up a good fire.”

Theodore Hook plays thus on the same name:—

        Here comes Mr. Winter, inspector of taxes;
        I advise you to give him whatever he axes;
        I advise you to give him without any flummery,
        For though his name’s Winter his actions are _summary_.

Henry Erskine’s toast to the mine-owners of Lancashire:—

  Sink your pits, blast your mines, dam your rivers, consume your
  manufactures, disperse your commerce, and may your labors be in

                               TOM MOORE.

               When Limerick, in idle whim,
                 Moore as her member lately courted,
               ’The boys,’ for form’s sake, asked of him
                 To state what party he supported.

               When thus his answer promptly ran,
                 (Now give the wit his meed of glory:)
               “I’m of no party as a man,
                 But as a poet _am-a-tory_.”

                            TOP AND BOTTOM.

The following playful colloquy in verse took place at a dinner-table,
between Sir George Rose and James Smith, in allusion to Craven street,
Strand, where the latter resided:—

     J. S.—At the top of my street the attorneys abound,
           And down at the bottom the barges are found:
           Fly, honesty, fly to some safer retreat,
           For there’s _craft_ in the river, and _craft_ in the street.

 Sir G. R.—Why should honesty fly to some safer retreat,
           From attorneys, and barges, od-rot ’em?
           For the lawyers are _just_ at the top of the street,
           And the barges are _just_ at the bottom.

                          OLD JOKE VERSIFIED.

                  Says Tom to Bill, pray tell me, sir,
                    Why is it that the devil,
                  In spite of all his naughty ways,
                    Can never be uncivil?

                  Says Bill to Tom, the answer’s plain
                    To any mind that’s bright:
                  Because the imp of darkness, sir,
                    Can ne’er be _imp o’ light_.

                          A PRINTER’S EPITAPH.

          Here lies a _form_—place no _imposing stone_
            To mark the _head_, where weary it is lain;
          ’Tis _matter dead_!—its mission being done,
            To be _distributed_ to dust again.
          The _body’s_ but the _type_, at best, of man,
            Whose _impress_ is the spirit’s deathless _page_;
          _Worn out_, the _type_ is thrown to _pi_ again,
            The _impression_ lives through an eternal age.


                    I want to seal a letter, Dick,
                      Some wax pray give to me.—
                    I have not got a single _stick_,
                      Or _whacks_ I’d give to thee.


                When Eve brought _woe_ to all mankind,
                  Old Adam called her _wo-man_;
                But when she _woo’d_ with love so kind,
                  He then pronounced her _woo-man_.

                But now with folly and with pride,
                  Their husbands’ pockets trimming,
                The ladies are so full of _whims_,
                  The people call them _whim-men_.

                            BEN, THE SAILOR.

   His _death_, which happened in his _berth_,
     At forty odd befell:
   They went and _told_ the sexton, and
     The sexton _tolled_ the bell.—§Hood’s§ _Faithless Sally Brown_.

                         WHISKERS VERSUS RAZOR.

                 With whiskers thick upon my face
                   I went my fair to see;
                 She told me she could never love
                   A _bear-faced_ chap like me.

                 I shaved then clean, and called again,
                   And thought my troubles o’er;
                 She laughed outright, and said I was
                   More _bare-faced_ than before!


            ’Tis true I am ill; but I cannot complain,
            For he never knew pleasure who never knew Payne.

                   FROM DR. HOLMES’ “MODEST REQUEST.”

           Thus great Achilles, who had shown his zeal
           In §HEALING WOUNDS§, died of a §WOUNDED HEEL§;
           Unhappy chief, who, when in childhood doused,
           Had saved his §BACON§ had his feet been §SOUSED§!
           Accursed heel, that killed a hero stout!
           Oh, had your mother known that you were out,
           Death had not entered at the trifling part
           That still defies the small chirurgeon’s art
           With corn and §BUNIONS§,—not the glorious §John§
           Who wrote the book we all have pondered on,—
           But other §BUNIONS§, bound in fleecy hose,
           To “§Pilgrim’s Progress§” unrelenting foes!

                       PLAINT OF THE OLD PAUPER.

            Some boast of their §FORE§-fathers—I—
              I have not §ONE§!
            I am, I think, like Joshua,
              The son of §NONE§!

            Heedless in youth, we little note
              How quick time passes,
            For then flows ruby wine, not sand,
              In §OUR§ glasses!

            Rich friends (most pure in honor) all have fled
              Sooner or later;
            Pshaw! had they India’s spices, they’d not be
              A nutmeg-§GRATER§!

            I’ve neither chick nor child; as I have nothing,
              Why, ’tis lucky rather;
            Yet who that hears a squalling baby wishes
              Not to be §FATHER§?

            Some few years back my spirits and my youth
              Were quite amazin’;
            Brisk as a pony, or a lawyer’s clerk,
              Just fresh from §Gray’s Inn§!

            What am I now? weak, old, and poor, and by
              The parish found;
            Their §PENCE§ keeps me, while many an ass
              Enjoys the parish §POUND§!

                              TO MY NOSE.

               Knows he that never took a pinch,
                 Nosey! the pleasure thence which flows?
               Knows he the titillating joy
                 Which my nose knows?

               Oh, nose! I am as fond of thee
                 As any mountain of its snows!
               I gaze on thee, and feel that pride
                 A Roman knows!


Sir Walter Scott said that some of his friends were bad _accountants_,
but excellent _book-keepers_.

                How hard, when those who do not wish
                  To lend—that’s lose—their books,
                Are snared by anglers—folks that fish
                  With literary hooks;

                Who call and take some favorite tome,
                  But never read it through;
                They thus complete their sett at home,
                  By making one of you.

                I, of my Spenser quite bereft,
                  Last winter sore was shaken;
                Of Lamb I’ve but a quarter left,
                  Nor could I save my Bacon.

                They picked my Locke, to me far more
                  Than Bramah’s patent worth;
                And now my losses I deplore,
                  Without a Home on earth.

                Even Glover’s works I cannot put
                  My frozen hands upon;
                Though ever since I lost my Foote,
                  My Bunyan has been gone.

                My life is wasting fast away;
                  I suffer from these shocks;
                And though I’ve fixed a lock on Gray,
                  There’s gray upon my locks.

                They still have made me slight returns,
                  And thus my grief divide;
                For oh! they’ve cured me of my Burns,
                  And eased my Akenside.

                But all I think I shall not say,
                  Nor let my anger burn;
                For as they have not found me Gay,
                  They have not left me Sterne.

                          THE VEGETABLE GIRL.

               Behind a market stall installed,
                 I mark it every day,
               Stands at her stand the fairest girl
                 I’ve met with in the bay;
               Her two lips are of cherry red,
                 Her hands a pretty pair,
               With such a pretty turn-up nose,
                 And lovely reddish hair.

               ’Tis there she stands from morn till night
                 Her customers to please,
               And to appease their appetite
                 She sells them beans and peas.
               Attracted by the glances from
                 The apple of her eye,
               And by her Chili apples, too,
                 Each passer-by will buy.

               She stands upon her little feet,
                 Throughout the livelong day,
               And sells her celery and things,—
                 A big feat, by the way.
               She changes off her stock for change,
                 Attending to each call;
               And when she has but one beet left,
                 She says, “Now that beats all.”

                        EPITAPH ON AN OLD HORSE.

                       Here lies a faithful steed,
           A stanch, uncompromising “silver gray;”
           Who ran the race of life with sprightly speed,
                       Yet never ran—away.

                       Wild oats he never sowed,
           Yet masticated tame ones with much zest:
           Cheerful he bore each light allotted load,
                       As cheerfully took rest.

                       Bright were his eyes, yet soft,
           And in the main his tail was white and flowing;
           And though he never sketched a single draught,
                       He showed great taste for drawing.

                       Lithe were his limbs, and clean,
           Fitted alike for buggy or for dray,
           And like Napoleon the Great, I ween,
                       He had a _martial neigh_.

                       Oft have I watched him grace
           His favorite stall, well littered, warm, and fair,
           With such contentment shining from his face,
                       And such a stable air!

                       With here and there a speck
           Of roan diversifying his broad back,
           And, martyr-like, a halter round his neck,
                       Which bound him to the rack.

                       Mors omnibus! at length
           The hay-day of his life was damped by death;
           So, summoning all his late remaining strength,
                       He drew his—final breath.

                      GRAND SCHEME OF EMIGRATION.

              The Brewers should to _Malt-a_ go,
                The Loggerheads to _Scilly_,
              The Quakers to the _Friendly Isles_,
                The Furriers all to _Chili_.

              The little squalling, brawling brats,
                That break our nightly rest,
              Should be packed off to _Baby-lon_,
                To _Lap-land_, or to _Brest_.

              From _Spit-head_ Cooks go o’er to _Greece_;
                And while the Miser waits
              His passage to the _Guinea_ coast,
                Spendthrifts are in the _Straits_.

              Spinsters should to the _Needles_ go,
                Wine-bibbers to _Burgundy_;
              Gourmands should lunch at _Sandwich Isles_,
                Wags in the _Bay of Fun-dy_.

              Musicians hasten to the _Sound_,
                The surpliced Priest to _Rome_;
              While still the race of Hypocrites
                At _Cant-on_ are at home.

              Lovers should hasten to _Good Hope_;
                To some _Cape Horn_ is pain;
              Debtors should go to _Oh-i-o_,
                And Sailors to the _Main-e_.

              Hie, Bachelors, to the _United States_!
                Maids, to the _Isle of Man_;
              Let Gardeners go to _Botany Bay_,
                And Shoeblacks to _Japan_.

              Thus, emigrants and misplaced men
                Will then no longer vex us;
              And all that a’n’t provided for
                Had better go to _Texas_.


Theodore Hook thus cautions young people to resist provocation to the
habit of punning:—

 My little dears, who learn to read, pray early learn to shun
 That very silly thing indeed which people call a pun.
 Read Entick’s rules, and ’twill be found how simple an offence
 It is to make the self-same sound afford a double sense.
 For instance, _ale_ may make you _ail_, your _aunt_ an _ant_ may kill,
 You in a _vale_ may buy a _vail_, and _Bill_ may pay the _bill_,
 Or if to France your bark you steer, at Dover it may be,
 A _peer_ _appears_ upon the _pier_, who, blind, still goes to _sea_.
 Thus one might say when to a treat good friends accept our greeting,
 ’Tis _meet_ that men who _meet_ to eat, should eat their _meat_ when
 Brawn on the board’s no _bore_ indeed, although from _boar_ prepared;
 Nor can the _fowl_ on which we feed _foul_ feeding be declared.
 Thus _one_ ripe fruit may be a _pear_, and yet be _pared_ again,
 And still be _one_, which seemeth rare, until we do explain.
 It therefore should be all your aim to speak with ample care;
 For who, however fond of _game_, would choose to swallow _hair_?
 A fat man’s _gait_ may make us smile, who has no _gate_ to close;
 The farmer sitting on his _stile_ no _stylish_ person knows;
 Perfumers men of _scents_ must be; some Scilly men are bright;
 A _brown_ man oft _deep read_ we see—a _black_ a wicked _wight_.
 Most wealthy men good manners have, however vulgar they,
 And actors still the harder _slave_ the oftener they _play_;
 So poets can’t the _baize_ obtain unless their tailors choose,
 While grooms and coachmen not in vain each evening seek the _mews_.
 The _dyer_ who by dying _lives_, a _dire_ life maintains;
 The glazier, it is known, receives his _profits_ from his _panes_;
 By gardeners _thyme_ is _tied_, ’tis true, when Spring is in its prime,
 But _time_ or _tide_ won’t wait for you, if you are _tied_ for _time_.
 There now you see, my little dears, the way to make a pun;
 A trick which you, through coming years, should sedulously shun.
 The fault admits of no defense, for wheresoe’er ’tis found,
 You sacrifice the _sound_ for _sense_, the _sense_ is never _sound_.
 So let your words and actions too, one single meaning prove,
 And, just in all you say or do, you’ll gain esteem and love:
 In mirth and play no harm you’ll know, when duty’s task is done;
 But parents ne’er should let you go un_pun_ished for a _pun_.

The motto of the Pilotage Commission of the river Tyne:—

                          In portu salus.
                          In port you sail us.


             _On a youth who died from a surfeit of fruit._

         Currants have checked the current of my blood,
         And berries brought me to be buried here;
         Pears have pared off my body’s hardihood,
         And plums and plumbers spare not one so spare:
         Fain would I feign my fall; so fair a fare
         Lessens not fate, but ’tis a lesson good:
         Gilt will not long hide guilt; such thin-washed ware
         Wears quickly, and its rude touch soon is rued.
         Grave on my grave some sentence grave and terse,
         That lies not, as it lies upon my clay;
         But, in a gentle strain of unstrained verse,
         Prays all to pity a poor patty’s prey;
         Rehearses I was fruit-full to my hearse,
         Tells that my days are told, and soon I’m toll’d away!

Previous to the battle of Culloden, when Marshal Wade and Generals Cope
and Hawley were prevented by the severity of the weather from advancing
as far into Scotland as they intended, the following lines were
circulated among their opposers:—

          Cope could not cope, nor Wade wade through the snow,
          Nor Hawley haul his cannon to the foe.

When Mrs. Norton was called on to subscribe to a fund for the relief of
Thomas Hood’s widow, which had been headed by Sir Robert Peel, she sent
a liberal donation with these lines:—

              To cheer the widow’s heart in her distress,
              To make provision for the fatherless,
              Is but a Christian’s duty, and none should
              Resist the heart-appeal of _widow-Hood_.

M. Mario’s visit to this country recalls to mind the sharpest witticism
of Madame Grisi, at the time his wife, and one of the best bits of
repartee on record. Louis Phillippe, passing through a room where Grisi
stood, holding two of her young children by the hand, said gaily: “Ah!
Madame, are those, then, some of your little _Grisettes_?” “No, Sire,”
was the quick reply, perfect in every requirement of the pun, “No, Sire,
these are my little _Marionettes_.”

A learned judge, of facetious memory, is reported to have said, in an
argument in arrest of the judgment of death, “I think we had better let
the subject drop.”

                          SWIFT’S LATIN PUNS.

Among the _nugæ_ of Dean Swift are his celebrated Latin puns, some of
which are well known, having been frequently copied, and having never
been excelled. The following selections will serve as specimens. They
consist entirely of Latin words; but, by allowing for false spelling,
and running the words into each other, the sentences make good sense in

                 Mollis abuti,      (Moll is a beauty,
                 Has an acuti,      Has an acute eye,
                 No lasso finis,    No lass so fine is,
                 Molli divinis.     Molly divine is.
                 Omi de armis tres, O my dear mistress,
                 Imi na dis tres,   I’m in a distress,
                 Cantu disco ver    Can’t you discover
                 Meas alo ver?      Me as a lover?)

In a subsequent epistolary allusion to this, he says:—

          I ritu a verse o na molli o mi ne,
          Asta lassa me pole, a lædis o fine;
          I ne ver neu a niso ne at in mi ni is;
          A manat a glans ora sito fer diis.
          De armo lis abuti hos face an hos nos is,
          As fer a sal illi, as reddas aro sis;
          Ac is o mi molli is almi de lite;
          Illo verbi de, an illo verbi nite.

          (I writ you a verse on a Molly o’ mine,
          As tall as a may pole, a lady so fine;
          I never knew any so neat in mine eyes;
          A man, at a glance or a sight of her, dies.
          Dear Molly’s a beauty, whose face and whose nose is
          As fair as a lily, as red as a rose is;
          A kiss o’ my Molly is all my delight;
          I love her by day, and I love her by night.)

  _Extract from the consultation of four physicians on a lord that was

_1st Doctor._ Is his honor sic? Præ lætus felis pulse. It do es beat
veris loto de.

_2d Doctor._ No notis as qui cassi e ver fel tu metri it. Inde edit is
as fastas an alarum, ora fire bellat nite.

_3d Doctor._ It is veri hei!

_4th Doctor._ Noto contra dictu in my juge mentitis veri loto de. It is
as orto maladi, sum callet. [Here e ver id octo reti resto a par lori na
mel an coli post ure.]

_1st D._ It is a me gri mas I opi ne.

_2d D._ No docto rite quit fora quin si. Heris a plane sim tomo fit.
Sorites Paracelsus. Præ re adit.

_1st D._ Nono, Doctor, I ne ver quo te aqua casu do.

_2d D._ Sum arso; mi autoris no ne.

_3d D._ No quare lingat præ senti de si re. His honor is sic offa colli
casure as I sit here.

_4th D._ It is æther an atro phi ora colli casu sed: Ire membri re ad it
in Doctor me ades esse, here it is.

_3d D._ I ne ver re ad apage in it, no re ver in tendit.

_2d D._ Fer ne is offa qui te di ferent noti o nas i here.

_1st D._ It me bea pluri si; avo metis veri pro perfor a man at his age.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  _1st D._ Is his honor sick? Pray let us feel his pulse. It does beat
  very slow to-day.

  _2d D._ No, no, ’tis as quick as ever I felt; you may try it. Indeed,
  it is as fast as an alarum, or a fire-bell at night.

  _3d D._ It is very high.

  _4th D._ Not to contradict you, in my judgment it is very slow to day.
  It is a sort of malady, some call it. (Here every doctor retires to a
  parlor in a melancholy posture.)

  _1st D._ It is a megrim, as I opine.

  _2d D._ No, doctor, I take it for a quinsy. Here is a plain symptom of
  it. So writes Paracelsus. Pray read it.

  _1st D._ No, no, doctor, I never quote a quack as you do.

  _2d D._ Some are so; my author is none.

  _3d D._ No quarrelling at present, I desire. His honor is sick of a
  colic as sure as I sit here.

  _4th D._ It is either an atrophy, or a colic, as you said. I remember
  I read it in Dr. Mead’s Essay: here it is.

  _3d D._ I never read a page in it, nor ever intend it.

  _2d D._ Ferne is of a quite different notion, as I hear.

  _1st D._ It may be a pleurisy; a vomit is very proper for a man at his

_2d D._ Ure par donat præsanti des ire; His dis eas is a cata ride clare

_3d D._ Atlas tume findit as tone in his quid ni es.

_4th D._ Itis ale pro si fora uti se. Ab lis ter me bene cessa risum de
cens. Itis as ure medi in manicas es.

_3d D._ I findit isto late tot hinc offa reme di; fori here his honor is
de ad.

_2d D._ His ti meis cum.

_1st D._ Is it trudo ut hinc?

_4th D._ It is veri certa in. His Paris his belli sto ringo ut foris de
partu re.

_3d D._ Næ i fis ecce lens is de ad lætus en dum apri esto præ foris

  _2d D._ Your pardon at present I desire. His disease is a catarrh, I
  declare it.

  _3d D._ At last you may find it a stone in his kidneys.

  _4th D._ It is a leprosy for aught I see. A blister may be necessary
  some days hence. It is a sure remedy in many cases.

  _3d D._ I find it is too late to think of a remedy; for I hear his
  honor is dead.

  _2d D._ His time is come.

  _1st D._ Is it true, do you think?

  _4th D._ It is very certain. His parish bell is to ring out for his

  _3d D._ Nay, if his excellency’s dead, let us send ’em a priest to
  pray for his soul.


  Elizabeth’s _sylvan dress_ was therefore well suited at once to
  her height and to the dignity of her mein, which her conscious
  rank and _long habits_ of authority had rendered in some degree
  too masculine to be seen to the best advantage in ordinary _female
  weeds_.—_Kenilworth_, iii. 9.

               I’ll _gild_ the faces of the grooms withal
               That it may seem their _guilt_.—_Macbeth._

         While underneath the eaves
           The brooding swallows cling,
         As if to show their sunny backs
           And _twit_ me with the spring.—_Song of the Shirt._

                        RUSSIAN DOUBLE ENTENDRE.

The following message was sent to the Emperor Nicholas by one of his

               Voliā Vāschā, ā Varschāvoo vsi’at nemogoo.

        { Volia is yours,            }
                                     } but Warsaw I cannot take.
        { Your will is all-powerful, }

                      CLASSICAL PUNS AND MOTTOES.

Sydney Smith proposed as a motto for Bishop Burgess, brother to the
well-known fish-sauce purveyor, the following Virgilian pun (Æn. iv.

                    _Gravi_ jamdudum _saucia_ curâ.

A London tobacconist, who had become wealthy, and determined to set up
his carriage, applied to a learned gentleman for a motto. The scholar
gave him the Horatian question,—

                              QUID RIDES?

                   (Why do you laugh?—_Sat. I._ 69)—

which was accordingly adopted, and painted on the panel.

                  *       *       *       *       *

A pedantic bachelor had the following inscription on his tea-caddy:—

                               TU DOCES.

                           (Thou Tea-chest.)

_Epitaph on a Cat_, ascribed to Dr. Johnson (Hor. lib. i., c. 12):—

                          MI-CAT INTER OMNES.

Two gentlemen about to enter an unoccupied pew in a church, the foremost
found it locked. His companion, not perceiving it at the moment,
inquired why he retreated. “_Pudor vetat_” said he. (Modesty forbids.)

                  *       *       *       *       *

A gentleman at dinner requested a friend to help him to a potato, which
he did, saying, “I think you will find that a good mealy one.” “Thank
you,” quoth the other: “it could not be _melior_” (better).

                  *       *       *       *       *

A student of Latin, being confined to his room by illness, was called
upon by a friend. “What, John,” said the visitor, “sick, eh?” “Yes,”
replied John, “_sic sum_” (so I am).

                  *       *       *       *       *

In King’s College were two delinquents named respectively Payne and
Culpepper. Payne was expelled, but Culpepper escaped punishment. Upon
this, a wit wrote the following apt line:—

              _Pœna_ perire potest; _Culpa per_ennis est.

Andrew Borde, author of the _Breviary of Health_, called himself in
Latin Andreas Perforatus. This translation of a proper name was
according to the fashion of the time, but in this instance includes a
pun,—perforatus, _bored_ or pierced.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Joseph II., Emperor of Germany, during a visit to Rome, went to see the
princess Santacroce, a young lady of singular beauty, who had an evening
_conversazione_. Next morning appeared the following pasquinade.
“Pasquin asks, ‘What is the Emperor Joseph come to Rome for?’ Marforio
answers, ‘Abaciar la Santa Croce’”—to kiss the Holy Cross.

                  *       *       *       *       *

On the trial of Garnett, the Superior of the Jesuits, for his
participation in the Gunpowder Plot, Coke, then Attorney-General,
concluded his speech thus:—_Qui cum Jesu itis, non itis cum Jesuitis_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

A few years ago, several Jesuits came into the lecture-room of an
Italian professor in the University of Pisa, believing he was about to
assail a favorite dogma of theirs. He commenced his lecture with the
following words,—

                 “Quanti Gesuiti sono all’ inferno!”

                 (How many Jesuits there are in hell!)

When remonstrated with, he said that his words were—

             “Quanti—Gesu!—iti sono all’ inferno!”

             (How many people, O Jesus! there are in hell!)

                  *       *       *       *       *

D’Israeli says that Bossuet would not join his young companions, and
flew to his solitary tasks, while the classical boys avenged themselves
by a schoolboy’s pun; applying to _Bossuet_ Virgil’s _bos suet-us
aratro_—the ox daily toiling in the plough.

                  *       *       *       *       *

John Randolph of Virginia, and Mr. Dana of Connecticut, while
fellow-members of Congress, belonged to different political parties. On
one occasion Mr. Dana paid some handsome compliments to Mr. Randolph.
When the latter spoke in reply, he quoted from Virgil (Æn. ii.):—

                    Timeo _Danaos_ et dona ferentes.

A lady having accidentally thrown down a Cremona fiddle with her mantua,
Dean Swift instantly remarked,—

             “_Mantua_ væ miseræ nimium vicina _Cremonæ_.”

Ah, Mantua, too near the wretched Cremona. (Virg. Ecl. ix. 28.)

                  *       *       *       *       *

To an old gentleman who had lost his spectacles one rainy evening, the
Dean said, “If this rain continues all night, you will certainly recover
them in the morning betimes:

        “Nocte pluit tota—redeunt _spectacula_ mane.” (Virgil.)

              Quid facies facies veneris si veneris ante?
              Ne pereas pereas, ne sedeas, sedeas.

  (What will you do if you shall come before the face of Venus? Lest you
  should perish through them, do not sit down, but go away.)

                  *       *       *       *       *

Sir William Dawes, Archbishop of York, was very fond of a pun. His
clergy dining with him for the first time after he had lost his wife, he
told them he feared they did not find things in so good order as they
used to be in the time of poor Mary; and, looking extremely sorrowful,
added with a deep sigh, “she was indeed _mare pacificum_.” A curate who
knew pretty well what her temper had been, said, “Yes, my lord, but she
was _mare mortuum_ first.”

                  That Homer should a bankrupt be,
                  Is not so very §ODD D’YE SEE§,
                  If it be true as I’m instructed,
                  So §ILL HE HAD§ his books conducted.


_Ne vile_ §Fano§—Disgrace not the altar. Motto of the §Fanes§.

§Ne vile§ _velis_—Form no mean wish. The §Nevilles§.

§Cavendo§ _tutus_—Secure by caution. The §Cavendishes§.

§Forte scu§_tum, salus ducum_—A strong shield the safety of leaders.
Lord §Fortescue§.

§Ver non§ _semper viret_—The spring is not always green. Lord §Vernon§.

§Vero§ _nihil verius_—Nothing truer than truth. Lord §Vere§.

§Templa§ _quam delecta_—Temples how beloved. Lord §Temple§.



A wag decides—

That whiskey is the key by which many gain an entrance into our prisons
and almshouses.

That brandy brands the noses of all who cannot govern their appetites.

That wine causes many a man to take a winding way home.

That punch is the cause of many unfriendly punches.

That ale causes many ailings, while beer brings many to the bier.

That champagne is the source of many a real pain.

That gin-slings have “slewed” more than the slings of old.

That the reputation of being fond of cock-tails is not a feather in any
man’s cap.

That the money spent for port that is supplied by portly gents would
support many a poor family.

That porter is a weak supporter for those who are weak in body.


The following sentence is said to be taken from a volume of sermons
published during the reign of James I.:—

This _dial_ shows that we must _die all_; yet notwithstanding, _all
houses_ are turned into _ale houses_; our _cares_ into _cates_; our
_paradise_ into a _pair o’ dice_; _matrimony_ into a _matter of money_,
and _marriage_ into a _merry age_; our _divines_ have become _dry
vines_: it was not so in the days of _Noah_,—_ah! no_.


A clerical gentleman of Hartford, who once attended the House of
Representatives to read prayers, being politely requested to remain
seated near the speaker during the debate, found himself the spectator
of an _unmarrying_ process, so alien to his own vocation, and so
characteristic of the readiness of the Legislature of Connecticut to
grant divorces, that the result was the following _impromptu_:—

                For _cut_-ting all _connect_-ions famed,
                _Connect-i-cut_ is fairly named;
                I twain _connect_ in one, but you
                _Cut_ those whom _I connect_ in two.
                Each legislator seems to say,
                What you _Connect I cut_ away.

Finn, the comedian, issued the following morceau upon the announcement
of his benefit at the Tremont Theatre, Boston:—

                 Like a _grate full_ of coals I burn,
                   A _great, full_ house to see;
                 And if I should not _grateful_ prove,
                   A _great fool_ I should be.

                             A FAIR LETTER.

The following letter was received by a young lady at the post-office of
a Fair held for the benefit of a church:—

_Fairest of the Fair._ When such _fair_ beings as you have the
_fair_-ness to honor our _Fair_ with your _fair_ presence, it is
perfectly _fair_ that you should receive good _fare_ from the _fair_
conductors of this _Fair_, and indeed it would be very un-_fair_ if you
should not _fare_ well, since it is the endeavor of those whose
wel-_fare_ depends upon the success of this _Fair_, to treat all who
come _fair_-ly, but to treat with especial _fair_-ness those who are as
_fair_ as yourself. We are engaged in a _fair_ cause, a sacred
war-_fare_; that is, to speak without un-_fair_-ness, a war-_fare_, not
against the _fair_ sex, but against the pockets of their beaux. We
therefore hope, gentle reader, “still _fair_est found where all is
_fair_,” that you will use all _fair_ exertions in behalf of the
praiseworthy af-_fair_ which we have _fair_-ly undertaken. If you take
sufficient interest in our wel-_fare_ to lend your _fair_ aid, you will
appear _fair_-er than ever in our sight; we will never treat you
un-_fair_-ly, and when you withdraw the light of your _fair_ countenance
from our _Fair_, we will bid you a kind _Fare_-well.

The following was written on the occasion of a duel in Philadelphia,
several years ago:—

                Schott and Willing did engage
                  In duel fierce and hot;
                Schott shot Willing willingly,
                  And Willing he shot Schott.

                The shot Schott shot made Willing quite
                  A spectacle to see;
                While Willing’s willing shot went right
                  Through Schott’s anatomy.

                          WRITE WRITTEN RIGHT.

                _Write_ we know is written right,
                When we see it written _write_;
                But when we see it written wright,
                We know it is not written right:
                For write, to have it written right,
                Must not be written right or wright,
                Nor yet should it be written rite;
                But _write_, for so ’tis written right.


          The laws of the Road are a paradox quite:
            For when you are travelling along,
          If you keep to the §LEFT§ you’re sure to be §RIGHT§,
            If you keep to the §RIGHT§ you’ll be §WRONG§.

    I cannot bear to see a bear, bear down upon a hare,
    When bare of hair he strips the hare, for hare I cry, “forbear!”


          Who _killed Kildare_? Who _dared Kildare_ to _kill_?

Death answers,—

            I _killed Kildare_, and _dare kill_ whom I will.

                       §A§ _Cat_§ALECTIC MONODY§.

           A _cat_ I sing of famous memory,
           Though _cat_achrestical my song may be:
           In a small garden _cat_acomb she lies,
           And _cat_aclysms fill her comrades’ eyes;
           Borne on the air, the _cat_acoustic song
           Swells with her virtues’ _cat_alogue along;
           No _cat_aplasm could lengthen out her years,
           Though mourning friends shed _cat_aracts of tears.
           Once loud and strong her _cat_echist-like voice.
           It dwindled to a _cat_call’s squeaking noise;
           Most _cat_egorical her virtues shone,
           By _cat_enation joined each one to one;—
           But a vile _cat_chpoll dog, with cruel bite,
           Like _cat_ling’s cut, her strength disabled quite;
           Her _cat_erwauling pierced the heavy air,
           As _cat_aphracts their arms through legions bear;
           ’Tis vain! as _cat_erpillars drag away
           Their lengths, like _cat_tle after busy day,
           She lingering died, nor left in kit _kat_ the
           Embodiment of this _cat_astrophe.


(The humorous lines of Hood are only applicable to the English climate,
where the closing month of autumn is synonymous with fogs, long visages,
and suicides.)

                      No sun—no moon!
                      No morn—no noon—
             No dawn—no dusk—no proper time of day—
                      No sky—no earthly view—
                      No distance looking blue—
             No roads—no streets—no t’other side the way—
                      No end to any row—
                      No indication where the crescents go—
                      No tops to any steeple—
             No recognition of familiar people—
                      No courtesies for showing ’em—
                      No knowing ’em—
             No travellers at all—no locomotion—
             No inkling of the way—no motion—
                      ‘No go’ by land or ocean—
                      No mail—no post—
                      No news from any foreign coast—
             No park—no ring—no afternoon gentility—
                      No company—no nobility—
             No warmth—no cheerfulness—no healthful ease—
                      No comfortable feel in any member—
             No shade—no shine—no butterflies—no bees—
             No fruits—no flowers—no leaves—no birds—

                  *       *       *       *       *

  The name of that monster of brutality, _Caliban_, in Shakspeare’s
  Tempest, is supposed to be anagrammatic of _Canibal_, the old mode of
  spelling Cannibal.

                            A SWARM OF BEES.

            B patient, B prayerful, B humble, B mild,
            B wise as a Solon, B meek as a child;
            B studious, B thoughtful, B loving, B kind;
            B sure you make matter subservient to mind.
            B cautious, B prudent, B trustful, B true,
            B courteous to all men, B friendly with few.
            B temperate in argument, pleasure, and wine,
            B careful of conduct, of money, of time.
            B cheerful, B grateful, B hopeful, B firm,
            B peaceful, _be_nevolent, willing to learn;
            B courageous, B gentle, B liberal, B just,
            B aspiring, B humble, _be_cause thou art dust;
            B penitent, circumspect, sound in the faith,
            B active, devoted; B faithful till death.
            B honest, B holy, transparent, and pure;
            B dependent, B Christ-like, and you’ll B secure.

                         THE BEES OF THE BIBLE.

                Be kindly affectioned one to another.
                Be sober, and watch unto prayer.
                Be content with such things as ye have.
                Be strong in the Lord.
                Be courteous.
                Be not wise in your own conceits.
                Be not forgetful to entertain strangers.
                Be not children in understanding.
                Be followers of God, as dear children.
                Be not weary in well-doing.
                Be holy in all manner of conversation.
                Be patient unto the coming of the Lord.
                Be clothed with humility.

                           FRANKLIN’S “RE’S.”

Dr. Franklin, in England in the year 1775, was asked by a nobleman what
would satisfy the Americans. He answered that it might easily be
comprised in a few “Re’s,” which he immediately wrote on a piece of
paper, thus:—

                 Re-call your forces.
                 Re-store Castle William.
                 Re-pair the damage done to Boston.
                 Re-peal your unconstitutional acts.
                 Re-nounce your pretensions to taxes.
                 Re-fund the duties you have extorted.

After this—

 Re-quire, and
 Re-ceive payment for the destroyed tea, with the voluntary grants of the
    Colonies; and then
 Re-joice in a happy

                            THE MISS-NOMERS.

_After the manner of Horace Smith’s “Surnames ever go by contraries.”_

          Miss Brown is exceedingly fair,
            Miss White is as brown as a berry;
          Miss Black has a gray head of hair,
            Miss Graves is a flirt ever merry;
          Miss Lightbody weighs sixteen stone,
            Miss Rich scarce can muster a guinea;
          Miss Hare wears a wig, and has none,
            And Miss Solomon is a sad ninny!

          Miss Mildmay’s a terrible scold,
            Miss Dove’s ever cross and contrary;
          Miss Young is now grown very old,
            And Miss Heavyside’s light as a fairy!
          Miss Short is at least five feet ten,
            Miss Noble’s of humble extraction;
          Miss Love has a hatred towards men,
            Whilst Miss Still is forever in action.

          Miss Green is a regular _blue_,
            Miss Scarlet looks pale as a lily;
          Miss Violet ne’er shrinks from our view,
            And Miss Wiseman thinks all the men silly!
          Miss Goodchild’s a naughty young elf,
            Miss Lyon’s from terror a fool;
          Miss Mee’s not at all like _myself_,
            Miss Carpenter no one can rule.

          Miss Sadler ne’er mounted a horse,
            While Miss Groom from the stable will run;
          Miss Kilmore can’t look on a corse,
            And Miss Aimwell ne’er levelled a gun;
          Miss Greathead has no brains at all,
            Miss Heartwell is ever complaining;
          Miss Dance has ne’er been at a ball,
            Over hearts Miss Fairweather likes _reigning_!

          Miss Wright, she is constantly wrong,
            Miss Tickell, alas! is not funny;
          Miss Singer ne’er warbled a song,
            And alas! poor Miss Cash has no money;
          Miss Hateman would give all she’s worth,
            To purchase a man to her liking;
          Miss Merry is shocked at all mirth,
            Miss Boxer the men don’t find _striking_!

          Miss Bliss does with sorrow o’erflow,
            Miss Hope in despair seeks the tomb;
          Miss Joy still anticipates wo,
            And Miss Charity’s never “at home!”
          Miss Hamlet resides in the city,
            The nerves of Miss Standfast are shaken;
          Miss Prettyman’s beau is not pretty,
            And Miss Faithful her love has forsaken!

          Miss Porter despises all froth,
            Miss Scales they’ll make _wait_, I am thinking;
          Miss Meekly is apt to be wroth,
            Miss Lofty to meanness is sinking;
          Miss Seymore’s as blind as a bat,
            Miss Last at a party is first;
          Miss Brindle dislikes a striped cat,
            And Miss Waters has always a thirst!

          Miss Knight is now changed into Day,
            Miss Day wants to marry a Knight;
          Miss Prudence has just run away,
            And Miss Steady assisted her flight;
          But success to the fair,—one and all!
            No miss-apprehensions be making;—
          Though wrong the dear sex to _miss-call_,
            There’s no harm, I should hope, in §MISS-TAKING§.

                         CROOKED COINCIDENCES.

A pamphlet published in the year 1703 has the following strange title:
“The _Deformity_ of Sin cured; a Sermon preached at St. Michael’s,
_Crooked_-lane, before the Prince of Orange, by the Rev. J.
_Crookshanks_. Sold by Matthew Denton, at the _Crooked_ Billet near
_Cripple_-gate, and by all other booksellers.” The words of the text
are, “_Every crooked path shall be made straight_;” and the prince
before whom it was preached was _deformed_ in person.


          Great praise to God, and _little Laud_ to the devil.

                 English Words and Forms of Expression.

Dictionary English is something very different not only from common
colloquial English, but even from that of ordinary written composition.
Instead of about forty thousand words, there is probably no single
author in the language from whose works, however voluminous, so many as
ten thousand words could be collected. Of the forty thousand words there
are certainly many more than one-half that are only employed, if they
are ever employed at all, on the rarest occasions. We should be
surprised to find, if we counted them, with how small a number of words
we manage to express all that we have to say, either with our lips or
with the pen. Our common literary English probably hardly amounts to ten
thousand words; our common spoken English hardly to five thousand.

Odd words are to be found in the dictionaries. Why they are kept there
no one knows; but what man in his senses would use such words as
zythepsary for a brewhouse, and zymologist for a brewer; would talk of a
stormy day as procellous and himself as madefied; of his long-legged son
as increasing in procerity but sadly marcid; of having met with such
procacity from such a one; of a bore as a macrologist; of an aged horse
as macrobiotic; of important business as moliminous, and his daughter’s
necklace as moniliform; of some one’s talk as meracious, and lament his
last night’s nimiety of wine at that dapatical feast, whence he was
taken by ereption? Open the dictionary at any page, and you will find a
host of these words.

By a too ready adoption of foreign words into the currency of the
English language, we are in danger of losing much of its radical
strength and historical significance. Marsh has compared the parable of
the man who built his house upon the sand, as given by Matthew and Luke.
Matthew uses the plain Saxon English. The learned Evangelist, Luke,
employed a Latinized dictionary. “Now,” he says, “compare the two
passages and say which to every English ear, is the most impressive:”

“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and
beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of

“Against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell;
and the ruin of that house was great.”—_Luke._

There can scarcely be a difference of opinion as to the relative force
and beauty of the two versions, and consequently we find, that while
that of Matthew has become proverbial, the narrative of Luke is seldom
or never quoted.

Trench says that the Anglo-Saxon is not so much one element of the
English language, as the foundation of it—the basis. All its joints, its
whole _articulation_, its sinews and its ligaments, the great body of
articles, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions, numerals, auxiliary
verbs, all smaller words which serve to knit together and bind the
larger into sentences, these—not to speak of the grammatical structure
of the language—are exclusively Saxon. The Latin may contribute its tale
of bricks, yea, of goodly and polished hewn stones to the spiritual
building, but the mortar, with all that holds and binds these together,
and constitutes them into a house, is Saxon throughout. As proof
positive of the soundness of the above affirmation, the test is
submitted that—“you _can_ write a sentence without Latin, but you
_cannot_ without Saxon.” The words of the Lord’s Prayer are almost all
Saxon. Our good old family Bible is a capital standard of it, and has
done more than any other book for the conservation of the purity of our
language. Our best writers, particularly those of Queen Anne’s
time,—Addison, Steele, Swift, &c.,—were distinguished by their use of
simple Saxon.

                        SOURCES OF THE LANGUAGE.

Some years ago, a gentleman, after carefully examining the folio edition
of Johnson’s Dictionary, formed the following table of English words
derived from other languages:—

                       Latin               6,732
                       French              4,812
                       Saxon               1,665
                       Greek               1,148
                       Dutch                 691
                       Italian               211
                       German                116
                       Welsh                  95
                       Danish                 75
                       Spanish                56
                       Icelandic              50
                       Swedish                34
                       Gothic                 31
                       Hebrew                 16
                       Teutonic               15
                       Arabic                 13
                       Irish                   6
                       Runic                   4
                       Flemish                 4
                       Erse                    4
                       Syriac                  3
                       Scottish                3
                       Irish and Erse          2
                       Turkish                 2
                       Irish and Scottish      1
                       Portuguese              1
                       Persian                 1
                       Frisi                   1
                       Persic                  1
                       Uncertain               1
                             Total        15,784

                          NOUNS OF MULTITUDE.

A foreigner looking at a picture of a number of vessels, said, “See what
a flock of ships.” He was told that a flock of ships was called a fleet,
and that a fleet of sheep was called a flock. And it was added, for his
guidance, in mastering the intricacies of our language, that a flock of
girls is called a bevy, that a bevy of wolves is called a pack, and a
pack of thieves is called a gang, and that a gang of angels is called a
host, and that a host of porpoises is called a shoal, and a shoal of
buffaloes is called a herd, and a herd of children is called a troop,
and a troop of partridges is called a covey, and a covey of beauties is
called a galaxy, and a galaxy of ruffians is called a horde, and a horde
of rubbish is called a heap, and a heap of oxen is called a drove, and a
drove of blackguards is called a mob, and a mob of whales is called a
school, and a school of worshippers is called a congregation, and a
congregation of engineers is called a corps, and a corps of robbers is
called a band, and a band of locusts is called a swarm, and a swarm of
people is called a crowd.

                          DISRAELIAN ENGLISH.

Mr. Disraeli gives us some queer English in his novel of _Lothair_, as
may be seen in the following examples:—“He guarded over Lothair’s vast
inheritance;” “Lothair observed on” a lady’s singing; “of simple but
distinguished mien, with a countenance naturally pale, though somewhat
bronzed by a life of air and exercise, and a profusion of dark, auburn
hair;” “he engaged a vehicle and ordered to be driven to Leicester
Square;” “he pointed to an individual seated in the centre of the
table;” “their mutual ancestors;” “Is there anything in the _Tenebræ_
why I ought not to be present?”; “_thoughts which made him unconscious_
how long had elapsed;” “with no companions than the wounded near them;”
“The surgeon was sitting by her side, occasionally wiping the slight
foam from her brow.” We have heard of people foaming at the mouth, but
never before of a lady foaming at the brow.

                            “YE” FOR “THE.”

_Ye_ is sometimes used for _the_ in old books wherein _the_ is the more
usual form, on account of the difficulties experienced by the printers
in “spacing out.” When pressed for room they put _ye_; when they had
plenty of room they put _the_. Many people in reading old books
pronounce the abbreviation _ye_. But the proper pronunciation is _the_,
for the _y_ is only a corruption of the old _thorn-letter_, or symbol
for _th_.


_His_ is the genitive (or as we say, possessive) of _he_,
(_he’s_,—_his_,) and _it_ or _hit_, as it was long written, is the
neuter of _he_, the final _t_ being the sign of the neuter. The
introduction of _its_, as the neuter genitive instead of _his_, arose
from a misconception, similar to that which would have arisen had the
Romans introduced _illudius_ as the neuter genitive of _ille_, instead
of _illius_. _Its_ very rarely occurs in our authorized version of the
Bible, _his_ or _her_ being used instead—occurs but a few times in all
Shakspeare—was unknown to Ben Jonson—was not admitted into his poems by
Milton—and did not come into common use until sanctioned by Dryden.


The use of the word _That_ in the following examples is strictly in
accordance with grammatical rules:—

The gentleman said, in speaking of the word _that_, _that that that that
that_ lady parsed, was not _that that that that_ gentleman requested her
to analyze.

        Now, _that_ is a word that may often be joined,
        For _that that_ may be doubled is clear to the mind;
        And _that that that_ is right, is as plain to the view,
        As _that that that that_ we use, is rightly used too,
        And _that that that that that_ line has in it, is right—
        In accordance with grammar—is plain in our sight.

                                 I SAY.

A gentleman who was in the habit of interlarding his discourse with the
expression “I say,” having been informed by a friend that a certain
individual had made some ill-natured remarks upon this peculiarity, took
the opportunity of addressing him in the following amusing style of
rebuke:—“I say, sir, I hear say you say I say ‘I say’ at every word I
say. Now, sir, although I know I say ‘I say’ at every word I say, still
I say, sir, it is not for you to say I say ‘I say’ at every word I say.”


There once resided in Ayrshire a man who, like Leman, proposed to write
an Etymological Dictionary of the English language. Being asked what he
understood the word _pathology_ to mean, he answered, with great
readiness and confidence, “Why, the art of _road-making_, to be sure.”

                       THE PRONUNCIATION OF OUGH.

The difficulty of applying rules to the pronunciation of our language
may be illustrated in two lines, where the combination of the letters
_ough_ is pronounced in no less than seven different ways, viz.: as _o_,
_uff_, _off_, _up_, _ow_, _oo_, and _ock_:—

     §Though§ the §TOUGH COUGH§ and §HICCOUGH PLOUGH§ me §THROUGH§,
     O’er life’s dark §LOUGH§ my course I still pursue.

The following attempts to show the sound of _ough_, final, are

           _Though_ from _rough cough_ or _hiccough_ free,
             That man has pain _enough_
           Whose wounds _through plough_, sunk in a _slough_,
             Or _lough_ begin to _slough_.

                ’Tis not an easy task to show,
                How o, u, g, h, sound; since _though_,
                An Irish _lough_, an English _slough_,
                And _cough_, and _hiccough_, all allow
                Differ as much as _tough_ and _through_,
                There seems no reason why they do.

                “Husband,” says Joan, “’tis plain enough
                  That Roger loves our daughter;
                And Betty loves him too, although
                  She treats his suit with laughter.

                “For Roger always hems and coughs,
                  While on the field he’s ploughing;
                Then strives to see between the boughs,
                  If Betty heeds his coughing.”

The following _jeu d’esprit_, entitled “A Literary Squabble on the
pronunciation of Monckton Milnes’s Title,” is stated to have been the
production of Lord Palmerston:—

          The Alphabet rejoiced to hear,
          That Monckton Milnes was made a peer;
          For in the present world of letters,
          But few, if any, were his betters.
          So an address, by acclamation,
          They voted, of congratulation.
          And O U G H T and N
          Were chosen to take up the pen,
          Possessing each an interest vital
          In the new Peer’s baronial title.
          ’Twas done in language terse and telling,
          Perfect in grammar and in spelling.
          But when ’twas read aloud—oh, mercy!
          There sprung up such a controversy
          About the true pronunciation
          Of said baronial appellation.
          The vowels O and U averred
          They were entitled to be heard.
          The consonants denied the claim,
          Insisting that they mute became.
          Johnson and Walker were applied to,
          Sheridan, Bailey, Webster, tried too;
          But all in vain—for each picked out
          A word that left the case in doubt.
          O, looking round upon them all,
          Cried, “If it be correct to call
          T H R O U G H _throo_,
          H O U G H must be _Hoo_;
          Therefore there must be no dispute on
          The question, we should say Lord _Hooton_.”
          U then did speak, and sought to show
          He should be doubled, and not O,
          For sure if _ought_ and _awt_, then nought on
          Earth could the title be but _Hawton_.
          H, on the other hand, said he,
          In _cough_ and _trough_, stood next to G,
          And like an F was then looked oft on,
          Which made him think it should be _Hofton_.
          But G corrected H, and drew
          Attention other cases to:
          _Lough_, _Rough_ and _Chough_, more than enough
          To prove O U G H spelled _uff_,
          And growled out in a sort of gruff tone
          They must pronounce the title _Hufton_.
          N said emphatically No;
          For D O U G H is _Doh_,
          And though (look there again) that stuff
          At sea for fun, they nickname _Duff_,
          He should propose they took a vote on
          The question should it not be _Hoton_?
          Besides, in French ’twould have such force,
          A Lord must be _haut ton_, of course.
          High and more high contention rose,
          From words they almost came to blows,
          Till S, as yet, who had not spoke,
          And dearly loved a little joke,
          Put in _his_ word, and said, “Look here,
          _Plough_ in this row must have a _share_.”
          At this atrocious pun, each page
          Of Johnson whiter grew with rage.
          Bailey looked desperately cut up,
          And Sheridan completely shut up.
          Webster, who is no idle talker,
          Made a sign signifying _Walker_.
          While Walker, who had been used badly,
          Shook his old dirty dog-ears sadly.
          But as we find in prose or rhyme,
          A joke, made happily in time,
          However poor, will often tend
          The hottest argument to end,
          And smother anger in a laugh,
          So S succeeded with his _chaff_,
          Containing, as it did, some wheat,
          In calming this fierce verbal heat.
          Authorities were all conflicting,
          And S there was no contradicting.
          P L O U G H was _Plow_
          Even _enough_ was called _enow_,
          And no one who preferred _enough_
          Would dream of saying “Speed the _Pluff_.”
          So they considered it was wise
          With S to make a compromise,
          To leave no loop to hang a doubt on
          By giving three cheers for Lord Houghton (_Howton_).


The following curious document gives the opinion of Lord Mansfield, when
Attorney-General, upon Dr. Johnson’s definition of the word Excise:—


  Mr. Samuel Johnson has lately published a book, entitled _A Dictionary
  of the English Language, in which the words are deduced from their
  originals, and illustrated in their different significations by
  examples from the best writers. To which are prefixed a history of the
  Language, and an English grammar._

Under the title “Excise” are the following words:—

  Excise, n. s. (_accijs_ Dutch; _excisum_, Latin,) a hateful tax levied
  upon commodities and adjudged not by the common judges of property,
  but _wretches_ hired by those to whom _Excise_ is paid.

      The people should pay a ratable tax for their sheep, and an
      _Excise_ for every thing which they should eat.—§Hayward.§

               Ambitious now to take _excise_
               Of a more fragrant paradise.—§Cleveland.§


         With hundred rows of teeth the shark exceeds,
         And on all trades, like Cassowar, she feeds.—§Marvel.§

             Can hire large houses and oppress the poor
             By farmed Excise.—§Dryden§, _Juvenal, Sat. 3_.

The author’s definition being observed by the Commissioners of Excise,
they desire the favor of your opinion:

_Qu._—Whether it will not be considered as a libel; and, if so, whether
it is not proper to proceed against the author, printers, and publishers
thereof, or any and which of them, by information or how otherwise?


I am of opinion that it is a libel; but, under all the circumstances, I
should think it better to give him an opportunity of altering his
definition; and, in case he don’t, threaten him with an information.

                                                            §W. Murray.§

  29th Nov. 1755.


Mr. Longfellow, in his _Golden Legend_, thus refers to the derivation of
this word from _pons_ (a bridge) and _facere_ (to make):—

              Well has the name of Pontifex been given
              Unto the Church’s head, as the chief builder
              And architect of the invisible bridge
              That leads from earth to heaven.


Mr. Motley, in his _History of the United Netherlands_, IV. 138, thus
ascribes the use of this word to Queen Elizabeth, of England, in her
last illness:—

  The great queen, moody, despairing, dying, wrapt in profoundest
  thought, with eyes fixed upon the ground or already gazing into
  infinity was besought by the counsellors around her to name the man to
  whom she chose that the crown should devolve.

  “Not to a Rough,” said Elizabeth, sententiously and grimly.

These particulars are apparently given on the authority of the Italian
Secretary, Scaramelli, whose language is quoted in a foot-note, and who
says that the word _Rough_ “in lingua inglese significa persona bassa e

Charles Dickens said, “I entertain so strong an objection to the
euphonious softening of _ruffian_ into _rough_, which has lately become
popular, that I restore the right word to the heading of this paper.”
(_The Ruffian, by the Uncommercial Traveler, All the Year Round._)
“Lately popular” does not mean popular for two hundred and eighty years
past. A word that has escaped the notice of the Glossarists cannot have
been in use early in the seventeenth century. That it should have been
used in its modern sense by Queen Elizabeth, passes all bounds of
belief. With all her faults she did not make silly unmeaning remarks;
and it would have been extremely silly in her to say she did not wish a
low ruffian to succeed her on the throne. If she uttered a word having
the same sound, it might possibly have been _ruff_. The “ruff,” though
worn by men of the upper class, was in Queen Elizabeth’s time an
especially female article of dress, and the queen might have said, “I
will have no ruff to succeed me,” just as now-a-days one might say, “I
will have no petticoat government.” We want better authority than that
of Scaramelli before we can believe that Elizabeth used either the word
_rough_ or _ruff_, when consulted as to her wishes respecting her

                           NOT AMERICANISMS.

In Bartlett’s Dictionary the term “_stocking-feet_” is given as an
Americanism. But the following quotation from Thackeray’s _Newcomes_
(vol. i. ch. viii.) shows that this is an error:—

  “Binnie found the Colonel in his sitting-room arrayed in what are
  called in Scotland his stocking-feet.”

Professor Tyndall, at the farewell banquet given in his honor by the
citizens of New York, prior to his departure, in referring to his
successful lecture-course in the United States, said he had had—to quote
his words—“what you Americans call ‘_a good time_.’”

But this expression is not an Americanism. It is used by Dean Swift in
his letter to Stella, (Feb. 24, 1710–11); “I hope Mrs. Wells had a good

That not very elegant adjective _bully_, though found in Bartlett, and
used by Washington Irving cannot be claimed as an Americanism. Friar
Tuck sings, in Scott’s _Ivanhoe_:—

              “Come troll the brown bowl to me, bully boy,
              Come troll the brown bowl to me.”

But to go further back, we find it in the burden of an old three-part
song, “We be three poor Mariners,” in Ravenscroft’s _Deuteromelia_,

                “Shall we go dance the round, the round,
                Shall we go dance the round;
                And he that is a bully boy,
                Come pledge me on the ground.”

One of the words which the English used to class among
Americanisms—ignorant that it was older and better English than their
own usage—was _Fall_, used as the name of the third of the seasons. The
English, corrupted by the Johnsonese of the Hanoverian reigns, call it
by the Latinism, Autumn. But the other term, in general use on this side
of the Atlantic, is the word by which all the old writers of the
language know it. “The hole yere,” says scholarly Roger Ascham in his
_Toxophilus_, “is divided into iiii. partes, Spring tyme, Sommer, Faule
of the leafe, & Winter, whereof the hole winter for the roughnesse of
it, is cleane taken away from shoting: except it be one day amonges xx.,
or one yeare amonges xi.”

This statement, by the way, that exceptionally mild winters were in the
ratio of one to eleven, is worth noting with reference to the recent
announcement of science that the spots on the sun have an eleven-year
period of maximum frequency.

                       NO LOVE LOST BETWEEN THEM.

In the ordinary acceptation of the words, “No love was lost between the
two,” we are led to infer that the two were on very unfriendly terms.
But in the ballad of _The Babes in the Wood_, as given in Percy’s
_Reliques_, occur the following lines, which convey the contrary idea:—

                 No love between this two was lost,
                   Each was to other kind:
                 In love they lived, in love they died,
                   And left two babes behind.

                           THE FORLORN HOPE.

Military and civil writers of the present day seem quite ignorant of the
true meaning of the words _forlorn hope_. The adjective has nothing to
do with despair, nor the substantive with the “charmer which lingers
still behind;” there was no such poetical depth in the words as
originally used. Every corps marching in an enemy’s country had a small
body of men at the head (_haupt_ or _hope_) of the advanced guard; and
which was termed the _forlorne hope_ (_lorn_ being here but a
termination similar to _ward_ in _forward_,) while another small body at
the head of the read-guard was called the _rere-lorn hope_. A reference
to Johnson’s Dictionary shows that civilians were misled as early as the
time of Dryden by the mere sound of a technical military phrase; and, in
process of time, even military men forgot the true meaning of the words.
And thus we easily trace the foundation of an error to which we are
indebted for Byron’s beautiful line:—

                 The full of hope, misnamed _forlorn_.


This word, which is only in vulgar or colloquial use, and which some of
the lexicographers have attempted to trace to learned roots, originated
in a joke. Daly, the manager of a Dublin play-house, wagered that a word
of no meaning should be the common talk and puzzle of the city in
twenty-four hours. In the course of that time the letters _q u i z_ were
chalked on all the walls of Dublin with an effect that won the wager.

                          TENNYSON’S ENGLISH.

Probably no poet ever more thoroughly comprehended the value of words in
metrical composition than Mr. Tennyson, but he has issued a new coinage
which is not pure. Compound epithets are modelled after the Greek or
revived from the uncritical Elizabethan era. Thus, where we should
naturally say “The bee is cradled in the lily,” Mr. Tennyson writes,
“The bee is lily-cradled.” When a man’s nose is broken at the bridge or
a lady’s turns up at the tip, the one is said to be “a nose
bridge-broken,” and the other (with much gallantry) to be “tip-tilted,
like the petal of a flower.”

The movement of the metre again is very peculiar. Discarding Milton’s
long and complex periods, Mr. Tennyson has restored blank verse to an
apparently simple rhythm. But this simplicity is in fact the result of
artifice, and, under every variety of movement, the ear detects the
recurrence of a set type. One of the poet’s favorite devices is to pause
on a monosyllable at the beginning of a line, and this affect is
repeated so often as to remind the reader of Euripides and his unhappy
“oil flask” in _The Frogs_. Take the following instances:—

              And the strange sound of an adulterous race,
              Against the iron grating of her cell

                                   A sound
             As of a silver horn across the hills
               And then the music faded, and the Grail
               His eyes became so like her own they seemed


This passage from Job xxxi. 35, is frequently misapplied, being
interpreted as if it had reference to a book or writing as commonly
understood. It means rather, according to Gesenius, a charge or
accusation. Pierius makes it “libellum accusationis,” and Grotius,
“scriptam accusationem” Scott expresses this in his _Commentary_:—

“Job challenged his adversary, or accuser, to produce a libel or written
indictment against him: he was confident that it would prove no disgrace
to him, but an honor; as every article would be disproved, and the
reverse be manifested.”

Other commentators understand it as meaning a record of Job’s life, or
of his sufferings. Coverdale translates:—“And let him that my contrary
party sue me with a lybell.” In the Genevan version it is, “Though mine
adversarie should write a book _against me_.” In the Bishop’s Bible,
1595, “Though mine adversarie write a book _against me_.” The meaning
seems to have become obscured in our version by retaining the English
book instead of the Latin _libel_, but omitting the words in italics,
“against me.”

                         ECCENTRIC ETYMOLOGIES.

To trace the changes of form and meaning which many of the words of our
language have undergone is no easy task. There are words as current with
us as with our forefathers, the significance of which, as we use them,
is very different from that of their primitive use. And, in many
instances, they have wandered, by courses more or less tortuous, so far
from their original meaning as to make it almost impossible to follow
the track of divergence. Hence, it is easy to understand why it has been
said that the etymologist, to be successful, must have “an instinct like
the special capabilities of the pointer.” But there are derivations
which are only revealed by accident, or stumbled upon in unexpected
ways, and which, in the regular course of patient search, would never
have been elicited. The following illustrative selections will interest
the general reader.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Bombastic._—This adjective has an odd derivation. Originally bombast
(from the Latin bombax, cotton) meant nothing but cotton wadding, used
for filling or stuffing. Shakspeare employs it in this sense in _Love’s
Labor Lost_, v. 2.

                 As bombast and as living to the time.

Decker, in his _Satyromastix_, says, “You shall swear not to bombast out
a new play with the old linings of jests.” And Guazzo, _Civile
Conversation_, 1591,—“Studie should rather make him leane and thinne,
and pull out the bombast of his corpulent doublet.”

Hence, by easy transition from the falseness of padding or puffing out a
figure, bombast came to signify swelling pretentiousness of speech and
conduct as an adapted meaning; and gradually this became the primary and
only sense.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Buxom._—This word is simply bow-some or bough-some, _i.e._, that which
readily bows, or bends, or yields like the boughs of a tree. No longer
ago than when Milton wrote _boughsome_, which as _gh_ in English began
to lose its guttural sound,—that of the letter _chi_ in Greek,—came to
be written _buxom_, meant simply yielding, and was of general

        ——“and, this once known, shall soon return,
        And bring ye to the place where thou and Death
        Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen
        Wing silently the buxom air.”—_Paradise Lost_, II. 840.

But aided, doubtless, as Dr. Johnson suggests, by a too liberal
construction of the bride’s promise in the old English marriage
ceremony, to be “obedient and buxom in bed and board,” it came to be
applied to women who were erroneously thought likely to be thus
yielding; and hence it now means plump, rosy, alluring, and is applied
only to women who combine those qualities of figure, face and

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Cadaver._—An abbot of Cirencester, about 1216, conceived himself an
etymologist, and, as a specimen of his powers, has left us the Latin
word cadaver, a corpse, thus dissected:—“Ca,” quoth he, is abbreviated
for caro; “da” for data; “ver” for vermibus. Hence we have “caro data
vermibus,” flesh given to the worms.

Yet while the reader smiles at this curious absurdity, it is worth while
to note that the word _alms_ is constructed upon a similar principle,
being formed (according to the best authority) of letters, taken from
successive syllables of the cumbrous Latinized Greek word _eleemosyna_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Canard._—This is the French for duck, and the origin of its application
to hoaxing is said to be as follows:—To ridicule a growing extravagance
in story-telling a clever journalist stated that an interesting
experiment had just been made, calculated to prove the extraordinary
voracity of ducks. Twenty of these animals had been placed together, and
one of them having been killed and cut up into the smallest possible
pieces, feathers and all, and thrown to the other nineteen, had been
gluttonously gobbled up in an exceedingly brief space of time. Another
was taken from the remaining nineteen, and being chopped small like its
predecessor, was served up to the eighteen, and at once devoured like
the other; and so on to the last, which was thus placed in the
remarkable position of having eaten his nineteen companions in a
wonderfully short space of time! All this, most pleasantly narrated,
obtained a success which the writer was far from anticipating, for the
story ran the rounds of all the journals in Europe. It then became
almost forgotten for about a score of years, when it came back from
America, with an amplification which it did not boast of at the
commencement, and with a regular certificate of the autopsy of the body
of the surviving animal, whose esophagus was declared to have been
seriously injured! Since then fabrications of this character have been
called _canards_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Chum._—A schoolboy’s letter, written two centuries ago, has lately
revealed that chum is a contraction from “chamber-fellow.” Two students
dwelling together found the word unwieldly, and, led by another
universal law of language, they shortened it in the most obvious way.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Dandy._—Bishop Fleetwood says that “dandy” is derived from a silver
coin of small value, circulated in the reign of Henry VIII., and called
a “dandy-prat.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Dunce._—This word comes to us from the celebrated Duns Scotus, chief of
the Schoolmen of his time. He was “the subtle doctor by preëminence;”
and it certainly is a strange perversion that a scholar of his great
ability should give name to a class who hate all scholarship. When at
the Reformation and revival of learning the works of the Schoolmen fell
into extreme disfavor with the Reformers and the votaries of the new
learning, Duns, the standard-bearer of the former, was so often referred
to with scorn and contempt by the latter that his name gradually became
the by-word it now is for hopeless ignorance and invincible stupidity.
The errors and follies of a set were fastened upon their distinguished
head. Says Tyndale, 1575,—

“Remember ye not how within this thirty years, and far less, and yet
dureth unto this day, the old barking curs, _Dunce’s_ disciples, and
like draff called Scotists, the children of darkness, raged in every
pulpit against Greek, Latin and Hebrew?”

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Eating humble-pie._—The phrase “eating humble-pie” is traced to the
obsolete French word “_ombles_,” entrails; pies for the household
servants being formerly made of the entrails of animals. Hence, to take
low or humble ground, to submit one’s self, came familiarly to be called
eating “humble” or rather “umble” pie. The word “umbles” came to us from
the Norman conquest, and though now obsolete, retains its place in the
lexicons of Worcester and Webster, who, however, explain the entrails to
be those of the deer only.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Fiasco._—A German, one day, seeing a glassblower at his occupation,
thought nothing could be easier than glassblowing, and that he could
soon learn to blow as well as the workman. He accordingly commenced
operations by blowing vigorously, but could only produce a sort of
pear-shaped balloon or little flask (fiasco). The second attempt had a
similar result, and so on, until _fiasco_ after _fiasco_ had been made.
Hence arose the expression which we not infrequently have occasion to
use when describing the result of our undertakings.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Fudge._—This is a curious word, having a positive personality
underlying it. Such at least it is, if Disraeli’s account thereof be
authentic. He quotes from a very old pamphlet entitled _Remarks upon the
Navy_, wherein the author says, “There was in our time one _Captain
Fudge_, commander of a merchantman, who upon his return from a voyage,
how ill fraught soever his ship was, always brought home his owners a
good crop of lies; so much that now, aboard ship, the sailors when they
hear a great lie told, cry out, ‘You fudge it’.” The ship was the Black
Eagle, and the time, Charles II.; and thence the monosyllabic name of
its untruthful captain comes to us for exclamation when we have reason
to believe assertions ill-founded.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Gossip._—This is another of that class of words which by the system of
moral decadence that Trench has so ably illustrated as influencing human
language, has come to be a term of unpleasant reproach. In some parts of
the country, by the “gossips” of a child are meant his god-parents, who
take vows for him at his baptism. The connection between these two
actual uses of the word is not so far to seek as one might suppose.
Chaucer shows us that those who stood sponsors for an infant were
considered “_sib_,” or kin, to each other in _God_: thus the double
syllables were compounded. Verstigan says:—

“Our Christian ancestors understanding a spirituall affinitie for to
grow between the parents, and such as undertooke for the childe at
baptisme, called each other by the name of _God-sib_, which is as much
as to say as that they were _sib_ together, i.e. of kin together,
through God.”

The Roman church forbids marriage between persons so united in a common
vow, as she believes they have contracted an essential spiritual
relationship. But from their affinity in the interests of the child they
were brought into much converse with one another; and as much talk
almost always degenerates into idle talk, and personalities concerning
one’s neighbors, and the like, so “gossips” finally came to signify the
latter, when the former use of it was nearly forgotten. It is remarkable
that the French “commérage” has passed through identically the same

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Grog._—Admiral Vernon, whose ardent devotion to his profession had
endeared him to the British naval service, was in the habit of walking
the deck, in bad weather, in a rough _grogram_ cloak, and thence had
obtained the nickname of _Old Grog_. Whilst in command of the West India
station, and at the height of his popularity on account of his reduction
of Porto Bello with six men-of-war only, he introduced the use of rum
and water among the ship’s company. When served out, the new beverage
proved most palatable, and speedily grew into such favor that it became
as popular as the brave admiral himself, and in honor of him was
surnamed by acclamation “Grog.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Hocus-pocus._—According to Tillotson, this singular expression is
believed to be a corruption of the transubstantiating formula, _Hoc est
corpus meum_, used by the priest on the elevation of the host. Turner,
in his history of the Anglo-Saxons, traces it to Ochus Bochus, a
magician and demon of the northern mythology. We should certainly prefer
the latter as the source of this conjurer’s catch-word, which the usage
of ordinary life connects with jugglery or unfair dealing, but
preponderant evidence is in favor of the former.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Malingerer._—This word, brought much into use by the exigencies of our
civil war, is from the French “malin gré,” and signifies a soldier who
from “evil will” shirks his duty by feigning sickness, or otherwise
rendering himself incapable: in plain words, a poltroon.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Mustard._—Etymologists have fought vigorously over the derivation of
this word. “Multum ardet,” says one, or in old French, “moult arde,” it
burns much. “Mustum ardens, hot must,” says another, referring to the
former custom of preparing French mustard for the table with the sweet
must of new wine. A picturesque story about the name is thus
told:—Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, granted to Dijon certain
armorial bearings, with the motto “Moult me tarde”—I long or wish
ardently. This was sculptured over the principal gate. In the course of
years, by some accident, the central word was effaced. The manufacturers
of sinapi or senévé (such were the former names of mustard), wishing to
label their pots of condiment with the city arms, copied the mutilated
motto; and the unlearned, seeing continually the inscription of
“moult-tarde,” fell into the habit of calling the contents by this

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Navvy._—Many persons have been puzzled by the application of this word,
abbreviated from navigator, to laborers. Why should earth-workers be
called navigators? They whose business is with an element antipodean to
water, why receive a title as of seafaring men? At the period when
inland navigation was the national rage, and canals were considered to
involve the essentials of prosperity, as railways are now, the workmen
employed on them were called “navigators,” as cutting the way for
navigation. And when railways superseded canals, the name of the
laborers, withdrawn from one work to the other, was unchanged, and
merely contracted, according to the dislike of our Anglo-Saxon tongues
to use four syllables where a less number will suffice.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Neighbor._—Formerly this familiar word was employed to signify “the
boor who lives nigh to us.” And just here is another of those words
which have been degraded from their original sense; for boor did not
then represent a stupid, ignorant lout, but simply a farmer, as in Dutch

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Poltroon._—In the olden days the Norman-French “poltroon” had a
significance obsolete now: days when Strongbow was a noble surname, and
the yew-trees of England were of importance as an arm of national
defence; then the coward or malingerer had but to cut off the thumb
(“pollice truncus” in Latin)—the thumb which drew the bow, and he was
unfit for service, and must be discharged.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Porpoise._—The common creature of the sea, whose gambols have passed
into a jest and a proverb, the porpoise, is so named because of his
resemblance to a hog when in sportive mood. “Porc-poisson,” said
somebody who watched a herd of them tumbling about, for all the world
like swine, except for the sharp dorsal fin; and the epithet adhered.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Scrape._—Long ago roamed through the forests the red and fallow deer,
which had a habit of scraping up the earth with their fore-feet to the
depth of several inches, sometimes even of half a yard. A wayfaring man
through the olden woods was frequently exposed to the danger of tumbling
into one of these hollows, when he might truly be said to be “in a
scrape.” Cambridge students in their little difficulties picked up and
applied the phrase to other perplexing matters which had brought a man
morally into a fix.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Sterling._—This word was originally applied to the metal rather than to
a coin. The following extract from Camden points out its origin as
applied to money:—

In the time of his sonne King Richard the First, monie coined in the
east parts of Germanie began to be of especiall request in England for
the puritie thereof, and was called _Easterling_ monie, as all the
inhabitants of those parts were called _Easterlings_, and shortly after
some of that countrie, skilful in mint matters and alloies, were sent
for into this realme to bring the coins to perfection, which, since that
time, was called of them _sterling_ for _Easterlings_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Surplice._—That scholastic and ministerial badge, the surplice, is said
to derive its name from the Latin “superpelliceum,” because anciently
worn over leathern coats made of hides of beasts; with the idea of
representing how the sin of our first parents is now covered by the
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we are entitled to wear the
emblem of innocence.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Sycophant._—The original etymology of the word sycophant is curious.
The word συχοφαντέω (from σῦχον, a fig, and φαίνω, to show,) in its
primary signification, means to inform against or expose those who
exported figs from Athens to other places without paying duty, hence it
came to signify _calumnior_, to accuse falsely, to be a tale-bearer, an
evil speaker of others. The word _sycophanta_ means, in its first sense,
no more than this. We now apply it to any flatterer, or other abject
dependant, who, to serve his own purposes, slanders and detracts from

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Tariff._—Because payment of a fixed scale of duties was demanded by the
Moorish occupants of a fortress on Tarifa promontory, which overlooked
the entrance to the Mediterranean, all taxes on imports came to be
called a tariff.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Treacle._—A remarkable curiosity in the way of derivations is one
traced by that indefatigable explorer, Archbishop Trench, which connects
treacle with vipers. The syrup of molasses with the poison of snakes!
Never was an odder relationship; yet it is a case of genuine fatherhood,
and embodies a singular superstition. The ancients believed that the
best antidote to the bite of the viper was a confection of its own
flesh. The Greek word θηρταχή, flesh of the viper, was given first to
such a sweetmeat, and then to any antidote of poison, and lastly to any
syrup; and easily corrupted into our present word. Chaucer has a line—

              Christ, which that is to every harm triacle.

Milton speaks of the “sovran treacle of sound doctrine.” A stuff called
Venice Treacle was considered antidote to all poisons. “Vipers treacle
yield,” says Edmund Waller, in a verse which has puzzled many a modern
reader, and yet brings one close to the truth of the etymology, and
shows that treacle is only a popular corruption of _theriac_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Wig._—This word may be cited as a good example to show how interesting
and profitable it is to trace words through their etymological windings
to their original source. Wig is abridged from _periwig_, which comes
from the Low Dutch _peruik_, which has the same meaning. When first
introduced into the English language, it was written and pronounced
_perwick_, the _u_ being changed into _w_, as may still be seen in old
English books. Afterwards the _i_ was introduced for euphony, and it
became _periwick_; and finally the _ck_ was changed into _g_, making it
_periwig_, and by contraction _wig_.

The Dutch word _peruik_ was borrowed from the French _perruque_. The
termination _uik_ is a favorite one with that nation, and is generally
substituted in borrowed words for the French _uque_ and the German
_auch_. The French word _perruque_ comes from the Spanish _peluca_, and
this last from _pelo_, hair, which is derived from the Latin _pilus_.
Hence the Latin word _pilus_, hair, through successive transformations,
has produced the English word _wig_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Windfall._—Centuries ago a clause was extant in the tenure of many
English estates, to the effect that the owners might not fell the trees,
as the best timber was reserved for the Royal Navy; but any trees that
came down without cutting were the property of the tenant. Hence was a
storm a joyful and a lucrative event in proportion to its intensity, and
the larger the number of forest patriarchs it laid low the richer was
the lord of the land. He had received a veritable “windfall.” Ours in
the nineteenth century come in the shape of any unexpected profit; and
those of us who own estates rather quake in sympathy with our trembling
trees on windy nights.

                     ODD CHANGES OF SIGNIFICATION.

The first verse of Dean Whittingham’s version of the 114th Psalm may be
quoted as a curious instance of a phrase originally grave in its meaning
become strangely incongruous:—

                  When Israel by God’s address
                  From Pharaoh’s land was bent,
                  And Jacob’s house the strangers left
                  And _in the same train_ went.

Since the completion of the Pacific Railway, some introductory lines in
Southey’s _Thalaba_ require correction:—

                    Who at this untimely hour
                    Wander o’er the _desert sands_?
                    No _station_ is in view.

If the author would revisit the earth, he would find numerous “stations”
on the railway route across the Great American Desert.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Among funny instances of wresting from a text a meaning to suit a
particular purpose, is that of the classical scholar who undertook to
prove that the word “smile” was used as a euphemism for a drink in
ancient times, by quoting from Horace’s _Odes_:—

                       Amara lento temperat risu.

Which is rendered by Martin:—

                  Meets life’s _bitters_ with a jest,
                  And _smiles_ them down.

By _lento risu_, it was argued, is clearly meant a _slow_ smile, or one
taken through a straw!

The meaning of the word _Wretch_ is one not generally understood. It was
originally, and is now, in some parts of England, used as a term of the
softest and fondest tenderness. This is not the only instance in which
words in their present general acceptation bear a very opposite meaning
to what they did in Shakspeare’s time. The word _Wench_, formerly, was
not used in the low and vulgar acceptation that it is at present.
_Damsel_ was the appellation of young ladies of quality, and _Dame_ a
title of distinction. _Knave_ once signified a servant; and in an early
translation of the New Testament, instead of “Paul, the Servant,” we
read “Paul, the Knave of Jesus Christ,” or, Paul, a rascal of Jesus
Christ. _Varlet_ was formerly used in the same sense as valet. On the
other hand, the word _Companion_, instead of being the honorable synonym
of Associate, occurs in the play of Othello with the same contemptuous
meaning which we now affix, in its abusive sense, to the word “Fellow;”
for Emilia, perceiving that some secret villain had aspersed the
character of the virtuous Desdemona, thus indignantly exclaims:—

           O Heaven! that such _Companions_ thou’dst unfold,
           And put in every honest hand a whip,
           To lash the rascal naked through the world.—iv. 2.

_Villain_ formerly meant a bondman. In feudal law, according to
Blackstone, the term was applied to those who held lands and tenements
in _villenage_,—a tenure by base services.

Pedant formerly meant a schoolmaster. Shakspeare says in his _Twelfth

          A pedant that keeps a school in the church.—iii. 2.

Bacon, in his _Pathway unto Prayer_, thus uses the word Imp: “Let us
pray for the preservation of the King’s most excellent Majesty, and for
the prosperous success of his entirely beloved son Edward our Prince,
that most _angelic imp_.”

The word _brat_ is not considered very elegant now, but a few years ago
it had a different signification from its present one. An old hymn or
_De profundis_, by Gascoine, contains the lines,—

              “O Israel, O household of the Lord,
              O Abraham’s brats, O brood of blessed seed,
              O chosen sheep that loved the Lord indeed.”

It is a somewhat noticeable fact, that the changes in the signification
of words have generally been to their deterioration; that is, words that
heretofore had no sinister meaning have acquired it. The word _cunning_,
for example, formerly meant nothing sinister or underhanded; and in
Thrope’s confession in Fox’s “Book of Martyrs” is the sentence, “I
believe that all these three persons [in the Godhead] are even in power,
and in cunning, and in might, full of grace and of all goodness.”
_Demure_ is another of this class. It was used by earlier writers
without the insinuation which is now almost latent in it, that the
external shows of modesty and sobriety rest on no corresponding
realities. _Explode_ formerly meant to drive off the stage with loud
clappings of the hands, but gradually became exaggerated into its
present signification. _Facetious_, too, originally meant urbane, but
now has so degenerated as to have acquired the sense of buffoonery; and
Mr. Trench sees indications that it will ere long acquire the sense of
indecent buffoonery.

_Frippery_ now means trumpery and odds and ends of cheap finery; but
once it meant old clothes of value, and not worthless, as the term at
present implies. The word _Gossip_ formerly meant only a sponsor in
baptism. Sponsors were supposed to become acquainted at the baptismal
font, and by their sponsorial act to establish an indefinite affinity
towards each other and the child. Thus the word was applied to all who
were familiar and intimate, and finally obtained the meaning which is
now predominant in it.

_Homely_ once meant secret and familiar, though in the time of Milton it
had acquired the same sense as at present. _Idiot_, from the Greek,
originally signified only a private man as distinguished from one in
public office, and from that it has degenerated till it has come to
designate a person of defective mental powers. _Incense_ once meant to
kindle not only anger, but good passions as well; Fuller uses it in the
sense of “to incite.” _Indolence_ originally signified a freedom from
passion or pain, but now implies a condition of languid non-exertion.
_Insolent_ was once only “unusual.”

The derivation of _lumber_ is peculiar. As the Lombards were the
bankers, so they were also the pawnbrokers, of the Middle Ages. The
“lumber-room” was then the place where the Lombard banker and broker
stored his pledges, and _lumber_ gradually came to mean the pledges
themselves. As these naturally accumulated till they got out of date or
became unserviceable, it is easy to trace the steps by which the word
descended to its present meaning.

_Obsequious_ implies an unmanly readiness to fall in with the will of
another; but in the original obsequium, or in the English word as
employed two centuries ago, there was nothing of this: it rather meant
obedience and mildness. Shakspeare, speaking of a deceased person,

             “How many a holy and obsequious tear
             Hath dear religious love stolen from mine eye,
             As interest of the dead.”

_Property_ and _propriety_ were once synonymous, both referring to
material things, as the French word _propriété_ does now. Foreigners do
not often catch the distinction at present made in English between the
two words; and we know a French gentleman who, recently meeting with
some pecuniary reverses, astonished his friends by telling them that he
had lost all his “propriety.”

A poet is a person who writes poetry, and, according to the good old
customs, a proser was a person who wrote prose, and simply the
antithesis of poet. The word has now a sadly different signification;
and it would not be considered very respectable to term Addison, Irving,
Bancroft, or Everett “prosers.”

                          INFLUENCE OF NAMES.

The Romans, from the time they expelled their kings, could never endure
the idea of being governed by a _king_. But they submitted to the most
abject slavery under an _emperor_. And Oliver Cromwell did not venture
to risk disgusting the republicans by calling himself king, though under
the title of Protector he exercised regal functions.

The American colonies submitted to have their commerce and their
manufactures crippled by restrictions avowedly for the benefit of the
mother-country, and were thus virtually _taxed_ to the amount of all
that they in any instance lost by paying more for some article than it
would cost to make it themselves, or to buy it of foreigners. But as
soon as _a tax_ was imposed _under that name_, they broke out into

It is a marvel to many, and seems to them nearly incredible, that the
Israelites should have gone after other gods; and yet the vulgar in most
parts of Christendom are actually serving the gods of their heathen
ancestors. But then they do not _call_ them _gods_, but fairies or
bogles, etc., and they do not apply the word _worship_ to their
veneration of them, nor _sacrifice_ to their offerings. And this slight
change of name keeps most people in ignorance of a fact that is before
their eyes.

Others, professed Christians, are believed, both by others and by
themselves, to be worshippers of the true God, though they invest him
with the _attributes_ of one of the evil demons worshipped by the
heathen. There is hardly any professed Christian who would not be
shocked at the application of the word _caprice_ to the acts of the Most
High. And yet his choosing to inflict suffering on his creatures “_for
no cause_” (as some theologians maintain) “except that _such is his
will_,” is the very definition of caprice.

But when Lord Byron published his poem of “Cain,” which contains
substantially the _very same_ doctrine, there was a great outcry among
pious people, including, no doubt, many who were of the theological
school which teaches the same, under other _names_.

Why and how any evil comes to exist in the universe, reason cannot
explain, and revelation does not tell us. But it does show us what is
_not_ the cause. That it cannot be from _ill will_ or _indifference_, is
proved by the sufferings undergone by the _beloved_ Son.

Many probably would have hesitated if it had been proposed to them to
join a new _Church_ under that _name_, who yet eagerly enrolled
themselves in the Evangelical _Alliance_,—which is in fact a church,
with meetings for worship, and _sermons_ under the _name_ of _speeches_,
and a _creed_ consisting of sundry _Articles of Faith_ to be subscribed;
only not called by those _names_.

Mrs. B. expressed to a friend her great dread of such a medicine as
tartar-emetic. She always, she said, gave her children _antimonial_
wine. He explained to her that this is tartar-emetic dissolved in wine;
but she remained unchanged.

Mrs. H. did not like that her daughters should be novel-readers; and
_all novels_ in _prose_ were indiscriminately prohibited; but _any_
thing in _verse_ was as indiscriminately allowed.

Probably a Quaker would be startled at any one’s using the very _words_
of the prophets, “Thus saith the Lord:” yet he says the same things in
the words, “The Spirit moveth me to say so and so.” And some, again, who
would be shocked at _this_, speak of a person,—adult or _child_,—who
addresses a congregation in extempore prayers and discourses, as being
under the _influence of the Holy Spirit_; though in neither case is
there any miraculous _proof_ given. And they abhor a claim to
_infallibility_; only they are _quite certain_ of being under the
guidance of the Spirit in whatever they say or do.

Quakers, again, and some other dissenters, object to a _hired_ ministry,
(in reality, an _un_hired;) but their preachers are to be _supplied_
with all they need; like the father of Molière’s Bourgeois, who was no
_shopkeeper_, but kindly chose _goods_ for his friends, which he let
them have for money.

                           COMPOUND EPITHETS.

The custom of using hard compounds furnished Ben Jonson opportunities of
showing his learning as well as his satire. He used to call them “words
un-in-one-breath-utterable.” Redi mentions an epigram against the
sophists, made up of compounds “a mile long.” Joseph Scaliger left a
curious example in Latin, part of which may be thus rendered into

            Youthcheaters, Wordcatchers, Vaingloryosophers,
            Such are your seekersofvirtue philosophers.

The old naturalist Lovell published a book at Oxford, in 1661, entitled
_Panzoologicomineralogia_. Rabelais proposed the following title for a
book:—_Antipericatametaparhengedamphicribrationes_. The reader of
Shakspeare will remember Costard’s _honorificabilitudinitatibus_, in
Love’s Labor Lost, v. 1. There was recently in the British army a major
named _Teyoninhokarawen_. In the island of Mull, Scotland, is a locality
named _Drimtaidhorickhillichattan_. The original Mexican for country
curates is _Notlazomahnitzteopixcatatzins_. The longest
Nipmuck word in Eliot’s Indian Bible is in St. Mark i. 40,
_Wutteppesittukqussunnoowehtunkquoh_, and signifies “kneeling down to


         But rede that boweth down for every blaste
         Ful lyghtly cesse wynde, it wol aryse
         But so nyle not an oke, when it is caste
         It nedeth me nought longe the forvyse
         Men shall reioysen of a great emprise
         Atchewed wel and stant withouten dout
         Al haue men ben the longer there about.—_Troylus_, ii.

                             Tall Writing.


The spiritual cognoscence of psychological irrefragibility connected
with concutient ademption of incolumnient spirituality and etherialized
contention of subsultory concretion.

Translated by a New York lawyer, it stands thus:—

Transcendentalism is two holes in a sand-bank: a storm washes away the
sand-bank without disturbing the holes.

                     THE DOMICILE ERECTED BY JOHN.

                     _Translated from the Vulgate._

   Behold the Mansion reared by dædal Jack.

   See the malt stored in many a plethoric sack,
   In the proud cirque of Ivan’s bivouac.

   Mark how the Rat’s felonious fangs invade
   The golden stores in John’s pavilion laid.

   Anon, with velvet foot and Tarquin strides,
   Subtle Grimalkin to his quarry glides,—
   Grimalkin grim, that slew the fierce _rodent_
   Whose tooth insidious Johann’s sackcloth rent.

   Lo! now the deep-mouthed canine foe’s assault,
   That vexed the avenger of the stolen malt,
   Stored in the hallowed precincts of that hall
   That rose complete at Jack’s creative call.

   Here stalks the impetuous Cow with crumpled horn,
   Whereon the exacerbating hound was torn,
   Who bayed the feline slaughter-beast that slew
   The Rat predacious, whose keen fangs ran through
   The textile fibers that involved the grain
   Which lay in Hans’ inviolate domain.

   Here walks forlorn the Damsel crowned with rue,
   Lactiferous spoils from vaccine dugs, who drew,
   Of that corniculate beast whose tortuous horn
   Tossed to the clouds, in fierce vindictive scorn,
   The harrowing hound, whose braggart bark and stir
   Arched the lithe spine and reared the indignant fur
   Of Puss, that with verminicidal claw
   Struck the weird rat in whose insatiate maw
   Lay reeking malt that erst in Juan’s courts we saw,
   Robed in senescent garb that seems in sooth
   Too long a prey to Chronos’ iron tooth.

   Behold the man whose amorous lips incline,
   Full with young Eros’ osculative sign,
   To the lorn maiden whose lact-albic hands
   Drew albu-lactic wealth from lacteal glands
   Of that immortal bovine, by whose horn
   Distort, to realm ethereal was borne
   The beast catulean, vexer of that sly
   Ulysses quadrupedal, who made die
   The old mordacious Rat that dared devour
   Antecedaneous Ale in John’s domestic bower.

   Lo, here, with hirsute honors doffed, succinct
   Of saponaceous locks, the Priest who linked
   In Hymen’s golden bands the torn unthrift,
   Whose means exiguous stared from many a rift,
   Even as he kissed the virgin all forlorn,
   Who milked the cow with implicated horn,
   Who in fine wrath the canine torturer skied,
   That dared to vex the insidious muricide,
   Who let auroral effluence through the pelt
   Of the sly Rat that robbed the palace Jack had built.

   The loud cantankerous Shanghae comes at last,
   Whose shouts arouse the shorn ecclesiast,
   Who sealed the vows of Hymen’s sacrament,
   To him who, robed in garments indigent,
   Exosculates the damsel lachrymose,
   The emulgator of that horned brute morose,
   That tossed the dog, that worried the cat, that _kilt_
   The rat, that ate the malt, that lay in the house that Jack built.


                               TO BE LET,

To an Oppidan, a Ruricolist, or a Cosmopolitan, and may be entered upon

The House in §Stone Row§, lately possessed by §Capt. Siree§. To avoid
Verbosity, the Proprietor with Compendiosity will give a Perfunctory
description of the Premises, in the Compagination of which he has
Sedulously studied the convenience of the Occupant. It is free from
Opacity, Tenebrosity, Fumidity, and Injucundity, and no building can
have greater Pellucidity or Translucency—in short, its Diaphaneity even
in the Crepuscle makes it like a Pharos, and without laud, for its
Agglutination and Amenity, it is a most Delectable Commorance; and
whoever lives in it will find that the Neighbors have none of the
Truculence, the Immanity, the Torvity, the Spinosity, the Putidness, the
Pugnacity, nor the Fugacity observable in other parts of the town, but
their Propinquity and Consanguinity occasion Jocundity and Pudicity—from
which, and the Redolence of the place (even in the dog-days), they are
remarkable for Longevity. For terms and particulars apply to §James
Hutchinson§, opposite the §Market-House§.—_Dub. News._


The following is a genuine epistle, sent by an emigrant country
schoolmaster to a friend at home:—

§Mr M. Connors§

With congruous gratitude and decorum I accost to you this debonnaire
communication. And announce to you with amicable Complacency that we
continually enjoy competent laudable good health, thanks to our
omnipotent Father for it. We are endowed with the momentous prerogatives
of respectable operations of a supplement concuity of having a fine
brave and gallant youthful daughter the pendicity ladies age is four
months at this date, we denominated her Margaret Connolly.

I have to respond to the Communication and accost and remit a Convoy
revealing with your identity candor and sincerity. If your brother who
had been pristinely located and stationed in England whether he has
induced himself with ecstasy to be in preparation to progress with you.
I am paid by the respectable potent loyal nobleman that I work for one
dollar per day. Announce to us in what Concuity the crops and the
products of husbandry dignify, also predict how is John Carroll and his
wife and family. My brother and Myself are continually employed and
occupied in similar work. Living and doing good. Dictate how John Mahony
wife and family is.

Don’t you permit oblivion to obstruct you from inserting this.
Prognosticate how Mrs Harrington is and if she accept my intelligence or
any convoy from either of Her 2 progenies since their embarkation for
this nation. If she has please specify with congruous and elysian
gratitude with validity and veracity to my magnanimous self.

I remit my respects to my former friends and acquaintances.

  I remain

                                                          §D. Connolly§.

P.S. Direct your Epistle to Pembroke, State of Maine.

  Dear brother-in-law

I am determined and candidly arrive at Corolary, as I am fully resolved
to transfer a sufficient portion of money to you to recompense your
liabilities from thence to hence. I hope your similar operations will
not impede any occurrence that might obstruct your progression on or at
the specified time the 17 of March next.

                           SPANISH PLAY-BILL,

                     _Exhibited at Seville, 1762._

To the Sovereign of Heaven—to the Mother of the Eternal World—to the
Polar Star of Spain—to the Comforter of all Spain—to the faithful
Protectress of the Spanish nation—to the Honor and Glory of the Most
Holy Virgin Mary—for her benefit and for the Propagation of her
Worship—the Company of Comedians will this day give a representation of
the Comic Piece called—


The celebrated Italian will also dance the Fandango, and the Theatre
will be respectably illuminated.

                  *       *       *       *       *

In a medical work entitled The _Breviarie of Health_, published in 1547,
by Andrew Borde, a physician of that period, is a prologue addressed to
physicians, beginning thus:—

Egregious doctors and masters of the eximious and arcane science of
physic, of your urbanity exasperate not yourselves against me for making
this little volume.

                             THE MAD POET.

McDonald Clarke, commonly called the _mad poet_, died a few years ago in
the Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island, New York. He wrote those
oft-quoted lines,—

                  Now twilight lets her curtain down,
                    And pins it with a star.

In his wilder moments he set all rules at defiance, and mingled the
startlingly sublime and the laughably ridiculous in the oddest
confusion. He talks thus madly of Washington:—

                Eternity—give him elbow room;
                    A spirit like his is large;
                Earth, fence with artillery his tomb,
                    And fire a double charge
                To the memory of America’s greatest man:
                Match him, posterity, if you can.

In the following lines, he sketches, with a few bold touches, a
well-known place, sometimes called a _rum-hole_:—

            Ha! see where the wild-blazing grogshop appears,
              As the red waves of wretchedness swell;
            How it burns on the edge of tempestuous years,
              The horrible light-house of hell!

                            FOOTE’S FARRAGO.

The following droll nonsense was written by Foote, the dramatist, for
the purpose of trying the memory of Macklin, who boasted that he could
learn any thing by heart on hearing it once:—

So she went into the garden to cut a cabbage-leaf to make an apple-pie;
and, at the same time, a great she-bear coming up the street pops its
head into the shop—What! no soap? So he died; and she very imprudently
married the barber; and there were present the Picninnies, and the
Joblilies, and the Garyulies, and the great Panjandrum himself, with the
little round button at top. And they all fell to playing the game of
“catch as catch can,” till the gunpowder ran out of the heels of their


While I was admiring the fantastical ramifications of some umbelliferous
plants that hung over the margin of the Liffey, the fallacious bank,
imperceptibly corroded by the moist tooth of the fluid, gave way beneath
my feet, and I was suddenly submerged to some fathoms of profundity.
Presence of mind, in constitutions not naturally timid, is generally in
proportion to the imminence of the peril. Having never learned to move
through the water in horizontal progression, had I desponded, I had
perished; but, being for a moment raised above the element by my
struggles, or by some felicitous casualty, I was sensible of the danger,
and immediately embraced the means of extrication. A cow, at the moment
of my lapse, had entered the stream, within the distance of a protruded
arm; and being in the act of transverse navigation to seek the pasture
of the opposite bank, I laid hold on that part of the animal which is
loosely pendent behind, and is formed by the continuation of the
vertebræ. In this manner I was safely conveyed to a fordable passage,
not without some delectation from the sense of the progress without
effort on my part, and the exhilarating approximation of more than
problematical deliverance. Though in some respects I resembled the pilot
of Gyas, _Jam senior madidaque fluens in veste_, yet my companions,
unlike the barbarous Phrygian spectators, forbore to acerbitate the
uncouthness of embarrassment by the insults of derision. Shrieks of
complorance testified sorrow for my submersion, and safety was rendered
more pleasant by the felicitations of sympathy. As the danger was over,
I took no umbrage at a little risibility excited by the feculence of my
visage, upon which the cow had discharged her gramineous digestion in a
very ludicrous abundance. About this time the bell summoned us to
dinner; and, as the cutaneous contact of irrigated garments is neither
pleasant nor salubrious, I was easily persuaded by the ladies to divest
myself of mine. Colonel Manly obligingly accommodated me with a covering
of camlet. I found it commodious, and more agreeable than the many
compressive ligaments of modern drapery. That there might be no
violation of decorum, I took care to have the loose robe fastened before
with small cylindrical wires, which the dainty fingers of the ladies
easily removed from their dresses and inserted into mine, at such proper
intervals as to leave no aperture that could awaken the susceptibility
of temperament, or provoke the cachinnations of levity.[11]

Footnote 11:

  The peculiar stateliness and dignity of Johnston’s style, when applied
  to the smaller concerns of life, makes, as will be seen from the above
  caricature, a very ludicrous appearance. A judicious imitation of his
  phraseology on trifling subjects was a favorite manner of attack among
  the critics. Erskine’s account of the Buxton baths is one of the most
  amusing. When several examples of this sort were shown to Johnson, at
  Edinburgh, he pronounced that of Lord Dreghorn the best: “but,” said
  he, “I could caricature my own style much better myself.”

                           NEWSPAPER EULOGY.

The following alliterative eulogy on a young lady appeared, many years
ago, in a newspaper:—

If _b_oundless _b_enevolence _b_e the _b_asis of _b_eatitude, and
_h_armless _h_umanity a _h_arbinger of _h_allowed _h_eart, these
_C_hristian _c_oncomitants _c_omposed her _c_haracteristics, and
_c_onciliated the esteem of her _c_otemporary a_c_quaintances, who
_m_ean to _m_odel their _m_anners in the _m_ould of their _m_eritorious

                             CLEAR AS MUD.

In a series of _Philosophical Essays_ published many years ago, the
author[12] gives some definitions of human knowledge, the following of
which he considers “least obnoxious to comprehension:”—

Footnote 12:


A coincidence between the association of ideas, and the order or
succession of events or phenomena, according to the relation of cause
and effect, and in whatever is subsidiary, or necessary to realize,
approximate and extend such coincidence; understanding, by the relation
of cause and effect, that order or succession, the discovery or
development of which empowers an intelligent being, by means of one
event or phenomenon, or by a series of given events or phenomena, to
anticipate the recurrence of another event or phenomenon, or of a
required series of events or phenomena, and to summon them into
existence, and employ their instrumentality in the gratification of his
wishes, or in the accomplishment of his purposes.

                           INDIGNANT LETTER.

Addressed to a Louisiana clergyman by a Virginia correspondent.

§Sir§:—You have behaved like an impetiginous acroyli—like those
inquinate orosscrolest who envious of my moral celsitude carry their
mugacity to the height of creating symposically the fecund words which
my polymathic genius uses with uberity to abligate the tongues of the
weightless. Sir, you have corassly parodied my own pet words, as though
they were tangrams. I will not conceroate reproaches. I would obduce a
veil over the atramental ingratitude which has chamiered even my
undisceptible heart. I am silent on the foscillation which my coadful
fancy must have given you when I offered to become your fanton and
adminicle. I will not speak of the liptitude, the ablepsy you have shown
in exacerbating me; one whose genius you should have approached with
mental discalceation. So, I tell you, Sir, syncophically and without
supervacaneous words, nothing will render ignoscible your conduct to me.
I warn you that I will vellicate your nose if I thought your moral
diathesis could be thereby performed. If I thought that I should not
impigorate my reputation by such a degladiation. Go tagygraphic; your
oness inquinate draws oblectation from the greatest poet since Milton,
and draws upon your head this letter, which will drive you to Webster,
and send you to sleep over it.

“Knowledge is power,” and power is mercy; so I wish you no rovose that
it may prove an external hypnotic.

                         INTRAMURAL ÆSTIVATION.

       In candent ire the solar splendor flames;
       The foles, languescent, pend from arid rames;
       His humid front the cive, anheling, wipes,
       And dreams of erring on ventiferous ripes.

       How dulce to vive occult to mortal eyes,
       Dorm on the herb with none to supervise,
       Carp the suave berries from the crescent vine,
       And bibe the flow from longicaudate kine!

       To me, alas! no verdurous visions come,
       Save yon exiguous pool’s conferva-scum;
       No concave vast repeats the tender hue
       That laves my milk-jug with celestial blue!

       Me wretched! Let me curr to quercine shades!
       Effund your albid hausts, lactiferous maids!
       Oh, might I vole to some umbrageous clump,—
       Depart,—be off,—excede,—evade,—erump!
                               _Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table._

                         A CHEMICAL VALENTINE.

          I love thee, Mary, and thou lovest me,
          Our mutual flame is like the affinity
          That doth exist between two simple bodies.
          I am Potassium to thy Oxygen;
          ’Tis little that the holy marriage vow
          Shall shortly make us one. That unity
          Is, after all, but metaphysical.
          Oh! would that I, my Mary, were an Acid—
          A living Acid; thou an Alkali
          Endowed with human sense; that, brought together,
          We both might coalesce into one Salt,
          One homogeneous crystal. Oh that thou
          Wert Carbon, and myself were Hydrogen!
          We would unite to form olefiant gas,
          Or common coal, or naphtha. Would to heaven
          That I were Phosphorus, and thou wert Lime,
          And we of Lime composed a Phosphuret!
          I’d be content to be Sulphuric Acid,
          So that thou mightst be Soda. In that case,
          We should be Glauber’s Salt. Wert thou Magnesia
          Instead, we’d form the salt that’s named from Epsom.
          Couldst thou Potassa be, I Aquafortis,
          Our happy union should that compound form,
          Nitrate of Potash—otherwise Saltpetre.
          And thus, our several natures sweetly blent
          We’d live and love together, until death
          Should decompose this fleshly Tertium Quid,
          Leaving our souls to all eternity
          Amalgamated! Sweet, thy name is Briggs,
          And mine is Johnson. Wherefore should not we
          Agree to form a Johnsonate of Briggs?
          We will! the day, the happy day is nigh,
          When Johnson shall with beauteous Briggs combine.

                     THE ANATOMIST TO HIS DULCINEA.

         I list as thy heart and ascending aorta
           Their volumes of valvular harmony pour;
         And my soul from that muscular music has caught a
           New life ’mid its dry anatomical lore.

         Oh, rare is the sound when thy ventricles throb
           In a systolic symphony measured and slow,
         When the auricles answer with rhythmical sob,
           As they murmur a melody wondrously low!

         Oh, thy cornea, love, has the radiant light
           Of the sparkle that laughs in the icicle’s sheen;
         And thy crystalline lens, like a diamond bright,
           Through the quivering frame of thine iris is seen!

         And thy retina, spreading its lustre of pearl,
           Like the far-away nebula, distantly gleams
         From a vault of black cellular mirrors that hurl
           From their hexagon angles the silvery beams.

         Ah! the flash of those orbs is enslaving me still,
           As they roll ’neath the palpebræ, dimly translucent,
         Obeying in silence the magical will
           Of the oculo-motor—pathetic—abducent.

         Oh, sweet is thy voice, as it sighingly swells
           From the daintily quivering chordæ vocales,
         Or rings in clear tones through the echoing cells
           Of the antrum, the ethmoid, and sinus frontales!

                             ODE TO SPRING.

                     WRITTEN IN A LAWYER’S OFFICE.

              Whereas on sundry boughs and sprays
                Now divers birds are heard to sing,
              And sundry flowers their heads upraise—
                Hail to the coming on of Spring!

              The birds aforesaid, happy pairs!
                Love midst the aforesaid boughs enshrines
              In household nests, themselves, their heirs,
                Administrators, and assigns.

              The songs of the said birds arouse
                The memory of our youthful hours.
              As young and green as the said boughs,
                As fresh and fair as the said flowers.

              O busiest term of Cupid’s court!
                When tender plaintiffs actions bring;
              Season of frolic and of sport,
                Hail, as aforesaid, coming Spring!


             Observe yon plumed biped fine!
               To effect his captivation,
             Deposit particles saline
               Upon his termination.

             Cryptogamous concretion never grows
             On mineral fragments that decline repose.

             Whilst self-inspection it neglects,
               Nor its own foul condition sees,
             The kettle to the pot objects
               Its sordid superficies.

             Decortications of the golden grain
             Are set to allure the aged fowl, in vain.

             Teach not a parent’s mother to extract
               The embryo juices of an egg by suction:
             That good old lady can the feat enact,
               Quite irrespective of your kind instruction.

             Pecuniary agencies have force
             To stimulate to speed the female horse.

             Bear not to yon famed city upon Tyne
             The carbonaceous product of the mine.

             The mendicant, once from his indigence freed,
             And mounted aloft on the generous steed,
             Down the precipice soon will infallibly go,
             And conclude his career in the regions below.

             It is permitted to the feline race
             To contemplate even a regal face.

                             Metric Prose.

             _Quid tentabam scribere versus erat._—§Ovid.§

                       COWPER’S LETTER TO NEWTON.

The following letter was written to Rev. John Newton, by William Cowper,
in reference to a poem _On Charity_, by the latter:—

My very dear friend, I am going to send, what when you have read, you
may scratch your head, and say I suppose, there’s nobody knows, whether
what I have got, be verse or not;—by the tune and the time, it ought to
be rhyme; but if it be, did ever you see, of late or of yore, such a
ditty before?

I have writ “Charity,” not for popularity, but as well as I could, in
hopes to do good; and if the “Reviewer” should say to be sure, the
gentleman’s muse wears Methodist shoes, you may know by her pace, and
talk about grace, that she and her bard have little regard for the
tastes and fashions, and ruling passions, and hoydening play, of the
modern day; and though she assume a borrowed plume, and now and then
wear a tittering air, ’tis only her plan, to catch if she can, the giddy
and gay, as they go that way, by a production of a new construction; she
has baited her trap, in the hope to snap all that may come, with a
sugar-plum. His opinion in this will not be amiss; ’tis what I intend,
my principal end; and if I succeed, and folks should read, till a few
are brought to a serious thought, I shall think I am paid for all I have
said, and all I have done, although I have run, many a time, after a
rhyme, as far as from hence to the end of my sense, and by hook or by
crook, write another book, if I live and am here another year.

I have heard before of a room with a floor, laid upon springs, and
suchlike things, with so much art in every part, that when you went in,
you were forced to begin a minuet pace, with an air and a grace,
swimming about, now in and now out, with a deal of a state, in a figure
of eight, without pipe or string, or any such thing; and now I have
writ, in a rhyming fit, what will make you dance, and, as you advance,
will keep you still, though against your will, dancing away, alert and
gay, till you come to an end of what I have penned, which that you may
do, ere madam and you are quite worn out with jigging about, I take my
leave, and here you receive a bow profound, down to the ground, from you
humble me—W. C.

                     EXAMPLE IN IRVING’S NEW YORK.

The following remarkable instance of involuntary poetic prose occurs in
Knickerbocker’s humorous history of New York, near the commencement of
the Sixth Book:—

The gallant warrior starts from soft repose, from golden visions and
voluptuous ease; where, in the dulcet “piping time of peace,” he sought
sweet solace after all his toils. No more in beauty’s siren lap
reclined, he weaves fair garlands for his lady’s brows; no more entwines
with flowers his shining sword, nor through the livelong summer’s day
chants forth his love-sick soul in madrigals. To manhood roused, he
spurns the amorous flute, doffs from his brawny back the robe of peace,
and clothes his pampered limbs in panoply of steel. O’er his dark brow,
where late the myrtle waved, where wanton roses breathed enervate love,
he rears the beaming casque and nodding plume; grasps the bright shield
and ponderous lance, or mounts with eager pride his fiery steed, and
burns for deeds of glorious chivalry.

In D’Israeli’s _Wondrous Tale of Alroy_, are remarkable specimens of
prose poetry. For example:—

  Why am I here? are you not here? and need I urge a stronger plea? Oh,
  brother dear, I pray you come and mingle in our festival! Our walls
  are hung with flowers you love; I culled them by the fountain’s side;
  the holy lamps are trimmed and set, and you must raise their earliest
  flame. Without the gate my maidens wait to offer you a robe of state.
  Then, brother dear, I pray you come and mingle in our festival.

                            NELLY’S FUNERAL.

In Horne’s _New Spirit of the Age_,—a series of criticisms on eminent
living authors,—we find an admirable example of prose poetry thus

A curious circumstance is observable in a great portion of the scenes of
tragic power, pathos, and tenderness contained in various parts of Mr.
Dickens’s works, which it is possible may have been the result of
harmonious accident, and the author not even subsequently conscious of
it. It is that they are written in blank verse, of irregular metre and
rhythms, which Southey, and Shelley, and some other poets, have
occasionally adopted. Witness the following description from _The Old
Curiosity Shop_.

                And now the bell—the bell
          She had so often heard by night and day
          And listened to with solid pleasure,
              E’en as a living voice—
          Rung its remorseless toll for her,
          So young, so beautiful, so good.

                Decrepit age, and vigorous life,
          And blooming youth, and helpless infancy,
          Poured forth—on crutches, in the pride of strength
              And health, in the full blush
          Of promise—the mere dawn of life—
          To gather round her tomb. Old men were there
                  Whose eyes were dim
                  And senses failing—
          Granddames, who might have died ten years ago,
          And still been old—the deaf, the blind, the lame,
                  The palsied,
          The living dead in many shapes and forms,
          To see the closing of this early grave!
              What was the death it would shut in,
          To that which still would crawl and creep above it!

          Along the crowded path they bore her now;
              Pale as the new-fallen snow
          That covered it; whose day on earth
              Had been so fleeting.
          Under that porch where she had sat when Heaven
          In mercy brought her to that peaceful spot,
              She passed again, and the old church
              Received her in its quiet shade.

Throughout the whole of the above, only two unimportant words have been
omitted—_in_ and _its_; “granddames” has been substituted for
“grandmothers,” and “e’en” for “almost.” All that remains is exactly as
in the original, not a single word transposed, and the punctuation the
same to a comma. The brief homily that concludes the funeral is
profoundly beautiful.

                   Oh! it is hard to take
           The lesson that such deaths will teach,
                   But let no man reject it,
               For it is one that all must learn
               And is a mighty universal Truth.
           When Death strikes down the innocent and young,
           For every fragile form from which he lets
                   The parting spirit free,
                   A hundred virtues rise,
           In shapes of mercy, charity, and love,
               To walk the world and bless it.
                   Of every tear
           That sorrowing mortals shed on such green graves,
           Some good is born, some gentler nature comes.

Not a word of the original is changed in the above quotation, which is
worthy of the best passages in Wordsworth, and thus, meeting on the
common ground of a deeply truthful sentiment, the two most unlike men in
the literature of the country are brought into close proximation.

The following similar passage is from the concluding paragraph of
_Nicholas Nickleby_:—

          The grass was green above the dead boy’s grave,
              Trodden by feet so small and light,
              That not a daisy drooped its head
                  Beneath their pressure.
              Through all the spring and summer time
          Garlands of fresh flowers, wreathed by infant hands,
              Rested upon the stone.


The same rhythmic cadence is observable in the following passage, copied
verbatim from the _American Notes_:—

            I think in every quiet season now,
            Still do those waters roll, and leap, and roar,
              And tumble all day long;
            Still are the rainbows spanning them
              A hundred feet below.
            Still when the sun is on them, do they shine
              And glow like molten gold.
            Still when the day is gloomy do they fall
              Like snow, or seem to crumble away,
              Like the front of a great chalk cliff,
            Or roll adown the rock like dense white smoke.

            But always does this mighty stream appear
              To die as it comes down.
            And always from the unfathomable grave
            Arises that tremendous ghost of spray
            And mist which is never laid:
              Which has haunted this place
            With the same dread solemnity,
              Since darkness brooded on the deep
            And that first flood before the Deluge—Light
              Came rushing on Creation at the word of God.

To any one who reads this we need not say that but three lines in it
vary at all from the closest requisitions of an iambic movement. The
measure is precisely of the kind which Mr. Southey so often used. For
the reader’s convenience, we copy from _Thalaba_ his well remembered
lines on Night, as an instance:—

           How beautiful is Night!
             A dewy freshness fills the silent air,
           No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain
             Breaks the serene of heaven.
           In full orbed glory yonder Moon divine
             Rolls through the dark blue depths.
             Beneath her steady ray
             The desert circle spreads,
           Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky.
             How beautiful is Night!


The hexametric cadence in the authorized translation of the Bible has
been pointed out in another portion of this volume. It is very
noticeable in such passages as these, for example, from the Second

 Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?
 Kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together.

The anapæstic cadence prevalent in the Psalms is also very remarkable:—

          That will bring forth his fruit in due season.—v. 6.

          Whatsoever he doth it shall prosper.—v. 4.

          Away from the face of the earth.—v. 5.

          Be able to stand in the judgment.—v. 6.

          The way of th’ ungodly shall perish.—v. 7.

Couplets may be drawn from the same inspired source, as follows:—

           Great peace have they that love thy law:
             And nothing shall offend them.—Psalm, cxix. 165.

            Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace
              Whose mind is stayed on thee.—Isaiah, xxvi. 3.

        When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves,
          Ye know that the summer is nigh.—Matthew, xxiv. 32.


The delicate ear of Addison, who would stop the press to add a
conjunction, or erase a comma, allowed this inelegant jingle to escape
his detection:—

  What I am going to _mention_, will perhaps deserve your _attention_.

Dr. Whewell, when Master of Trinity College, fell into a similar trap,
to the great amusement of his readers. In his work on _Mechanics_, he
happened to write _literatim_ and _verbatim_, though not _lincatim_, the
following tetrastich:—

                   There is no force, however great,
                   Can stretch a cord, however fine,
                   Into a horizontal line,
                   Which is accurately straight.

A curious instance of involuntary rhythm occurs in President Lincoln’s
Second Inaugural Address:—

                    Fondly do we hope,
                      Fervently do we pray,
                    That this mighty scourge of war
                      May speedily pass away:
                    Yet if be God’s will
                    That it continue until—

but here the strain abruptly ceases, and the President relapses into

In the course of a discussion upon the involuntary metre into which
Shakspeare so frequently fell, when he intended his minor characters to
speak prose, Dr. Johnson observed;

             “Such verse we make when we are writing prose;
             We make such verse in common conversation.”

Kemble and Mrs. Siddons, from their habit of committing to memory and
reciting dramatic blank verse, unconsciously made their most ordinary
observations in that measure. Kemble, for instance, on giving a shilling
to a beggar, thus answered the surprised look of his companion:—

                “It is not often that I do these things,
                But _when_ I do, I do them handsomely.”

And once when, in a walk with Walter Scott on the banks of the Tweed, a
dangerous looking bull made his appearance, Scott took the water, Kemble

               “Sheriff, I’ll get me up in yonder tree.”

The presence of danger usually makes a man speak naturally, if anything
will. If a reciter of blank verse, then, fall unconsciously into the
rhythm of it when intending to speak prose, much more may an habitual
writer of it be expected to do so. Instances of the kind from the
table-talk of both Kemble and his sister might be multiplied. This of
Mrs. Siddons,—

          “I asked for water, boy; you’ve brought me beer,——”

is one of the best known.

                      The Humors of Versification.

                              THE LOVERS.

                     IN DIFFERENT MOODS AND TENSES.

    Sally Salter, she was a young teacher who taught,
    And her friend, Charley Church, was a preacher, who praught!
    Though his enemies called him a screecher, who scraught.

    His heart, when he saw her, kept sinking, and sunk;
    And his eye, meeting hers, began winking, and wunk;
    While she, in her turn, fell to thinking, and thunk.

    He hastened to woo her, and sweetly he wooed,
    For his love grew until to a mountain it grewed,
    And what he was longing to do, then he doed.

    In secret he wanted to speak, and he spoke,
    To seek with his lips what his heart long had soke;
    So he managed to let the truth leak, and it loke.

    He asked her to ride to the church, and they rode,
    They so sweetly did glide, that they both thought they glode,
    And they came to the place to be tied, and were tode.

    Then homeward he said let us drive, and they drove,
    And soon as they wished to arrive, they arrove;
    For whatever he couldn’t contrive, she controve.

    The kiss he was dying to steal, then he stole;
    At the feet where he wanted to kneel, then he knole;
    And he said, “I feel better than ever I fole.”

    So they to each other kept clinging, and clung,
    While Time his swift circuit was winging, and wung;
    And this was the thing he was bringing and brung:

    The man Sally wanted to catch, and had caught—
    That she wanted from others to snatch, and had snaught—
    Was the one she now liked to scratch, and she scraught.

    And Charley’s warm love began freezing and froze,
    While he took to teasing, and cruelly toze
    The girl he had wished to be squeezing, and squoze.

    “Wretch!” he cried, when she threatened to leave him, and left,
    “How could you deceive, as you have deceft?”
    And she answered, “I promised to cleave, and I’ve cleft.”

                           A STAMMERING WIFE.

          When deeply in love with Miss Emily Pryne,
          I vowed if the lady would only be mine,
            I would always be ready to please her;
          She blushed her consent, though the stuttering lass
          Said never a word except “You’re an ass—
            An ass—an ass—iduous teazer!”

          But when we were married, I found to my ruth
          The stammering lady had spoken the truth;
            For often, in obvious dudgeon,
          She’d say—if I ventured to give her a jog
          In the way of reproof—“You’re a dog—dog—dog—
            A dog—a dog—matic curmudgeon!”

          And once, when I said, “We can hardly afford
          This immoderate style with our moderate board,”
            And hinted we ought to be wiser,
          She looked, I assure you, exceedingly blue,
          And fretfully cried, “You’re a Jew—Jew—Jew—
            A very ju-dicious adviser!”

          Again, when it happened that, wishing to shirk
          Some rather unpleasant and arduous work,
            I begged her to go to a neighbor,
          She wanted to know why I made such a fuss,
          And saucily said, “You’re a cuss—cuss—cuss—
            You were always ac—cus—tomed to labor!”

          Out of temper at last with the insolent dame,
          And feeling the woman was greatly to blame,
            To scold me instead of caressing,
          I mimicked her speech, like a churl as I am,
          And angrily said, “You’re a dam—dam—dam—
            A dam-age instead of a blessing.”

                        A SONG WITH VARIATIONS.

  [§Scene.§—Wife at the piano; brute of a husband, who has no more soul
  for music than his boot, in an adjoining apartment, making his

             Oh! do not chide me if I weep!—
               Come, wife, and sew this button on.
             Such pain as mine can never sleep!—
               Zounds! as I live, another’s gone!
             For unrequited love brings grief,—
               A needle, wife, and bring your scissors.
             And Pity’s voice gives no relief—
               The child! good Lord! he’s at my razors!
             No balm to case the troubled heart,—
               Who starched this bosom? I declare
             That writhes from hate’s envenomed dart!—
               It’s enough to make a parson swear!
             When faith in man is given up—
               How plaguey shiftless are some women!
             Then sorrow fills her bitter cup—
               I’ll have to get my other linen.
             And to its lees the white lips quaff—
               Smith says he’s coming in to-night,
             While Malice yields her mocking laugh!—
               With Mrs. S., and Jones and Wright.
             Oh! could I stifle in my breast—
               And Jones will bring some prime old sherry.
             This aching heart, and give it rest,—
               We’ll want some eggs for Tom-and-Jerry
             Could Lethe’s waters o’er me roll,—
               These stockings would look better mended!
             And bring oblivion to my soul,—
             Then haply I, in other skies,—
               We’d better have the oysters fried.
             Might find the love that earth denies!
               There! now at last my dickey’s tied!


           What is the little one thinking about?
           Very wonderful thing, no doubt,
             Unwritten history!
             Unfathomable mystery!
           But he laughs and cries, and eats and drinks,
           And chuckles and crows, and nods and winks,
           As if his head were as full of kinks,
           And curious riddles, as any sphinx!
             Warped by colic and wet by tears,
             Punctured by pins, and tortured by fears,
             Our little nephew will lose two years;
               And he’ll never know
               Where the summers go:
             He need not laugh, for he’ll find it so!

           Who can tell what the baby thinks?
           Who can follow the gossamer links
             By which the manikin feels his way
           Out from the shores of the great unknown,
           Blind, and wailing, and alone,
             Into the light of day?
           Out from the shores of the unknown sea,
           Tossing in pitiful agony!
           Of the unknown sea that reels and rolls,
           Specked with the barks of little souls—
           Barks that were launched on the other side,
           And slipped from heaven on an ebbing tide!
             And what does he think of his mother’s eyes?
           What does he think of his mother’s hair?
             What of the cradle roof that flies
           Forward and backward through the air?
             What does he think of his mother’s breast—
           Bare and beautiful, smooth and white,
           Seeking it ever with fresh delight—
             Cup of his joy and couch of his rest?
           What does he think when her quick embrace
           Presses his hand and buries his face
           Deep where the heart-throbs sink and swell
           With a tenderness she can never tell,
             Though she murmur the words
             Of all the birds—
           Words she has learned to murmur well?
             Now he thinks he’ll go to sleep!
             I can see the shadow creep
             Over his eyes, in soft eclipse,
             Over his brow, and over his lips,
             Out to his little finger tips,
             Softly sinking, down he goes!
             Down he goes! down he goes!
             [_Rising and carefully retreating to her seat._]
             See! he is hushed in sweet repose!

                          A SERIO-COMIC ELEGY.

                          WHATELY ON BUCKLAND.

In his “Common-Place Book,” the late Archbishop Whately records the
following Elegy on the late geologist, Dr. Buckland:

        Where shall we our great professor inter,
          That in peace may rest his bones?
        If we hew him a rocky sepulchre
          He’ll rise and break the stones,
        And examine each stratum which lies around,
        For he’s quite in his element underground.

        If with mattock and spade his body we lay
          In the common alluvial soil,
        He’ll start up and snatch these tools away
          Of his own geological toil;
        In a stratum so young the professor disdains
        That embedded should lie his organic remains.

        Then exposed to the drip of some case-hardening spring,
          His carcase let stalactite cover,
        And to Oxford the petrified sage let us bring,
          When he is encrusted all over;
        There, ’mid mammoths and crocodiles, high on a shelf,
        Let him stand as a monument raised to himself.

                        A REMINISCENCE OF TROY.

                          FROM THE SCHOLIAST.

         It was the ninth year of the Trojan war—
           A tedious pull at best:
         A lot of us were sitting by the shore—
           Tydides, Phocas, Castor, and the rest—
         Some whittling shingles and some stringing bows,
         And cutting up our friends, and cutting up our foes.

         Down from the tents above there came a man,
           Who took a camp-stool by Tydides’ side,
         He joined our talk, and, pointing to the pan
           Upon the embers where our pork was fried,
         Said he would eat the onions and the leeks,
         But that fried pork was food not fit for Greeks.

         “Look at the men of Thebes,” he said, “and then
           Look at those cowards in the plains below:
         You see how ox-like are the ox-fed men;
           You see how sheepish mutton-eaters grow.
         Stick to this vegetable food of mine:
           Men who eat pork grunt, root and sleep like swine.”

         Some laughed, and some grew mad, and some grew red:
           The pork was hissing; but his point was clear.
         Still no one answered him, till Nestor said,
           “One inference that I would draw is here:
         You vegetarians, who thus educate us,
           Thus far have turned out very small potatoes.”

                     THE POET BRYANT AS A HUMORIST.

Those who are familiar with Mr. Lowell’s _Fable for Critics_, will
remember the lines:—

       There is Bryant, as quiet, as cool, and as dignified,
       As a smooth, silent iceberg, that never is ignified,
       Save when by reflection ’tis kindled ’o nights
       With a semblance of flame by the chill Northern Lights.
       He may rank (Griswold says so) first bard of your nation;
       (There’s no doubt he stands in supreme ice-olation,)
       Your topmost Parnassus he may set his heel on,
       But no warm applauses come, peal following peal on—
       He’s too smooth and too polished to hang any zeal on;
       Unqualified merits, I’ll grant, if you choose, he has ’em,
       But he lacks the one merit of kindling enthusiasm;
       If he stir you at all, it is just, on my soul,
       Like being stirred up by the very North Pole.

The Cambridge wit has either misjudged the character of Bryant’s genius,
or he has sacrificed a man to an epigram, and subordinated fact to a
_jeu d’esprit_. Though “quiet and dignified,” Mr. Bryant possesses a
rare vein of humor, but its bubbling fancies are not generally known or
suspected for the reason that he unbends anonymously. Only one of the
diversions of his muse appears in his published works—and that is his
invocation “To a Mosquito,” which begins thus:—

          Fair insect! that with thread-like legs spread out,
            And blood-extracting bill and filmy wing,
          Dost murmur, as thou slowly sail’st about,
            In pitiless ears full many a plaintive thing,
          And tell how little our large veins would bleed,
          Would we but yield them to thy bitter need.

One day, when Mr. Bryant discovered in a fresh number of the _Atlantic
Monthly_ a so-called poem, which struck him as uncommonly absurd, he sat
down and produced a travesty of it, which was much more effective in its
ridicule than any sharper criticism could have been made. Here are the
two in conjunction:—

                          THE “ATLANTIC” POEM.

                  Bellying earth no anchor throws
                  Stouter than the breath that blows;
                  Night and sorrow cling in vain;
                  It must toss in day again.

                  Hospital and battle-field,
                  Myriad spots where fate is sealed,
                  Brinks that crumble, sins that urge,
                  Plunge again into the surge.

                  How the purple breakers throw
                  Round me their insatiate glow.
                  Sweep my deck of hideous freight,
                  Pour through fastening and grate.

                           BRYANT’S TRAVESTY.

                  Squint-eyed bacchanals at play,
                  Keep a Lybian holiday,
                  Leading trains of solemn apes,
                  Tipsy with the blood of grapes.

                  Forty furies—thirty more
                  Than old Milton had before—
                  Scattering sparkles from their hair,
                  Swing their censers in the air.

                  Toss the flaming goblet off,
                  Heed not ocean’s windy scoff;
                  Let him dash against the shore,
                  Gape and grin, and sweat and roar.

Since which time nothing has been heard of the Atlantic poet! Only those
who were “behind the scenes,” in the office of the _Evening Post_, in
the year 1863, knew the authorship of the burlesque—and the burlesque
itself will never appear in the poet’s “collected works.”

                       ON RECEIPT OF A RARE PIPE.

         I lifted off the lid with anxious care,
           Removed the wrappages, stripe after stripe,
         And when the hidden contents were laid bare,
           My first remark was: “Mercy, what a pipe!”

         A pipe of symmetry that matched its size,
           Mounted with metal bright—a sight to see—
         With the rich umber hue that smokers prize,
           Attesting both its age and pedigree.

         A pipe to make the Royal Friedrich jealous,
           Or the great Teufelsdröck with envy gripe!
         A man should hold some rank above his fellows
           To justify his smoking such a Pipe!

         What country gave it birth? What blest of cities
           Saw it first kindle at the glowing coal?
         What happy artist murmured, “_Nunc dimittis_,”
           When he had fashioned this transcendent bowl?

         Has it been hoarded in a monarch’s treasures?
           Was it a gift of peace, or prize of war?
         Did the great Khalif in his “House of Pleasures”
           Wager, and lose it to the good Zaafar?

         It may have soothed mild Spenser’s melancholy,
           While musing o’er traditions of the past,
         Or graced the lips of brave Sir Walter Raleigh
          Ere sage King Jamie blew his _Counterblast_.

         Did it, safe hidden in some secret cavern,
           Escape that monarch’s pipoclastic ken?
         Has Shakespeare smoked it at the Mermaid Tavern,
           Quaffing a cup of sack with rare old Ben?

         Ay, Shakespeare might have watched his vast creations
           Loom through its smoke—the spectre-haunted Thane,
         The Sisters at their ghastly invocations,
           The jealous Moor and melancholy Dane.

         ’Round its orbed haze and through its mazy ringlets
           Titania may have led her elfin rout,
         Or Ariel fanned it with his gauzy winglets,
           Or Puck danced in the bowl to put it out.

         Vain are all fancies—questions bring no answer;
           The smokers vanish, but the pipe remains;
         He were indeed a subtle necromancer
           Could read their records in its cloudy stains.

         Nor this alone: its destiny may doom it
           To outlive e’en its use and history—
         Some plowman of the future may exhume it
           From soil now deep beneath the Eastern sea—

         And, treasured by some antiquarian Stultus,
           It may to gaping visitors be shown,
         Labeled, “The symbol of some ancient Cultus,
           Conjecturally Phallic, but unknown.”

         Why do I thus recall the ancient quarrel
           ’Twixt Man and Time, that marks all earthly things?
         Why labor to re-word the hackneyed moral,
           ὥς ψύλλων γενεή, as Homer sings?

         For this: Some links we forge are never broken;
           Some feelings claim exemption from decay;
         And Love, of which this pipe was but the token,
           Shall last, though pipes and smokers pass away.

                             THE HUMAN EAR.

                A sound came booming through the air—
                  “What is that sound?” quoth I.
                My blue-eyed pet, with golden hair,
                  Made answer presently,
                “Papa, you know it very well—
                That sound—it was Saint Pancras Bell.”

                My own Louise, put down the cat,
                  And come and stand by me;
                I’m sad to hear you talk like that,
                  Where’s your philosophy?
                That sound—attend to what I tell—
                That sound was _not_ Saint Pancras Bell.

                “Sound is the name the sage selects
                  For the concluding term
                Of a long series of effects,
                  Of which that blow’s the germ.
                The following brief analysis
                Shows the interpolations, Miss.

                “The blow which, when the clapper slips,
                  Falls on your friend the Bell,
                Changes its circle to ellipse,
                  (A word you’d better spell),
                And then comes elasticity,
                Restoring what it used to be.

                “Nay, making it a little more,
                  The circle shifts about.
                As much as it shrunk in before
                  The Bell, you see, swells out;
                And so a new ellipse is made,
                (You’re not attending, I’m afraid).

                “This change of form disturbs the air,
                  Which in its turn behaves
                In like elastic fashion there,
                  Creating waves on waves;
                Which press each other onward, dear,
                Until the outmost finds your ear.

                “Within that ear the surgeons find
                  A _tympanum_, or drum,
                Which has a little bone behind,—
                 _Malleus_, it’s called by some;
                But those not proud of Latin Grammar
                Humbly translate it as the hammer.

                “The wave’s vibrations this transmits
                  On to the _incus_ bone,
                (_Incus_ means anvil, which it hits),
                  And this transfers the tone
                To the small _os orbiculure_,
                The tiniest bone that people carry.

                “The _stapes_ next—the name recalls
                  A stirrup’s form, my daughter—
                Joins three half-circular canals,
                  Each filled with limpid water;
                Their curious lining, you’ll observe,
                Made of the auditory nerve.

                “This vibrates next—and then we find
                  The mystic work is crowned;
                For then my daughter’s gentle Mind
                  First recognizes sound.
                See what a host of causes swell
                To make up what you call ‘the Bell.’”

                Awhile she paused, my bright Louise,
                  And pondered on the case;
                Then, settling that he meant to teaze,
                  She slapped her father’s face.
                “You bad old man, to sit and tell
                  Such gibberygosh about a Bell!’”

                      SIR TRAY: AN ARTHURIAN IDYL.

        The widowed Dame of Hubbard’s ancient line
      Turned to her cupboard, cornered anglewise
      Betwixt this wall and that, in quest of aught
      To satisfy the craving of Sir Tray,
      Prick-eared companion of her solitude,
      Red-spotted, dirty white, and bare of rib,
      Who followed at her high and pattering heels,
      Prayer in his eye, prayer in his slinking gait,
      Prayer in his pendulous pulsating tail.
      Wide on its creaking jaws revolved the door,
      The cupboard yawned, deep-throated, thinly set
      For teeth, with bottles, ancient canisters,
      And plates of various pattern, blue or white;
      Deep in the void she thrust her hooked nose
      Peering near-sighted for the wished-for bone,
      Whiles her short robe of samite, tilted high,
      The thrifty darnings of her hose revealed;—
      The pointed feature travelled o’er the delf
      Greasing its tip, but bone or bread found none
      Wherefore Sir Tray abode still dinnerless,
      Licking his paws beneath the spinning-wheel,
      And meditating much on savoury meats.

        Meanwhile the Dame in high-backed chair reposed
      Revolving many memories, for she gazed
      Down from her lattice on the self-same path
      Whereby Sir Lancelot ’mid the reapers rode
      When Arthur held his court in Camelot,
      And she was called the Lady of Shalott
      And, later, where Sir Hubbard, meekest knight
      Of all the Table Round, was wont to pass,
      And to her casement glint the glance of love.
      (For all the tale of how she floated dead
      Between the city walls, and how the Court
      Gazed on her corpse, was of illusion framed,
      And shadows raised by Merlin’s magic art,
      Ere Vivien shut him up within the oak.)
      There stood the wheel whereat she spun her thread;
      But of the magic mirror nought remained
      Save one small fragment on the mantelpiece,
      Reflecting her changed features night and morn.

        But now the inward yearnings of Sir Tray
      Grew pressing, and in hollow rumblings spake,
      As in tempestuous nights the Northern seas
      Within their cavern cliffs reverberate.
      This touched her: “I have marked of yore,” she said,
      “When on my palfry I have paced along
      The streets of Camelot, while many a knight
      Ranged at my rein and thronged upon my steps,
      Wending in pride towards the tournament,
      A wight who many kinds of bread purveyed—
      Muffins, and crumpets, matutinal rolls,
      And buns which buttered, soothe at evensong;
      To him I’ll hie me ere my purpose cool,
      And swift returning, bear a loaf with me,
      And (for my teeth be tender grown, and like
      Celestial visits, few and far between)
      The crust shall be for Tray, the crumb for me.”
      This spake she; from their peg reached straightway down
      Her cloak of sanguine hue, and pointed hat
      From the flat brim upreared like pyramid
      On sands Egyptian where the Pharaohs sleep,
      Her ebon-handled staff (sole palfry now)
      Grasped firmly, and so issued swiftly forth;
      Yet ere she closed the latch her cat Elaine,
      The lily kitten reared at Astolat,
      Slipped through and mewing passed to greet Sir Tray.

        Returning ere the shadows eastward fell,
      She placed a porringer upon the board,
      And shred the crackling crusts with liberal hand,
      Nor noted how Elaine did seem to wail,
      Rubbing against her hose, and mourning round
      Sir Tray, who lay all prone upon the hearth.
      Then on the bread she poured the mellow milk—
      “Sleep’st thou?” she said, and touched him with her staff;
      “What, ho! thy dinner waits thee!” But Sir Tray
      Stirred not nor breathed: thereat, alarmed, she seized
      And drew the hinder leg: the carcase moved
      All over wooden like a piece of wood—
      “Dead?” said the Dame, while louder wailed Elaine;
      “I see,” she said, “thy fasts were all too long,
      Thy commons all too short, which shortened thus
      Thy days, tho’ thou mightst still have cheered mine age
      Had I but timelier to the city wonned.
      Thither I must again, and that right soon,
      For now ’tis meet we lap thee in a shroud,
      And lay thee in the vault by Astolat,
      Where faithful Tray shall by Sir Hubbard lie.”

        Up a by-lane the Undertaker dwelt;
      There day by day he plied his merry trade,
      And all his undertakings undertook:
      Erst knight of Arthur’s Court, Sir Waldgrave hight,
      A gruesome carle who hid his jests in gloom,
      And schooled his lid to counterfeit a tear.
      With cheerful hammer he a coffin tapt,
      While hollow, hollow, hollow, rang the wood,
      And, as he sawed and hammered, thus he sang:—

        Wood, hammer, nails, ye build a house for him,
        Nails, hammer, wood, ye build a house for me,
        Paying the rent, the taxes, and the rates.

        I plant a human acorn in the ground,
        And therefrom straightway springs a goodly tree,
        Budding for me in bread and beer and beef.

        O Life, dost thou bring Death or Death bring thee?
        Which of the twain is bringer, which the brought?
        Since men must die that other men may live.

        O Death, for me thou plump’st thine hollow cheeks,
        Mak’st of thine antic grin a pleasant smile,
        And prank’st full gaily in thy winding sheet.

      This ditty sang he to a doleful tune
      To outer ears it sounded like a dirge,
      Or wind that wails across the fields of death.
      ’Ware of a visitor, he ceased his strain,
      But still did ply his saw industrious.
      With withered hand on ear, Dame Hubbard stood;
      “Vex not mine ears,” she grated, “with thine old
      And creaking saw!” “I deemed,” he said, and sighed,
      “Old saws might please thee, as they should the wise.”
      “Know,” said the Dame, “Sir Tray that with me dwelt
      Lies on my lonely hearthstone stark and stiff;
      Wagless the tail that waved to welcome me.”—
      Here Waldgrave interposed sepulchral tones,
      “Oft have I noted, when the jest went round,
      Sad ’twas to see the wag forget his tale—
      Sadder to see the tail forget its wag.”
      “Wherefore,” resumed she, “take of fitting stuff,
      And make therewith a narrow house for him.”
      Quoth he, “From yonder deal I’ll plane the bark,
      So ’twill of Tray be emblematical;
      For thou, ’tis plain, must lose a deal of bark,
      Since he nor bark nor bite shall practice more.”
      “And take thou, too,” she said, “a coffin-plate,
      And be his birth and years inscribed thereon
      With letters twain ‘S. T.’ to mark Sir Tray,
      So shall the tomb be known in after time.”
      “This, too,” quoth Waldgrave, “shall be deftly done;
      Oft hath the plate been freighted with his bones,
      But now his bones must lie beneath the plate.”
      “Jest’st thou?” Dame Hubbard said, and clutched her crutch,
      For ill she brooked light parlance of the dead;
      But when she saw Sir Waldgrave, how his face
      Was all drawn downward, till the curving mouth
      Seemed a horseshoe, while o’er the furrowed cheek
      A wandering tear stole on, like rivulet
      In dry ravine down mother Ida’s side,
      She changed her purpose, smote not, lowered the staff;—
      So parted, faring homeward with her grief.

        Nearing her bower, it seemed a sepulchre
      Sacred to memory, and almost she thought
      A dolorous cry arose, as if Elaine
      Did sound a caterwauling requiem.
      With hesitating hand she raised the latch,
      And on the threshold with reluctant foot
      Lingered, as loath to face the scene of woe,
      When lo! the body lay not on the hearth,
      For there Elaine her flying tail pursued,—
      In the Dame’s chair Sir Tray alive did sit,
      A world of merry meaning in his eye,
      And all his face agrin from ear to ear.

        Like one who late hath lost his dearest friend,
      And in his sleep doth see that friend again,
      And marvels scarce to see him, putting forth
      A clasping hand, and feels him warm with life,
      And so takes up his friendship’s broken thread—
      Thus stood the Dame, thus ran she, pattering o’er
      The sanded tiles, and clasped she thus Sir Tray,
      Unheeding of the grief his jest had wrought
      For joy he was not numbered with the dead.

        Anon the Dame, her primal transports o’er,
      Bethought her of the wisdom of Sir Tray,
      And his fine wit, and then it shameful seemed
      That he bareheaded ’neath the sky should go
      While empty skulls of fools went thatched and roofed;
      “A hat,” she cried, “would better fit those brows
      Than many a courtier’s that I’ve wotted of;
      And thou shalt have one, an’ my tender toes
      On which the corns do shoot, and these my knees
      Wherethro’ rheumatic twinges swiftly dart,
      Will bear me to the city yet again,
      And thou shalt wear the hat as Arthur wore
      The Dragon of the great Pendragonship.”
      Whereat Sir Tray did seem to smile, and smote
      Upon the chair-back with approving tail.

        Then up she rose, and to the Hatter’s went,—
      “Hat me,” quoth she, “your very newest hat;”
      And so they hatted her, and she returned
      Home through the darksome wold, and raised the latch,
      And marked, full lighted by the ingle-glow,
      Sir Tray, with spoon in hand, and cat on knee,
      Spattering the mess about the chaps of Puss.

                              THE OLOGIES.

      We’re going to begin with an ample Apology;
      You’ll end, we are sure, by a hearty Doxology,
      If, all undeterred by our strange Phraseology,
      You chose to sit down to a dish of Tautology.

             *       *       *       *       *

      One’s pestered in these days by so many ’ologies,
        We thought we would fain see the tale of our foes;
      A niche of your own in the new Martyrologies
        You’d earn if you’d only go halves in our woes.

      We’v counted some forty! but how many more there are,
        We’re even now wholly unable to say;
      We fear that at least the same number in store there are,
      You’ll say we have found quite enough for one day.

             *       *       *       *       *

      “So now for our Catalogue: first comes Anthology—
        A bouquet of flowers, a budget of rhymes;
      That’s pleasant—not so the next, called Anthropology,
        The science of man in all ages and climes.

      “Then comes a most useful pursuit, Arachnology;
        They’re bipeds, the spiders who weave the worst webs;
      But when one is asked to go in for Astrology,
        And Zadkiel! one’s courage most rapidly ebbs.

      “The next on our roster is old Archæology,
        A science that’s lately been much in repute;
      One can’t say as much for Electro-biology,
        Which now-o’-days no one seems ever to bruit.

      “But none can afford to make light of Chronology,
        Tho’ ladies are apt to be dark upon dates;
      We most of us make rather light of Conchology
        Except when the oyster-shell gapes on our plates.

      “The Devil’s deposed they say, and Demonology
        Would certainly seem to have gone to the De’il;
      Some savants, like Hooker, still swallow Dendrology,
        But tree-names are somewhat too tough for my meal.

      “The parsons are great upon Ecclesiology,
        And prate about proper pyramidal piles;
      Few travelers care to neglect Entomology,
        Their wakefulness often its study beguiles.

      “’Twould take you a life-time to learn Etymology,
        And dabblers get into most marvellous scrapes;
      And Huxley would tell you as much of Ethnology,—
        Who really believes we are cousins of apes?

      “Dean Buckland it was who first started Geology,
        And traced the rock pedigrees, fixing their ranks;
      And Frank has of late taken up Ichthyology,
        The salmon already have voted him thanks.

      “Von Humboldt had fairly exhausted Kosmology,
        But Nature’s a quite inexhaustible mine;
      Napoleon has fulfilled a new Martyrology,
        Imbrued with the purest blue-blood of the Rhine.

      “We all of us thought we were deep in Mythology,
        Till Cox and Max Müller both deepened its well;
      Our sons may learn something of Meteorology—
        The weather our prophets all fail to foretell.

      “The study of life is bound up with Necrology,
        And we shall have one day to enter its lists,—
      And furnish some specimens for Osteology,
        The science of bones, on which Owen exists.

      “At breakfast we’re seldom averse to Oology,
        Or lunch, when the plovers are pleased to lay eggs;
      But then one would bar embryonic Ontology,
        Preferring fowls full-grown with breast, wings, and legs!

      “For oh! we decidedly like Ornithology
        And chiefly the study of grouse on the wing;
      We’d leave it to doctors to study Pathology;
        The study of pain is a troublesome thing.

      “We all of us need a small dose of Philology,
        If caring to make the best use of our tongues;
      A careful attention to strict Phraseology
        Involves a most notable saving of lungs.

      “The study of heads has been christened Phrenology,
        Professors would call it the study of brain;
      But take my advice, and avoid Pneumatology,
        For spirits are apt to treat brains with disdain.

      “For much the same reason, we’d banish Psychology,—
        What savant can give an account of his soul?
      And if we could only abolish Theology,
        The parsons alone would be hard to console!

      “If ever you happened to study Splanchnology,
        You’d know what it is theologians lack,—
      Inquisitors never complain of Tautology,
        So long as rank heretics roar on the rack.

      “And now is the time to strike up your Doxology,
        For we would no longer detain you, my friend;—
      On Sunday we all have a turn for Zoology,
        So here is our Catalogue come to an end.”

                         THE VARIATION HUMBUG.

The _London Charivari_ thinks that there is more humbug talked, printed,
and practiced in reference to music than to anything else in the world,
except politics. And of all the musical humbugs extant it occurs to Mr.
Punch that the variation humbug is the greatest. This party has not even
the sense to invent a tune for himself, but takes someone else’s, and
starting therefrom, as an acrobat leaps from a spring-board, jumps
himself into a musical reputation on the strength of the other party’s
ideas. Mr. Punch wonders what would be thought of a poet who should try
to make himself renown by this kind of thing—taking a well-known poem of
a predecessor and doing variations on it after this fashion:—


             How doth the Little Busy Bee
               Improve each shining hour,
             And gather honey all the day
               From every opening flower,
               From every opening flower, flower, flower,
               That sparkles in a breezy bower,
               And gives its sweetness to the shower,
               Exhaling scent of gentle power,
               That lasts on kerchief many an hour,
               And is a lady’s graceful dower,
               Endeared alike to cot and tower,
             Round which the Little Busy Bee
               Improves each shining hour,
             And gathers honey all the day
               From every opening flower,
               From every opening flower, flower, flower,
               From every opening flower.

             How skillfully she builds her cell,
               How neat she spreads her wax,
             And labors hard to store it well,
               With the sweet food she makes,
               With the sweet food she makes,
               With the sweet food she makes, makes, makes,
               When rising just as morning breaks,
               The dewdrop from the leaf she shakes,
               And oft the sleeping moth she wakes,
               And diving through the flower she takes,
               The honey with her fairy rakes,
               And in her cell the same she cakes,
               Or sports across the silver lakes,
               Beside her children, for whose sakes
             How skillfully she builds her cell,
               How neat she spreads her wax,
             And labors hard to store it well,
               With the sweet food she makes.

             In works of labor or of skill,
               I would be busy too,
             For Satan finds some mischief still
               For idle hands to do,
               For idle hands to do,
               For idle hands to do, do, do.
               Things which thereafter they will rue,
               When Justice fiercely doth pursue,
               Or conscience raises cry and hue,
               And evil-doers look quite blue,
               When Peelers run with loud halloo,
               And magistrates put on the screw,
               And then the wretch exclaims, Boo-hoo,
             In works of labor or of skill
               I wish I’d busied too,
             For Satan’s found much mischief still,
               For my two hands to do.

  There! Would a poet get much reputation for these variations, which
  are much better in their way than most of those built upon tunes?
  Would the poetical critics come out, as the musical critics do, with
  “Upon Watts’ marble foundation Buggins has raised a sparkling
  alabaster palace;” or, “The old-fashioned Watts has been brought into
  new honor by the _étincellant_ Buggins;” or “We love the old tune, but
  we have room in our hearts for the fairy-like fountains of bird-song
  which Buggins has bid start from it?” Mr. Punch has an idea that
  Buggins would have no such luck; the moral to be deduced from which
  fact is, that a musical prig is luckier than a poetical prig.

                        REITERATIVE VOCAL MUSIC.

A well-known reviewer, in an article on Hymnology, says:—

Who could endure to hear and sing hymns, the meaning and force of which
he really felt—set, as they frequently have been, to melodies from the
Opera, and even worse, or massacred by the repetition of the end of each
stanza, no matter whether or not the grammar and sense were consistent
with it. Take such memorable cases of incongruity as:—

                        “My poor pol—
                        My pool pol—
                        My poor polluted heart.”

To which he might have added from Dr. Watts:—

               “And see Sal—see Sal—see Salvation nigh.”

Or this to the same common metre tune, “Miles’s Lane”:—

               “Where my Sal—my Sal—my Salvation stands.”

Or this when sung to “Job”:—

                   “And love thee Bet—
                   And love thee better than before.”


                  “Stir up this stu—
                  Stir up this stupid heart to pray.”

Or this crowning absurdity:—

          “And more _eggs_—more _eggs_—more exalts our joys.”

This to the tune of “Aaron” 7’s:—

                      “With thy Benny—
                      With thy benediction seal.”

This has recently been added in a fashionable metropolitan church:—

                      “And take thy pil—
                      And take thy pilgrim home.”

And further havoc is made with language and sense thus:—

               “Before his throne we bow—wow—wow—ow—wow.”


                     “I love to steal
                     I love to steal—awhile away.”


                    “O, for a man—
                    O, for a mansion in the skies.”

To which we may add:—

               “And we’ll catch the flea—
               And we’ll catch the flee—ee—eeting hour.”

Two trebles sing, “And learn to kiss”; two trebles and alto, “And learn
to kiss”; two trebles, alto, and tenor, “And learn to kiss”; the bass,
solus, “the rod.”

This is sung to a tune called “Boyce”:—

                   “Thou art my bull—
                   Thou art my bulwark and defence.”

                         THE CURSE OF O’KELLY.

Carmac O’Kelly, the celebrated Irish harper, went to Doneraile, in the
county of Cork, where his watch was pilfered from his fob. This so
roused his ire that he celebrated the people in the following unexampled
“string of curses:”—

               Alas! how dismal is my tale,
               I lost my watch in Doneraile,
               My Dublin watch, my chain and seal,
               Pilfered at once in Doneraile.
               May fire and brimstone never fail
               To fall in showers on Doneraile;
               May all the leading fiends assail
               The thieving town of Doneraile.
               As lightnings flash across the vale,
               So down to hell with Doneraile;
               The fate of Pompey at Pharsale,
               Be that the curse of Doneraile.
               May beef or mutton, lamb or veal,
               Be never found in Doneraile,
               But garlic soup and scurvy kale,
               Be still the food for Doneraile,
               And forward as the creeping snail,
               Industry be at Doneraile.
               May Heaven a chosen curse entail,
               On ragged, rotten Doneraile.
               May sun and moon forever fail
               To beam their lights on Doneraile;
               May every pestilential gale
               Blast that cursed spot called Doneraile;
               May no sweet cuckoo, thrush or quail
               Be ever heard in Doneraile;
               May patriots, kings, and commonweal
               Despise and harass Doneraile;
               May every post, gazette and mail,
               Sad tidings bring of Doneraile;
               May vengeance fall on head and tail,
               From north to south of Doneraile
               May profit small, and tardy sale,
               Still damp the trade of Doneraile:
               May fame resound a dismal tale,
               Whene’er she lights on Doneraile;
               May Egypt’s plagues at once prevail,
               To thin the knaves at Doneraile;
               May frost and snow, and sleet and hail,
               Benumb each joint in Doneraile;
               May wolves and bloodhounds race and trail
               The cursed crew of Doneraile;
               May Oscar with his fiery flail
               To atoms thrash all Doneraile;
               May every mischief, fresh and stale,
               May all from Belfast to Kinsale,
               Scoff, curse and damn you, Doneraile.
               May neither flour nor oatmeal,
               Be found or known in Doneraile;
               May want and woe each joy curtail,
               That e’er was known in Doneraile;
               May no one coffin want a nail,
               That wraps a rogue in Doneraile;
               May all the thieves who rob and steal,
               The gallows meet in Doneraile;
               May all the sons of Gramaweal,
               Blush at the thieves of Doneraile;
               May mischief big as Norway whale,
               O’erwhelm the knaves of Doneraile;
               May curses whole and by retail,
               Pour with full force on Doneraile;
               May every transport wont to sail,
               A convict bring from Doneraile;
               May every churn and milking-pail
               Fall dry to staves in Doneraile;
               May cold and hunger still congeal,
               The stagnant blood of Doneraile;
               May every hour new woes reveal,
               That hell reserves for Doneraile;
               May every chosen ill prevail
               O’er all the imps of Doneraile;
               May th’ inquisition straight impale,
               The Rapparees of Doneraile;
               May curse of Sodom now prevail,
               And sink to ashes Doneraile;
               May Charon’s boat triumphant sail,
               Completely manned from Doneraile;
               Oh! may my couplet never fail
               To find new curse for Doneraile;
               And may grim Pluto’s inner jail
               Forever groan with Doneraile.


Maria Edgeworth, in her _Essay on Irish Bulls_, remarks that “the
difficulty of selecting from the vulgar herd a bull that shall be
entitled to the prize, from the united merits of pre-eminent absurdity
and indisputable originality, is greater than hasty judges may imagine.”

Very true; but if the prize were offered for a _batch_ of Irish
diamonds, we think the following copy of a letter written during the
Rebellion, by S——, an Irish member of Parliament, to his friend in
London, would present the strongest claim:—

  “My dear Sir:—Having now a little peace and quietness, I sit down to
  inform you of the dreadful bustle and confusion we are in from these
  blood-thirsty rebels, most of whom are (thank God!) killed and
  dispersed. We are in a pretty mess; can get nothing to eat, nor wine
  to drink, except whiskey; and when we sit down to dinner, we are
  obliged to keep both hands armed. Whilst I write this, I hold a pistol
  in each hand and a sword in the other. I concluded in the beginning
  that this would be the end of it; and I see I was right, for it is not
  half over yet. At present there are such goings on, that every thing
  is at a stand still. I should have answered your letter a fortnight
  ago, but I did not receive it till this morning. Indeed, hardly a mail
  arrives safe without being robbed. No longer ago than yesterday the
  coach with the mails from Dublin was robbed near this town: the bags
  had been judiciously left behind for fear of accident, and by good
  luck there was nobody in it but two outside passengers who had nothing
  for thieves to take. Last Thursday notice was given that a gang of
  rebels were advancing here under the French standard; but they had no
  colors, nor any drums except bagpipes. Immediately every man in the
  place, including women and children, ran out to meet them. We soon
  found our force much too little; and we were far too near to think of
  retreating. Death was in every face; but to it we went, and by the
  time half our little party were killed we began to be all alive again.
  Fortunately, the rebels had no guns, except pistols, cutlasses, and
  pikes; and as we had plenty of guns and ammunition, we put them all to
  the sword. Not a soul of them escaped, except some that were drowned
  in an adjacent bog; and in a very short time nothing was to be heard
  but silence. Their uniforms were all different colors, but mostly
  green. After the action, we went to rummage a sort of camp which they
  had left behind them. All we found was a few pikes without heads, a
  parcel of empty bottles full of water, and a bundle of French
  commissions filled up with Irish names. Troops are now stationed all
  around the country, which exactly squares with my ideas. I have only
  time to add that I am in great haste.

                                                       “Yours truly, ——.

  “P. S.—If you do not receive this, of course it must have miscarried:
  therefore I beg you will write and let me know.”

Miss Edgeworth says, further, that “many bulls, reputed to be bred and
born in Ireland, are of foreign extraction; and many more, supposed to
be unrivalled in their kind, may be matched in all their capital
points.” To prove this, she cites numerous examples of well-known bulls,
with their foreign prototypes, not only English and Continental, but
even Oriental and ancient. Among the parallels of familiar bulls to be
found nearer our American home since the skillful defender of Erin’s
naïveté wrote her Essay, one of the best is an economical method of
erecting a new jail:—

The following resolutions were passed by the Board of Councilmen in
Canton, Mississippi:—

1. Resolved, by this Council, that we build a new Jail.

2. Resolved, that the new Jail be built out of the materials of the old

3. Resolved, that the old Jail be used until the new Jail is finished.

It was a _Frenchman_ who, in making a classified catalogue of books,
placed Miss Edgeworth’s Essay in the list of works on _Natural History_;
and it was a _Scotchman_ who, having purchased a copy of it, pronounced
her “a puir silly body, to write a book on bulls, and no ane word o’
horned cattle in it a’, forbye the bit beastie [the vignette] at the
beginning.” Examples from the common walks of life and from periodical
literature may readily be multiplied to show that these phraseological
peculiarities are not to be exclusively attributed to Ireland. But if we
adopt Coleridge’s definition, which is, that “a bull consists in a
mental juxtaposition of incongruous ideas, with the sensation, but
without the sense, of connection,” we shall find frequent instances of
its occurrence among standard authors. Take the following blunders, for

        Adam, the goodliest man of men _since born
        His sons_—the fairest of _her daughters_, Eve.
                                      _Milton’s Paradise Lost._

                                   The loveliest pair
         That ever _since_ in love’s embraces met.—_Ib. B. iv._

Swift, being an Irishman, of course abounds in blunders, some of them of
the most ludicrous character; but we should hardly expect to find in the
elegant Addison, the model of classical English, such a singular
inaccuracy as the following:—

          So the _pure limpid_ stream, when _foul with stains_
          Of rushing torrents and descending rains.—_Cato._

He must have _seen_ in a blaze of _blinding_ light (this is “ipsis
Hibernis Hibernior”) the vanity and evil, the folly and madness, of the
worldly or selfish, and the grandeur and truth of the disinterested and
Christian life.—_Gilfillan’s Bards of the Bible._

The real and peculiar magnificence of St. Petersburgh consists _in thus
sailing apparently upon the bosom of the ocean, into a city of
palaces_.—_Sedgwick’s Letters from the Baltic._

The astonished Yahoo, smoking, as well as he could, a cigar, _with which
he had filled all his pockets_.—_Warren’s Ten Thousand a Year._

The following specimens are from the works of Dr. Johnson:—

Every monumental inscription should be in Latin; for that being a _dead_
language, it will always _live_.

           Nor yet perceived the vital spirit fled,
           But still fought on, _nor knew that he was dead_.

Shakspeare has not only _shown_ human nature as it is, but as it would
be found _in situations to which it cannot be exposed_.

           Turn from the glittering bribe your scornful eye,
           Nor sell for gold _what gold can never buy_.

These observations were made _by favor of a contrary wind_.

The next two are from Pope:—

             Eight callow _infants_ filled the mossy nest,
             _Herself the ninth_.

             When first young Maro, in his noble mind,
             A work _t’ outlast immortal Rome designed_.

Shakspeare says,—

      I will strive with things impossible,
      Yea, _get the better of them_.—_Julius Cæsar_, ii. 1.

      A _horrid silence_ first _invades the ear_.—§Dryden.§

      Beneath a mountain’s brow, the most remote
      And _inaccessible_ by _shepherds trod_.—§Home§: _Douglass_.

In the Irish Bank-bill passed by Parliament in June, 1808, is a clause
providing that the profits shall be _equally_ divided and the _residue
go to the Governor_.

Sir Richard Steele, being asked why his countrymen were so addicted to
making bulls, said he believed there must be something in the air of
Ireland, adding, “I dare say _if an Englishman were born there_ he would
do the same.”

Mr. Cunningham, to whom we are indebted for the interesting notes to
Johnson’s “Lives of the Poets,” pronounces his author _the most
distinguished of his cotemporaries_.

Sir Walter Scott perpetrates a curious blunder in one of his novels, in
making certain of his characters behold a sunset over the waters of a
seaport on the _eastern_ coast of Scotland.

The following occurs in Dr. Latham’s _English Language_. Speaking of the
genitive or possessive case, he says,—

“In the plural number, however, it is rare; so rare, indeed, that
whenever the plural ends in s (as it always does) there is no genitive.”

Byron says,—

               I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs,
               A palace and a prison _on each hand_.

  (He meant a palace on one hand, and a prison on the other.)

Dr. Johnson, in his Dictionary, defines a _garret_ as “a room on the
highest floor in the house,” and a _cock-loft_ as “the room over the

For the sake of comparison, we recur to the favorite pasture of the
genuine thorough-bred animal:—

An Irish member of Parliament, speaking of a certain minister’s
well-known love of money, observed, “Let not the honorable member
express a contempt for money,—for if there is any one office that
glitters in the eyes of the honorable member, it is that of
purse-bearer: a pension to him is a compendium of all the cardinal
virtues. All his statesmanship is comprehended in the art of taxing; and
for good, better, and best, in the scale of human nature, he invariably
reads pence, shillings, and pounds. I verily believe,” continued the
orator, rising to the height of his conception, “that if the honorable
gentleman were an undertaker, it would be the delight of his heart to
see all mankind seized with a common mortality, that he might have the
benefit of the general burial, and provide scarfs and hat-bands for _the

The manager of a provincial theatre, finding upon one occasion but three
persons in attendance, made the following address:—“Ladies and
gentlemen—as there is nobody here, I’ll dismiss you all. The
performances of this night will not be performed; but _they will be
repeated_ to-morrow evening.”

A Hibernian gentleman, when told by his nephew that he had just entered
college with a view to the church, said, “I hope that I may live to hear
you preach my funeral sermon.”

An Irishman, quarrelling with an Englishman, told him if he didn’t hold
his tongue, he would break his impenetrable head, and let the brains out
of his empty skull.

“My dear, come in and go to bed,” said the wife of a jolly son of Erin,
who had just returned from the fair in a decidedly how-come-you-so
state: “you must be dreadful tired, sure, with your long walk of six
miles.” “Arrah! get away with your nonsense,” said Pat: “it wasn’t the
_length_ of the way, at all, that fatigued me: ’twas the _breadth_ of

A poor Irishman offered an old saucepan for sale. His children gathered
around him and inquired why he parted with it. “Ah, me honeys,” he
answered, “I would not be afther parting with it but for a little money
to buy something to put in it.”

A young Irishman who had married when about nineteen years of age,
complaining of the difficulties to which his early marriage subjected
him, said he would never marry so young again if he lived to be as ould
as Methuselah.

In an Irish provincial paper is the following notice:—Whereas Patrick
O’Connor lately left his lodgings, this is to give notice that if he
does not return immediately and pay for the same, he will be advertised.

“Has your sister got a son or a daughter?” asked an Irishman of a
friend. “Upon my life,” was the reply, “I don’t know yet whether I’m an
_uncle_ or _aunt_.”

“I was going,” said an Irishman, “over Westminster Bridge the other day,
and I met Pat Hewins. ‘Hewins,’ says I, ‘how are you?’ ‘Pretty well,’
says he, ‘thank you, Donnelly.’ ‘Donnelly!’ says I: ‘that’s not _my_
name.’ ‘Faith, no more is mine Hewins,’ says he. So we looked at each
other again, and sure it turned out to be nayther of us; and where’s the
bull of _that_, now?”

“India, my boy,” said an Irish officer to a friend on his arrival at
Calcutta, “is the finest climate under the sun; but a lot of young
fellows come out here and they drink and they eat, and they drink and
they die: and then they write home to their parents a pack of lies, and
say it’s the climate that has killed them.”

In the perusal of a very solid book on the progress of the
ecclesiastical differences of Ireland, written by a native of that
country, after a good deal of tedious and vexatious matter, the reader’s
complacency is restored by an artless statement how an eminent person
“abandoned the errors of the church of Rome, and adopted those of the
church of England.”

Here is an American Hibernicism, which is entitled to full
recognition:—Among the things that Wells & Fargo’s Express is not
responsible for as carriers is one couched in the following language in
their regulations: “Not for any loss or damage by fire, _the acts of
God_, or of Indians, _or any other public enemies of the government_.”

George Selwyn once declared in company that a lady could not write a
letter without adding a _postscript_. A lady present replied, “The next
letter that you receive from _me_, Mr. Selwyn, will prove that you are
wrong.” Accordingly he received one from her the next day, in which,
after her signature was the following:—

  “P. S. Who is right, now, you or I?”

The two subjoined parliamentary utterances are worthy to have emanated
from Sir Boyle Roche:—

  “Mr. Speaker, I boldly answer in the affirmative—No.”

  “Mr. Speaker, if I have any prejudice against the honorable member, it
  is in his favor.”

                            A PAIR OF BULLS.

            When my lord he came wooing to Miss Ann Thrope,
              He was then a “Childe” from school;
            He paid his addresses in a trope,
              And called her his sweet bul-bul:
            But she knew not, in the modern scale,
              That _a couple of bulls_ was a _nightingale_.


                          SLIPS OF THE PRESS.

Lord Brougham was fond of relating an instance which was no joke to the
victim of it. A bishop, at one of his country visitations, found
occasion to complain of the deplorable state of a certain church, the
roof of which was evidently anything but water-tight; after rating those
concerned for their neglect, his lordship finished by declaring
emphatically that he would not visit the _damp old church_ again until
it was put in decent order. His horror may be imagined when he
discovered himself reported in the local journal as having declared: “I
shall not visit this damned old church again.” The bishop lost no time
in calling the editor’s attention to the mistake; whereupon that worthy
set himself right with his readers by stating that he willingly gave
publicity to his lordship’s explanation, but he had every confidence in
the accuracy of his reporter. The editor of an evening paper could
hardly have had similar confidence in his subordinate when the latter
caused his journal to record that a prisoner had been sentenced to “four
months imprisonment in the House of Commons!” In this case, we fancy the
reporter must have been in the same exhilarated condition as his
American brother, who ended his account of a city banquet with the frank
admission: “It is not distinctly remembered by anybody present who made
the last speech!”

In a poem on the “Milton Gallery,” by Amos Cottle, the poet, describing
the pictures of Fuseli, says:—

            “The lubber fiend outstretched the chimney near,
            Or sad Ulysses on the larboard Steer.”

Ulysses steered to the larboard to shun Charybdis, but the compositor
makes him get upon the back of the bullock, the left one in the drove!
After all, however, he only interprets the text literally. “Steer,” as a
substantive, has no other meaning than bullock. The substantive of the
verb “to steer” is steerage. “He that hath the steerage of my course,”
says Shakspeare. The compositor evidently understood that Ulysses rode
an ox; he would hardly else have spelt Steer with a capital S.

The following paragraphs, intended to have been printed separately, in a
Paris evening paper, were by some blunder so arranged that they read

Doctor X. has been appointed head physician to the Hospital de la
Charite. Orders have been issued by the authorities for the immediate
extension of the Cemetery of Mont Parnasse. The works are being executed
with the utmost dispatch.

The old story of Dr. Mudge furnishes one of the most curious cases of
typographical accident on record. The Doctor had been presented with a
gold-headed cane, and the same week a patent pig-killing and
sausage-making machine had been tried at a factory in the place of which
he was pastor. The writer of a report of the presentation, and a
description of the machine, for the local paper, is thus made to “mix
things miscellaneously:”—

“The inconsiderate Caxtonian who made up the forms of the paper, got the
two locals mixed up in a frightful manner; and when we went to press,
something like this was the appalling result: Several of the Rev. Dr.
Mudge’s friends called upon him yesterday, and after a brief
conversation, the unsuspicious pig was seized by the hind legs, and slid
along a beam until he reached the hot water tank. His friends explained
the object of their visit, and presented him with a very handsome
gold-headed butcher, who grabbed him by the tail, swung him round, slit
his throat from ear to ear, and in less than a minute the carcass was in
the water. Thereupon he came forward, and said that there were times
when the feelings overpowered one; and for that reason he would not
attempt to do more than thank those around him for the manner in which
such a huge animal was cut into fragments was simply astonishing. The
Doctor concluded his remarks when the machine seized him, and in less
time than it takes to write it, the pig was cut into fragments and
worked up into delicious sausages. The occasion will long be remembered
by the Doctor’s friends as one of the most delightful of their lives.
The best pieces can be procured for tenpence a pound; and we are sure
that those who have sat so long under his ministry will rejoice that he
has been treated so handsomely.”

                        SLIPS OF THE TELEGRAPH.

The Prior of the Dominican Monastery of Voreppe, in France, recently
received the following telegram:—“Father Ligier is dead (_est mort_); we
shall arrive by train to-morrow, at three.—§Laboree§.” The ecclesiastic,
being convinced that the deceased, who was highly esteemed in the
locality, had selected it for his last resting-place, made every
preparation. A grave was dug, a hearse provided, and with the monks, a
sorrowing crowd waited at the station for the train. It arrived, and, to
the astonishment of every one, the supposed defunct alighted, well and
hearty. The matter was soon explained. The reverend father, returning
from a visit to Rome, where he had been accompanied by the priest
Laboree, stopped to visit some monks at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, and
requested his companion to telegraph the return to his monastery. The
message sent was: “Father Ligier and I (_et moi_) will arrive,” &c. The
clerks inadvertently changed the _et moi_ into _est mort_, with what
result has already been told.

A firm in Cincinnati telegraphed to a correspondent in Cleveland, as
follows:—“Cranberries rising. Send immediately one hundred barrels _per_
Simmons.” Mr. Simmons was the agent of the Cincinnati house. The
telegraph ran the last two words together, and shortly after, the firm
were astonished to find delivered at their store one hundred barrels of

                        “SERIAL” INCONSISTENCY.

In Mrs. Oliphant’s interesting story of “Ombra,” there is a curious
contradiction between the end of Chapter XLV. and the beginning of
Chapter XLVI. A domestic picture is given, an interior, with the
characters thus disposed:—

“One evening, when Kate was at home, and, as usual, abstracted over a
book in a corner; when the Berties were in full possession, one bending
over Ombra at the piano, one talking earnestly to her mother, Francesca
suddenly threw the door open, with a vehemence quite unusual to her, and
without a word of warning—without even the announcement of his name to
put them on their guard—Mr. Courtenay walked into the room.”

Thus ends Chapter XLV., and thus opens Chapter XLVI.:—

“The scene which Mr. Courtenay saw when he walked in suddenly to Mrs.
Anderson’s drawing-room, was one so different in every way from what he
had expected that he was for the first moment as much taken aback as any
of the company. * * * The drawing-room, which looked out on the Lung’
Arno, was not small, but it was rather low—not much more than an
_entresol_. There was a bright wood-fire on the hearth, and near it,
with a couple of candles on a small table by her side, sat Kate,
distinctly isolated from the rest, and working diligently, scarcely
raising her eyes from her needle-work. The centre-table was drawn a
little aside, for Ombra had found it too warm in front of the fire; and
about this the other four were grouped—Mrs. Anderson, working too, was
talking to one of the young men; the other was holding silk, which Ombra
was winding; a thorough English domestic party—such a family group as
should have gladdened virtuous eyes to see. Mr. Courtenay looked at it
with indescribable surprise.”

                      MISTAKES OF MISAPPREHENSION.

Soon after Louis XIV. appointed Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux, he inquired
how the citizens liked their new Bishop, to which they answered,
doubtfully: “Pretty well.” “But,” asked his Majesty, “what fault do you
find with him?” “To say the truth,” they replied, “we should have
preferred a Bishop who had finished his education; for, whenever we wait
upon him, we are told that he is at his studies.”

There lived in the west of England, a few years since, an enthusiastic
geologist, who was presiding judge of the Quarter Sessions. A farmer,
who had seen him presiding on the bench, overtook him shortly
afterwards, while seated by the roadside on a heap of stones, which he
was busily breaking in search of fossils. The farmer reined up his
horse, gazed at him for a minute, shook his head in commiseration of the
mutability of human things, then exclaimed, in mingled tones of pity and
surprise: “What, your Honor! be you come to this a’ ready?”

Cottle, in his _Life of Coleridge_, relates an essay at grooming on the
part of that poet and Wordsworth. The servants being absent, the poets
had attempted to stable their horse, and were almost successful. With
the collar, however, a difficulty arose. After Wordsworth had
relinquished as impracticable the effort to get it over the animal’s
head, Coleridge tried his hand, but showed no more grooming skill than
his predecessor; for, after twisting the poor horse’s neck almost to
strangulation, and to the great danger of his eyes, he gave up the
useless task, pronouncing that the horse’s head must have grown (gout or
dropsy) since the collar was put on, for he said it was downright
impossibility for such a huge _os frontis_ to pass through so narrow a
collar! Just at this moment a servant girl came up, and turning the
collar upside down, slipped it off without trouble, to the great
humility and wonderment of the poets, who were each satisfied afresh
that there were heights of knowledge to which they had not attained.

                        BLUNDERS OF TRANSLATORS.

A most entertaining volume might be made from the amusing and often
absurd blunders perpetrated by translators. For instance, Miss Cooper
tells us that the person who first rendered her father’s novel, “The
Spy,” into the French tongue, among other mistakes, made the
following:—Readers of the Revolutionary romance will remember that the
residence of the Wharton family was called “The Locusts.” The translator
referred to his dictionary, and found the rendering of the word to be
_Les Sauterelles_, “The Grasshoppers.” But when he found one of the
dragoons represented as tying his horse to one of the locusts on the
lawn, it would appear as if he might have been at fault. Nothing
daunted, however, but taking it for granted that American grasshoppers
must be of gigantic dimensions, he gravely informs his readers that the
cavalryman secured his charger by fastening the bridle to one of the
grasshoppers before the door, apparently standing there for that

Much laughter has deservedly been raised at French _littérateurs_ who
professed to be “_doctus utriusque linguæ_.” Cibber’s play of “Love’s
Last Shift” was translated by a Frenchman who spoke “Inglees” as “_Le
Dernière Chemise de l’Amour_;” Congreve’s “Mourning Bride,” by another,
as “_L’Epouse du Matin_;” and a French scholar recently included among
his catalogue of works on natural history the essay on “Irish Bulls,” by
the Edgeworths. Jules Janin, the great critic, in his translation of
“Macbeth,” renders “Out, out, brief candle!” as “_Sortez, chandelle_.”
And another, who _traduced_ Shakspeare, commits an equally amusing
blunder in rendering Northumberland’s famous speech in “Henry IV.” In
the passage

              “Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
              So dull, so dead in look, _so woe-begone_.”

the words italicized are rendered, “_ainsi douleur! va-t’en!_”—“so
grief, be off with you!” Voltaire did no better with his translations of
several of Shakspeare’s plays; in one of which the “myriad-minded” makes
a character renounce all claim to a doubtful inheritance, with an avowed
resolution to _carve_ for himself a fortune with his sword. Voltaire put
it in French, which, retranslated, reads, “What care I for lands? With
my sword I will make a fortune cutting meat.”

The late centennial celebration of Shakspeare’s birthday in England
called forth numerous publications relating to the works and times of
the immortal dramatist. Among them was a new translation of “Hamlet,” by
the Chevalier de Chatelain, who also translated Halleck’s “Alnwick
Castle,” “Burns,” and “Marco Bozzaris.” Our readers are, of course,
familiar with the following lines:—

         “How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
         Seem to me all the uses of this world!
         Fie on’t! Oh, fie! ’tis an unweeded garden
         That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in nature,
         Possess it merely.”

The chevalier, less successful with the English than with the modern
American poet, thus renders them into French:—

       “_Fi donc! fi donc! Ces jours qu’on nous montrons superbes
       Sont un vilain jardin rempli de folles herbes,
       Qui donnent de l’ivraie, et certes rien de plus
       Si ce n’est les engines du cholera-morbus._”

Some of the funniest mistranslations on record have been bequeathed by
Victor Hugo. Most readers will remember his rendering of a peajacket as
_paletot a la purée de pois_, and of the Frith of Forth as _le cinquième
de le quatrième_.

The French translator of one of Sir Walter Scott’s novels, knowing
nothing of that familiar name for toasted cheese, “a Welsh rabbit,”
rendered it literally by “_un lapin du pays de Galles_,” or a rabbit of
Wales, and then informed his readers in a foot-note that the lapins or
rabbits of Wales have a very superior flavor, and are very tender, which
cause them to be in great request in England and Scotland. A writer in
the Neapolitan paper, _Il Giornale della due Sicilie_, was more
ingenuous. He was translating from an English paper the account of a man
who killed his wife by striking her with a poker; and at the end of his
story the honest journalist, with a modesty unusual in his craft, said,
“_Non sappiamo per certo se questo pokero Inglese sia uno strumento
domestico o bensi chirurgico_”—“We are not quite certain whether this
English poker [_pokero_] be a domestic or surgical instrument.”

In the course of the famous Tichborne trial, the claimant, when asked
the meaning of _laus Deo semper_, said it meant “the laws of God
forever, or permanently.” An answer not less ludicrous was given by a
French Sir Roger, who, on being asked to translate _numero Deus impare
gaudet_, unhesitatingly replied, “Le numéro deux se réjouit d’être

Some of the translations of the Italian operas in the librettos, which
are sold to the audience, are ludicrous enough. Take, for instance, the
lines in _Roberto il diavolo_,—

                          Egli era, dicessi
                          Del tristo Imperio.

Which some smart interpreter rendered—

                   “For they say he was
                   A citizen of the black emporium.”


In Mr Collins’ account of Homer’s Iliad, in Blackwood’s _Ancient
Classics for English Readers_, occurs the following:—

  ... “The spirit horsemen who rallied the Roman line in the great fight
  with the Latins at Lake Regillus, the shining stars who lighted the
  sailors on the stormy Adriatic, and gave their names to the ship in
  which St. Paul was cast away.”

If the reader will take the trouble to refer to the _Acts of the
Apostles_, xxviii. 11. he will find, that the ship of Alexandria, “whose
sign was Castor and Pollux,” was not the vessel in which St. Paul was
shipwrecked near Malta, but the ship in which he safely voyaged from the
island of “the barbarous people” to Puteoli for Rome.

The misquotations of Sir Walter Scott have frequently attracted
attention. One of the most unpardonable occurs in _The Heart of
Mid-Lothian_, chapter xlvii.:—

“The least of these considerations always inclined Butler to measures of
conciliation, in so far as he could accede to them, without compromising
principle; and thus our simple and unpretending heroine had the merit of
those peacemakers, to whom it is pronounced as a benediction, that they
shall _inherit the earth_.”

On turning to the gospel of Matthew, v. 9, we find that the benediction
pronounced upon the _peacemakers_ was that “they shall be called the
children of God.” It is the meek who are to “inherit the earth,” (ver.

Another of Scott’s blunders occurs in _Ivanhoe_. The date of this story
“refers to a period towards the end of the reign of Richard I.” (chap.
i.) Richard died in 1199. Nevertheless, Sir Walter makes the disguised
Wamba style himself “a poor brother of the Order of St. Francis,”
although the Order was not founded until 1210, and, of course, the
saintship of the founder had a still later date.

Again in _Waverley_ (chap. xii.) he puts into the mouth of Baron
Bradwardine the words “nor would I utterly accede to the objurgation of
the _younger Plinius_ in the fourteenth book of his _Historia
Naturalis_.” The great Roman naturalist whose thirty-seven books on
Natural History were written eighteen centuries ago, was the _Elder_

Alison, in his _History of Europe_, speaks of the Grand Duke Constantine
of Russia, the Viceroy of Poland, as the son of the emperor Paul I. and
the celebrated empress Catherine. This Catherine was the _mother_ of
Paul, and wife of Peter III., Paul’s father. Constantine’s mother, i.e.
Paul’s wife, was a princess of Würtemberg.

Another of Archibald’s singular errors is his translation of _droit du
timbre_ (stamp duty) into “timber duties.” This is about as sensible as
his quoting with approbation from De Tocqueville the false and foolish
assertion that the American people are “regardless of historical records
or monuments,” and that future historians will be obliged “to write the
history of the present generation from the archives of other lands.”
Such ignorance of American scholarship and research and of the vigorous
vitality of American Historical Societies, is unpardonable.

Disraeli thus refers to a curious blunder in Nagler’s
_Künstler-Lexicon_, concerning the artist Cruikshank:—

Some years ago the relative merits of George Cruikshank and his brother
were contrasted in an English Review, and George was spoken of as “the
real Simon Pure”—the first who had illustrated “Scenes of Life in
London.” Unaware of the real significance of a quotation which has
become proverbial among us, the German editor begins his memoir of
Cruikshank by gravely informing us that he is an English artist “whose
real name is Simon Pure!” Turning to the artists under letter P. we
accordingly read, “Pure (Simon), the real name of the celebrated
caricaturist, George Cruikshank.”

This will remind some of our readers of the index which refers to Mr.
Justice Best. A searcher after something or other, running his eye down
the index through letter B, arrived at the reference “Best—Mr.
Justice—his great mind.” Desiring to be better acquainted with the
particulars of this assertion, he turned to the page referred to, and
there found, to his entire satisfaction, “Mr. Justice Best said he had a
great mind to commit the witness for prevarication.”

In the fourth canto of _Don Juan_, stanza CX., Byron says:

               Oh, darkly, deeply, beautifully blue,
               As some one somewhere sings about the sky.

Byron was mistaken in thinking his quotation referred to the sky. The
line is in Southey’s _Madoc_, canto V., and describes fish. A note
intimates that dolphins are meant.

                      “Though in blue ocean seen,
                Blue, darkly, deeply, beautifully blue,
                In all its rich variety of shades,
                Suffused with glowing gold.”



Chalmers charges upon Huarte (a native of French Navarre) the
publication (as genuine and authentic) of the Letter of Lentulus (the
Proconsul of Jerusalem) to the Roman Senate, describing the person and
manners of our Lord, and for which, of course, he deservedly censures
him. A copy of the letter will be found in the chapter of this volume
headed I. H. S.


The following passage occurs in one of Sir Walter Scott’s letters to
Southey, written in September, 1810:—

  A witty rogue, the other day, who sent me a letter subscribed
  “Detector,” proved me guilty of stealing a passage from one of Vida’s
  Latin poems, which I had never seen or heard of; yet there was so
  strong a general resemblance as fairly to authorize “Detector’s”

Lockhart remarks thereupon:—

  The lines of Vida which “Detector” had enclosed to Scott, as the
  obvious original of the address to “Woman,” in _Marmion_, closing

                  “When pain and anguish wring the brow,
                  A ministering angel thou!”

  end as follows: and it must be owned that if Vida had really written
  them, a more extraordinary example of casual coincidence could never
  have been pointed out.

            “Cum dolor atque supercilio gravis imminet angor,
            Fungeris angelico sola ministerio.”

  “Detector’s” reference is Vida _ad Eranen_, El. ii. v. 21; but it is
  almost needless to add there are no such lines, and no piece bearing
  such a title in Vida’s works.

It was afterwards ascertained that the waggish author of this hoax was a
Cambridge scholar named Drury.

                             THE MOON HOAX.

The authorship of the “Moon Hoax,” an elaborate description (which was
first printed in the New York _Sun_) of men, animals, &c., purporting to
have been discovered in the moon by Sir John Herschel, is now disputed.
Until recently it was conceded to R. A. Locke, now dead; but in the
_Budget of Paradoxes_, by Professor De Morgan, the authorship is
confidently ascribed to M. Nicollet, a French savant, once well known in
this country, and employed by the government in the scientific
exploration of the West. He died in the government service. Professor De
Morgan writes as follows:—“There is no doubt that it (the ‘Moon Hoax’)
was produced in the United States by M. Nicollet, an astronomer of
Paris, and a fugitive of some kind. About him I have heard two stories.
First, that he fled to America with funds not his own, and that this
book was a mere device to raise the wind. Secondly, that he was a
_protegé_ of Laplace, and of the Polignac party, and also an outspoken
man. The moon story was written and sent to France, with the intention
of entrapping M. Arago—Nicollet’s especial foe—in the belief of it.” It
seems not to have occurred to the sage and critical professor that a man
who could steal funds, would have little scruple about stealing a
literary production. It is, hence, more than probable that Nicollet
translated the article immediately after its appearance in the New York
_Sun_, and afterwards sent it to France as his own.

                            A LITERARY SELL.

A story is told in literary circles in New York of an enthusiastic
Carlyle Club of ladies and gentlemen of Cambridge and Boston, who meet
periodically to read their chosen prophet and worship at his shrine. One
of them, not imbued with sufficient reverence to teach him better,
feloniously contrived to have the reader on a certain evening insert
something of his own composition into the reading, as though it came
from the printed page and Carlyle’s hand. The interpolation was as
follows:—“Word-spluttering organisms, in whatever place—not with
Plutarchean comparison, apologies, nay rather, without any such
apologies—but born into the world to say the thought that is in
them—antiphoreal, too, in the main—butchers, bakers, and
candlestick-makers; men, women, pedants. Verily, with you, too, it’s now
or never.” This paragraph produced great applause among the devotees of
Carlyle. The leader of the Club especially, a learned and metaphysical
pundit, who is the great American apostle of Carlyle, said nothing
Carlyle had ever written was more representative and happy. The actual
author of it attempted to ask some questions about it, and elicit
explanations. These were not wanting, and, where they failed, the
stupidity of the questioner was the substitute presumption, delicately
hinted. It reminds us of Dr. Franklin’s incident in his life of Abraham,
which he used to read off with great gravity, apparently from an open
Bible, though actually from his own memory. This parable is probably the
most perfect imitation of Scripture style extant.

                       MRS. HEMANS’s “FORGERIES.”

A gentleman having requested Mrs. Hemans to furnish him with some
authorities from the old English writers for the use of the word “barb,”
as applied to a steed, she very shortly supplied him with the following
imitations, which she was in the habit of calling her “forgeries.” The
mystification succeeded completely, and was not discovered for some time

           The warrior donn’d his well-worn garb
             And proudly waved his crest;
           Be mounted on his jet-black _barb_
             And put his lance in rest.
                                         §Percy§, _Reliques_.

   Eftsoons the wight withouten more delay
   Spurr’d his brown _barb_, and rode full swiftly on his way.

        Hark! was it not the trumpet’s voice I heard?
        The soul of battle is awake within me!
        The fate of ages and of empires hangs
        On this dread hour. Why am I not in arms?
        Bring my good lance, caparison my steed!
        Base, idle grooms! are ye in league against me?
        Haste with my _barb_, or by the holy saints,
        Ye shall not live to saddle him to-morrow.

  No sooner had the pearl-shedding fingers of the young Aurora
  tremulously unlocked the oriental portals of the golden horizon, than
  the graceful flower of chivalry, and the bright cynosure of ladies
  eyes—he of the dazzling breast-plate and swanlike plume—sprang
  impatiently from the couch of slumber, and eagerly mounted the noble
  _barb_ presented to him by the Emperor of Aspromontania.

                                         §Sir Philip Sidney§, _Arcadia_.

      See’st thou yon chief whose presence seems to rule
      The storm of battle? Lo! where’er he moves
      Death follows. Carnage sits upon his crest—
      Fate on his sword is throned—and his white _barb_,
      As a proud courser of Apollo’s chariot,
      Seems breathing fire.
                                            §Potter§, _Æschylus_.

       Oh! bonnie looked my ain true knight,
         His _barb_ so proudly reining;
       I watched him till my tearfu’ sight
         Grew amaist dim wi’ straining.
                                             _Border Minstrelsy._

  Why, he can heel the lavolt and wind a fiery _barb_ as well as any
  gallant in Christendom. He’s the very pink and mirror of


     Fair star of beauty’s heaven! to call thee mine,
       All other joy’s I joyously would yield;
     My knightly crest, my bounding _barb_ resign
       For the poor shepherd’s crook and daisied field!
     For courts, or camps, no wish my soul would prove,
     So thou would’st live with me and be my love.
                                         §Earl of Surrey§, _Poems_.

 For thy dear love my weary soul hath grown
 Heedless of youthful sports: I seek no more
 Or joyous dance, or music’s thrilling tone,
 Or joys that once could charm in minstrel lore,
 Or knightly tilt where steel-clad champions meet,
 Borne on impetuous _barbs_ to bleed at beauty’s feet!
                                               §Shakspeare§, _Sonnets_.

                As a warrior clad
          In sable arms, like chaos dull and sad,
          But mounted on a _barb_ as white
          As the fresh new-born light,—
                So the black night too soon
          Came riding on the bright and silver moon
                Whose radiant heavenly ark
          Made all the clouds beyond her influence seem
                E’en more than doubly dark,
          Mourning all widowed of her glorious beam.

                           SHERIDAN’S GREEK.

In _Anecdotes of Impudence_, we find this curious story:—

Lord Belgrave having clenched a speech in the House of Commons with a
long Greek quotation, Sheridan, in reply, admitted the force of the
quotation so far as it went; “but” said he, “if the noble Lord had
proceeded a little farther, and completed the passage, he would have
seen that it applied the other way!” Sheridan then spouted something
_ore rotundo_, which had all the ais, ois, kons, and kois that give the
world assurance of a Greek quotation: upon which Lord Belgrave very
promptly and handsomely complimented the honorable member on his
readiness of recollection, and frankly admitted that the continuation of
the passage had the tendency ascribed to it by Mr. Sheridan, and that he
had overlooked it at the moment when he gave his quotation. On the
breaking up of the House, Fox, who piqued himself on having some Greek,
went up to Sheridan, and said, “Sheridan, how came you to be so ready
with that passage? It certainly is as you state, but I was not aware of
it before you quoted it.” It is unnecessary to observe that there was no
Greek at all in Sheridan’s impromptu.

                           BALLAD LITERATURE.

John Hill Burton, in his _Book Hunter_, after speaking of the success
with which Surtus imposed upon Sir Walter Scott the spurious ballad of
the _Death of Featherstonhaugh_, which has a place in the _Border
Minstrelsy_, says:—

Altogether, such affairs create an unpleasant uncertainty about the
paternity of that delightful department of literature—our ballad poetry.
Where next are we to be disenchanted? Of the way in which ballads have
come into existence, there is one sad example within my own knowledge.
Some mad young wags, wishing to test the critical powers of an
experienced collector, sent him a new-made ballad, which they had been
enabled to secure only in a fragmentary form. To the surprise of its
fabricator, it was duly printed; but what naturally raised his surprise
to astonishment, and revealed to him a secret, was, that it was no
longer a fragment, but a complete ballad,—the collector, in the course
of his industrious inquiries among the peasantry, having been so
fortunate as to recover the missing fragments! It was a case where
neither could say anything to the other, though Cato might wonder, _quod
non rideret haruspex, haruspicem cum vidisset_. This ballad has been
printed in more than one collection, and admired as an instance of the
inimitable simplicity of the genuine old versions!

                  *       *       *       *       *

Psalmanazar exceeded in powers of deception any of the great impostors
of learning. His island of Formosa was an illusion eminently bold, and
maintained with as much felicity as erudition; and great must have been
that erudition which could form a pretended language and its grammar,
and fertile the genius which could invent the history of an unknown
people. The deception was only satisfactorily ascertained by his own
penitential confession; he had defied and baffled the most learned.

                          FRANKLIN’S PARABLE.

Dr. Franklin frequently read for the entertainment of company,
apparently from an open Bible, but actually from memory, the following
chapter in favor of religious toleration, pretendedly quoted from the
Book of Genesis. This story of Abraham and the idolatrous traveler was
given by Franklin to Lord Kaimes as a “Jewish Parable on Persecution,”
and was published by Kaimes in his _Sketches of the History of Man_. It
is traced, not to a Hebrew author, but to a Persian apologue. Bishop
Heber, in referring to the charge of plagiarism raised against Franklin,
says that while it cannot be proved that he gave it to Lord Kaimes as
his own composition, it is “unfortunate for him that his correspondent
evidently appears to have regarded it as his composition; that it had
been published as such in all the editions of Franklin’s collected
works; and that, with all Franklin’s abilities and amiable qualities,
there was a degree of quackery in his character which, in this instance
as well as that of his professional epitaph on himself, has made the
imputation of such a theft more readily received against him, than it
would have been against most other men of equal eminence.”

  1. And it came to pass after those things, that Abraham sat in the
  door of his tent, about the going down of the sun.

  2. And behold a man, bowed with age, came from the way of the
  wilderness, leaning on a staff.

  3. And Abraham arose, and met him, and said unto him, Turn in, I pray
  thee, and warm thy feet, and tarry all night, and thou shalt arise
  early on the morrow, and go on thy way.

  4. But the man said, Nay, for I will abide under this tree.

  5. And Abraham pressed him greatly; so he turned, and they went into
  the tent; and Abraham baked unleavened bread, and they did eat.

  6. And when Abraham saw that the man blessed not God, he said unto
  him, Wherefore dost thou not worship the most High God, Creator of
  Heaven and Earth?

  7. And the man answered and said, I do not worship the God thou
  speakest of, neither do I call upon his name; for I have made to
  myself a God, which abideth always in mine house, and provideth me
  with all things.

  8. And Abraham’s zeal was kindled against the man, and he arose and
  fell upon him, and drove him forth into the wilderness.

  9. And at midnight God called unto Abraham, saying, Abraham, where is
  the stranger?

  10. And Abraham answered and said, Lord, he would not worship Thee,
  neither would he call upon Thy name; therefore have I driven him out
  from before my face into the wilderness.

  11. And God said, Have I borne with him these hundred and ninety and
  eight years, and nourished him and clothed him, notwithstanding his
  rebellion against Me; and couldst not thou, that art thyself a sinner,
  bear with him one night?

  12. And Abraham said, Let not the anger of my Lord wax hot against His
  servant: Lo, I haved sinned; forgive me, I pray Thee.

  13. And he arose, and went forth into the wilderness, and sought
  diligently for the man, and found him:

  14. And returned with him to his tent: and when he had entreated him
  kindly, he sent him away on the morrow with gifts.

  15. And God spake again unto Abraham, saying, For this thy sin shall
  thy seed be afflicted four hundred years in a strange land:

  16. But for thy repentance will I deliver them; and they shall come
  forth with power, and with gladness of heart, and with much substance.

                       THE SHAKSPEARE FORGERIES.

In 1795–96 William Henry Ireland perpetrated the remarkable Shakspeare
Forgeries which gave his name such infamous notoriety. The plays of
“Vortigern” and “Henry the Second” were printed in 1799. Several
litterateurs of note were deceived by them, and Sheridan produced the
former at Drury Lane theatre, with John Kemble to take the leading part.
The total failure of the play, conjoined with the attacks of Malone and
others, eventually led to a conviction and forced confession of
Ireland’s dishonesty. For an authentic account of the Shakspeare
Manuscripts see _The Confessions of W. H. Ireland_; Chalmers’ _Apology
for the Believers of the Shakspeare Papers_; Malone’s _Inquiry into the
Authenticity_, &c.; Wilson’s _Shaksperiana_; _Gentleman’s Magazine_,
1796–97; _Eclectic Magazine_, xvi. 476. One of the original manuscripts
of Ireland, that of Henry the Second, has been preserved. The rascal
seems to have felt but little penitence for his fraud.

                         Interrupted Sentences.

A Judge, reprimanding a criminal, called him a scoundrel. The prisoner
replied: “Sir, I am not as big a scoundrel as your Honor”—here the
culprit stopped, but finally added—“takes me to be.” “Put your words
closer together,” said the Judge.

A lady in a dry goods store, while inspecting some cloths, remarked that
they were “part cotton.” “Madam,” said the shopman, “these goods are as
free from cotton as your breast is”—(the lady frowned) he added—“free
from guile.”

A lady was reading aloud in a circle of friends a letter just received.
She read, “We are in great trouble. Poor Mary has been confined”—and
there she stopped for that was the last word on the sheet, and the next
sheet had dropped and fluttered away, and poor Mary, unmarried, was left
really in a delicate situation until the missing sheet was found, and
the next continued—“to her room for three days, with what, we fear, is
suppressed scarlet fever.”

To all letters soliciting his “subscription” to any object Lord Erskine
had a regular form of reply, viz.:—“Sir, I feel much honored by your
application to me, and beg to subscribe”—here the reader had to turn
over the leaf—“myself your very obedient servant.”

Much more satisfactory to the recipient was Lord Eldon’s note to his
friend, Dr. Fisher, of the Charter House:—“Dear Fisher—I cannot to day
give you the preferment for which you ask. Your sincere friend, Eldon.
(_Turn over_)—I gave it to you yesterday.”

At the Virginia Springs a Western girl name Helen was familiarly known
among her admirers as Little Hel. At a party given in her native city, a
gentleman, somewhat the worse for his supper, approached a very
dignified young lady and asked: “Where’s my little sweetheart? You
know,—Little Hel?” “Sir?” exclaimed the lady, “you certainly forgot
yourself.” “Oh,” said he quickly, “you interrupted me; if you had let me
go on I would have said Little Helen.” “I beg your pardon,” answered the
lady, “when you said Little Hel, I thought you had reached your final

The value of an explanation is finely illustrated in the old story of a
king who sent to another king, saying, “Send me a blue pig with a black
tail, or else——.” The other, in high dudgeon at the presumed insult,
replied: “I have not got one, and if I had——.” On this weighty cause
they went to war for many years. After a satiety of glories and
miseries, they finally bethought them that, as their armies and
resources were exhausted, and their kingdoms mutually laid waste, it
might be well enough to consult about the preliminaries of peace; but
before this could be concluded, a diplomatic explanation was first
needed of the insulting language which formed the ground of the quarrel.
“What could you mean,” said the second king to the first, “by saying,
‘Send me a blue pig with a black tail, or else——?’” “Why,” said the
other, “I meant a blue pig with a black tail, or else some other color.
But,” retorted he, “what did you mean by saying, ‘I have not got one,
and if I had——?’” “Why, of course, if I had, I should have sent it.” An
explanation which was entirely satisfactory, and peace was concluded

It is related of Dr. Mansel, that when an undergraduate of Trinity
College, Cambridge, he chanced to call at the rooms of a brother Cantab,
who was absent, but who had left on his table the opening of a poem,
which was in the following lofty strain:—

                   “The sun’s perpendicular rays
                     Illumine the depths of the sea,”

Here the flight of the poet, by some accident, stopped short, but
Mansel, who never lost an occasion for fun, completed the stanza in the
following facetious style:—

               “And the fishes beginning to sweat,
                 Cried, ‘Goodness, how hot we shall be.’”

That not very brilliant joke, “to lie—under a mistake,” is sometimes
indulged in by the best writers. Witness the following. Byron says:—

       If, after all, there should be some so blind
         To their own good this warning to despise,
       Led by some tortuosity of mind
         Not to believe my verse and their own eyes,
       And cry that they the moral cannot find,
         I tell him, if a clergyman, he lies;
       Should captains the remark, or critics make,
       They also lie too—under a mistake.
                                             _Don Juan_, Canto I.

Shelley, in his translation of the _Magico Prodigioso_ of Calderon,
makes Clarin say to Moscon:—

                You lie—under a mistake—
                For this is the most civil sort of lie
                That can be given to a man’s face. I now
                Say what I think.

And De Quincey, _Milton versus Southey and Landor_, says:—

You are tempted, after walking round a line (of Milton) threescore
times, to exclaim at last,—Well, if the Fiend himself should rise up
before me at this very moment, in this very study of mine, and say that
no screw was loose in that line, then would I reply: “Sir, with due
submission, you are——.” “What!” suppose the Fiend suddenly to demand in
thunder. “What am I?” “Horribly wrong,” you wish exceedingly to say;
but, recollecting that some people are choleric in argument, you confine
yourself to the polite answer—“That, with deference to his better
education, you conceive him to lie”—that’s a bad word to drop your voice
upon in talking with a friend, and you hasten to add—“under a slight, a
_very_ slight mistake.”

Mr. Montague Mathew, who sometimes amused the House of Commons, and
alarmed the Ministers, with his _brusquerie_, set an ingenious example
to those who are at once forbidden to speak, and yet resolved to express
their thoughts. There was a debate upon the treatment of Ireland, and
Mathew having been called to order for taking unseasonable notice of the
enormities attributed to the British Government, spoke to the following
effect:—“Oh, very well; I shall say nothing then about the
murders—(_Order, order!_)—I shall make no mention of the
massacres—(_Hear, hear! Order!_)—Oh, well; I shall sink all allusion to
the infamous half-hangings—”(_Order, order! Chair!_)

Lord Chatham once began a speech on West Indian affairs, in the House of
Commons, with the words: “Sugar, Mr. Speaker——” and then, observing a
smile to prevail in the audience, he paused, looked fiercely around, and
with a loud voice, rising in its notes, and swelling into vehement
anger, he is said to have pronounced again the word “Sugar!” three
times; and having thus quelled the House, and extinguished every
appearance of levity or laughter, turned around, and disdainfully asked,
“Who will laugh at sugar now?”

Our legislative assemblies, under the most exciting circumstances,
convey no notion of the phrenzied rage which sometimes agitates the
French. Mirabeau interrupted once at every sentence by an insult, with
“slanderer,” “liar,” “assassin,” “rascal,” rattling around him,
addressed the most furious of his assailants in the softest tone he
could assume, saying, “I pause, gentlemen, till these civilities are

Mr. Marten, M. P., was a great wit. One evening he delivered a furious
philippic against Sir Harry Vane, and when he had buried him beneath a
load of sarcasm, he said:—“But as for young Sir Harry Vane——” and so sat
down. The House was astounded. Several members exclaimed: “What have you
to say against young Sir Harry?” Marten at once rose and added: “Why, if
young Sir Harry lives to be old, _he_ will be old Sir Harry.”

                              Echo Verse.

Addison says, in No. 59 of the Spectator, “I find likewise in ancient
times the conceit of making an Echo talk sensibly and give rational
answers. If this could be excusable in any writer, it would be in Ovid,
where he introduces the echo as a nymph, before she was worn away into
nothing but a voice. (Met. iii. 379.) The learned Erasmus, though a man
of wit and genius, has composed a dialogue upon this silly kind of
device, and made use of an echo who seems to have been an extraordinary
linguist, for she answers the person she talks with in Latin, Greek, and
Hebrew, according as she found the syllables which she was to repeat in
any of those learned languages. Hudibras, in ridicule of this false kind
of wit, has described Bruin bewailing the loss of his bear to a solitary
echo, who is of great use to the poet in several distichs, as she does
not only repeat after him, but helps out his verse and furnishes him
with rhymes.”

Euripides in his Andromeda—a tragedy now lost—had a similar scene, which
Aristophanes makes sport with in his Feast of Ceres. In the Greek
Anthology (iii. 6) is an epigram of Leonidas, and in Book IV. are some
lines by Guaradas, commencing—

              α Αχὼ φίλα μοι συγκαταίνεσον τί. β τί;
                (Echo! I love: advise me somewhat.—What?)

The French bards in the age of Marot were very fond of this conceit.
Disraeli gives an ingenious specimen in his Curiosities of Literature.
The lines here transcribed are by Joachim de Bellay:—

           Qui est l’auteur de ces maux avenus?—Venus.
           Qu’étois-je avant d’entrer en ce passage?—Sage.
           Qu’est-ce qu’aimer et se plaindre souvent?—Vent.
           Dis-moi quelle est celle pour qui j’endure?—Dure.
           Sent-elle bien la douleur qui me point?—Point.

In _The Progresses of Queen Elizabeth_ there is detailed a masque, which
was enacted for her Majesty’s pleasure, in which a dialogue was held
with Echo “devised, penned, and pronounced by Master Gascoigne, and that
upon a very great sudden.”

Here are three of the verses:—

                  Well, Echo, tell me yet,
                    How might I come to see
                  This comely Queen of whom we talk?
                    Oh, were she now by thee!
                                        By thee.

                  By me? oh, were that true,
                    How might I see her face?
                  How might I know her from the rest,
                    Or judge her by her grace?
                                        Her grace.

                  Well, then, if so mine eyes
                    Be such as they have been,
                  Methinks I see among them all
                    This same should be the Queen.
                                        The Queen.


        What want’st thou that thou art in this sad taking?
                                                      a king.
        What made him hence move his residing?
        Did any here deny him satisfaction?
        Tell me whereon this strength of faction lies?
                                                on lies.
        What didst thou do when King left Parliament?
        What terms wouldst give to gain his company?
        But thou wouldst serve him with thy best endeavor?
        What wouldst thou do if thou couldst here behold him?
                                                      hold him.
        But if he comes not, what becomes of London?

The following song was written by Addison:—

               Echo, tell me, while I wander
                 O’er this fairy plain to prove him,
               If my shepherd still grows fonder,
                 Ought I in return to love him?
                             _Echo._—Love him, love him.

               If he loves, as is the fashion,
                 Should I churlishly forsake him?
               Or, in pity to his passion,
                 Fondly to my bosom take him?
                             _Echo._—Take him, take him.

               Thy advice, then, I’ll adhere to,
                 Since in Cupid’s chains I’ve led him,
               And with Henry shall not fear to
                 Marry, if you answer, “Wed him.”
                             _Echo._—Wed him, wed him.


The following squib, cited by Mr. Motley in his _Dutch Republic_, from a
MS. collection of pasquils, shows the prevalent opinion in the
Netherlands concerning the parentage of Don John of Austria and the
position of Barbara Blomberg:—

     —sed at Austriacum nostrum redeamus—eamus
     Hunc Cesaris filium esse satis est notum—notum
     Multi tamen de ejus patre dubitavere—_vere_
     Cujus ergo filium cum dieunt Itali—_Itali_
     Verum mater satis est nota in nostra republica—_publica_
     Imo hactenus egit in Brabantiâ ter voere—hoere
     Crimen est ne frui amplexu unius Cesaris tam generosi—osi
     Pluribus ergo usa in vitâ est—ita est
     Seu post Cesaris congressum non vere ante—ante
     Tace garrula ne tale quippiam loquare—quare?
     Nescis quâ pœna afficiendum dixerit Belgium insigne—igne, &c.

                            THE GOSPEL ECHO.

  _Found in a pew in a church in Scotland, written in a female hand._

           True faith producing love to God and man,
           Say, Echo, is not this the gospel plan?
                     _Echo._—The gospel plan!

           Must I my faith in Jesus constant show,
           By doing good to all, both friend and foe?
                     _Echo._—Both friend and foe!

           When men conspire to hate and treat me ill,
           Must I return them good, and love them still?
                     _Echo._—Love them still!

           If they my failings causelessly reveal,
           Must I their faults as carefully conceal?
                     _Echo._—As carefully conceal!

           But if my name and character they tear,
           And cruel malice too, too plain appear;
           And, when I sorrow and affliction know,
           They smile, and add unto my cup of woe;
           Say, Echo, say, in such peculiar case,
           Must I continue still to love and bless?
                     _Echo._—Still love and bless!

           Why, Echo, how is this? Thou’rt sure a dove:
           Thy voice will leave me nothing else but love!
                     _Echo._—Nothing else but love!

           Amen, with all my heart, then be it so;
           And now to practice I’ll directly go.
                     _Echo._—Directly go!

           This path be mine; and, let who will reject,
           My gracious God me surely will protect.
                     _Echo._—Surely will protect!

           Henceforth on him I’ll cast my every care,
           And friends and foes, embrace them all in prayer.
                     _Echo._—Embrace them all in prayer.

                          ECHO AND THE LOVER.

      §Lover.§—  Echo! mysterious nymph, declare
                 Of what you’re made and what you are.

      §Echo.§—                           Air!

      §Lover.§—  Mid airy cliffs and places high,
                 Sweet Echo! listening, love, you lie—

      §Echo.§—                           You lie!

      §Lover.§—  Thou dost resuscitate dead sounds—
                 Hark! how my voice revives, resounds!

      §Echo.§—                           Zounds!

      §Lover.§—  I’ll question thee before I go—
                 Come, answer me more apropos!

      §Echo.§—                           Poh! poh!

      §Lover.§—  Tell me, fair nymph, if e’er you saw
                 So sweet a girl as Phœbe Shaw?

      §Echo.§—                           Pshaw!

      §Lover.§—  Say, what will turn that frisking coney
                 Into the toils of matrimony?

      §Echo.§—                           Money!

      §Lover.§—  Has Phœbe not a heavenly brow?
                 Is it not white as pearl—as snow?

      §Echo.§—                           Ass! no!

      §Lover.§—  Her eyes! Was ever such a pair?
                 Are the stars brighter than they are?

      §Echo.§—                           They are!

      §Lover.§—  Echo, thou liest, but can’t deceive me;
                 Her eyes eclipse the stars, believe me—

      §Echo.§—                           Leave me!

      §Lover.§—  But come, thou saucy, pert romancer,
                 Who is as fair as Phœbe? answer!

      §Echo.§—                           Ann, sir.

                             ECHO ON WOMAN.

                         _In the Doric manner._

These verses of Dean Swift were supposed, by the late Mr. Reed, to have
been written either in imitation of Lord Stirling’s _Aurora_, or of a
scene of Robert Taylor’s old play, entitled _The Hog has lost his

       §Shepherd.§— Echo, I ween, will in the woods reply,
                    And quaintly answer questions. Shall I try?

       §Echo.§—                         Try.

       §Shep.§— What must we do our passion to express?

       §Echo.§—                         Press.

       §Shep.§— How shall I please her who ne’er loved before?

       §Echo.§—                         Be fore.

       §Shep.§— What most moves women when we them address?

       §Echo.§—                         A dress.

       §Shep.§— Say, what can keep her chaste whom I adore?

       §Echo.§—                         A door.

       §Shep.§— If music softens rocks, love tunes my lyre.

       §Echo.§—                         Liar.

       §Shep.§— Then teach me, Echo, how shall I come by her?

       §Echo.§—                         Buy her.

       §Shep.§— When bought, no question I shall be her dear.

       §Echo.§—                         Her deer.

       §Shep.§— But deer have horns: how must I keep her under?

       §Echo.§—                         Keep her under.

       §Shep.§— But what can glad me when she’s laid on bier?

       §Echo.§—                         Beer.

       §Shep.§— What, must I do when women will be kind?

       §Echo.§—                         Be kind.

       §Shep.§— What must I do when women will be cross?

       §Echo.§—                         Be cross.

       §Shep.§— Lord! what is she that can so turn and wind?

       §Echo.§—                         Wind.

       §Shep.§— If she be wind, what stills her when she blows?

       §Echo.§—                         Blows.

       §Shep.§— But if she bang again, still should I bang her?

       §Echo.§—                         Bang her.

       §Shep.§— Is there no way to moderate her anger?

       §Echo.§—                         Hang her.

       §Shep.§— Thanks, gentle Echo! right thy answers tell
                What woman is, and how to guard her well.

       §Echo.§—                         Guard her well.

                        BONAPARTE AND THE ECHO.

The original publication of the following exposed the publisher, Palm,
of Nuremberg, to trial by court-martial. He was sentenced to be shot at
Braunau in 1807,—a severe retribution for a few lines of poetry.

 §Bona.§—Alone I am in this sequestered spot, not overheard.


 §Bona.§—’Sdeath! Who answers me? What being is there nigh?


 §Bona.§—Now I guess! To report my accents Echo has made her task.


 §Bona.§—Knowest thou whether London will henceforth continue to resist?


 §Bona.§—Whether Vienna and other courts will oppose me always?


 §Bona.§—Oh, Heaven! what must I expect after so many reverses?


 §Bona.§—What! should I, like coward vile, to compound be reduced?


 §Bona.§—After so many bright exploits be forced to restitution?


 §Bona.§—Restitution of what I’ve got by true heroic feats and martial


 §Bona.§—What will be the end of so much toil and trouble?


 §Bona.§—What will become of my people, already too unhappy?


 §Bona.§—What should I then be that I think myself immortal?


 §Bona.§—The whole world is filled with the glory of my name, you know.


 §Bona.§—Formerly its fame struck the vast globe with terror.


 §Bona.§—Sad Echo, begone! I grow infuriate! I die!


Footnote 13:

  Napoleon himself, (_Voice from St. Helena_,) when asked about the
  execution of Palm, said, “All that I recollect is, that Palm was
  arrested by order of Davoust, and, I believe, tried, condemned, and
  shot, for having, while the country was in possession of the French
  and under military occupation, not only excited rebellion among the
  inhabitants and urged them to rise and massacre the soldiers, but also
  attempted to instigate the soldiers themselves to refuse obedience to
  their orders and to mutiny against their generals. I _believe_ that he
  met with a fair trial.”

                     EPIGRAM ON THE SYNOD OF DORT.

            Dordrechti synodus, nodus; chorus integer, æger;
            Conventus, ventus; sessio stramen. Amen!

Referring to the extravagant price demanded in London, in 1831, to see
and hear the Orpheus of violinists, the Sunday Times asked,—

             What are they who pay three guineas
             To hear a tune of Paganini’s?
                                   §Echo.§—Pack o’ ninnies


          I’d fain praise your poem, but tell me, how is it,
          When I cry out, “Exquisite,” Echo cries, “Quiz it!”

                            ECHO ANSWERING.

    What must be done to conduct a newspaper right?—Write.
    What is necessary for a farmer to assist him?—System.
    What would give a blind man the greatest delight?—Light.
    What is the best counsel given by a justice of the peace?—Peace.
    Who commit the greatest abominations?—Nations.
    What cry is the greatest terrifier?—Fire.
    What are some women’s chief exercise?—Sighs.

                           REMARKABLE ECHOES.

An echo in Woodstock Park, Oxfordshire, repeats seventeen syllables by
day, and twenty by night. One on the banks of the Lago del Lupo, above
the fall of Terni, repeats fifteen. But the most remarkable echo known
is one on the north side of Shipley Church, in Sussex, which distinctly
repeats twenty-one syllables.

In the Abbey church at St. Alban’s is a curious echo. The tick of a
watch may be heard from one end of the church to the other. In
Gloucester Cathedral, a gallery of an octagonal form conveys a whisper
seventy-five feet across the nave.

The following inscription is copied from this gallery:—

                 Doubt not but God, who sits on high,
                   Thy inmost secret prayers can hear;
                 When a dead wall thus cunningly
                   Conveys soft whispers to the ear.

In the Cathedral of Girgenti, in Sicily, the slightest whisper is borne
with perfect distinctness from the great western door to the cornice
behind the high altar,—a distance of two hundred and fifty feet. By a
most unlucky coincidence, the precise focus of divergence at the former
station was chosen for the place of the confessional. Secrets never
intended for the public ear thus became known, to the dismay of the
confessors, and the scandal of the people, by the resort of the curious
to the opposite point, (which seems to have been discovered
accidentally,) till at length, one listener having had his curiosity
somewhat over-gratified by hearing his wife’s avowal of her own
infidelity, this tell-tale peculiarity became generally known, and the
confessional was removed.

In the whispering-gallery of St. Paul’s, London, the faintest sound is
faithfully conveyed from one side to the other of the dome, but is not
heard at any intermediate point.

In the Manfroni Palace at Venice is a square room about twenty-five feet
high, with a concave roof, in which a person standing in the centre, and
stamping gently with his foot on the floor, hears the sound repeated a
great many times; but as his position deviates from the centre, the
reflected sounds grow fainter, and at a short distance wholly cease. The
same phenomenon occurs in the large room of the Library of the Museum at


An intelligent and very respectable gentleman, named Ebenezer Snell, who
is still living, at the age of eighty and upwards, was in a corn-field
with a negro on the 17th of June, 1776, in the township of Cummington,
Mass., one hundred and twenty-nine miles west of Bunker Hill by the
course of the road, and at least one hundred by an air-line. Some time
during the day, the negro was lying on the ground, and remarked to
Ebenezer that there was war somewhere, for he could distinctly hear the
cannonading. Ebenezer put his ear to the ground, and also heard the
firing distinctly, and for a considerable time. He remembers the fact,
which made a deep impression on his mind, as plainly as though it was

Over water, or a surface of ice, sound is propagated with remarkable
clearness and strength. Dr. Hutton relates that, on a quiet part of the
Thames near Chelsea, he could hear a person read distinctly at the
distance of one hundred and forty feet, while on the land the same could
only be heard at seventy-six. Lieut. Foster, in the third Polar
expedition of Capt. Parry, found that he could hold conversation with a
man across the harbor of Port Bowen, a distance of six thousand six
hundred and ninety-six feet, or about a mile and a quarter. This,
however, falls short of what is asserted by Derham and Dr. Young,—viz.,
that at Gibraltar the human voice has been heard at the distance of ten
miles, the distance across the strait.

Dr. Hearn, a Swedish physician, relates that he heard guns fired at
Stockholm, on the occasion of the death of one of the royal family, in
1685, at the distance of thirty Swedish or one hundred and eighty
British miles.

The cannonade of a sea-fight between the English and Dutch, in 1672, was
heard across England as far as Shrewsbury, and even in Wales, a distance
of upwards of two hundred miles from the scene of action.


The fastidiousness of mere book-learning, or the overweening importance
of politicians and men of business, may be employed to cast contempt, or
even odium, on the labor which is spent in the solution of puzzles which
produce no useful knowledge when disclosed; but that which agreeably
amuses both young and old should, if not entitled to regard, be at least
exempt from censure. Nor have the greatest wits of this and other
countries disdained to show their skill in these trifles. Homer, it is
said, died of chagrin at not being able to expound a riddle propounded
by a simple fisherman,—“_Leaving what’s taken, what we took not we
bring_.” Aristotle was amazingly perplexed, and Philetas, the celebrated
grammarian and poet of Cos, puzzled himself to death in fruitless
endeavors to solve the sophism called by the ancients _The Liar_:—“If
you say of yourself, ‘I lie,’ and in so saying tell the truth, you lie.
If you say, ‘I lie,’ and in so saying tell a lie, you tell the truth.”
Dean Swift, who could so agreeably descend to the slightest badinage,
was very fond of puzzles. Many of the best riddles in circulation may be
traced to the sportive moments of men of the greatest celebrity, who
gladly seek occasional relaxation from the graver pursuits of life, in
comparative trifles.

Mrs. Barbauld says, Finding out riddles is the same kind of exercise for
the mind as running, leaping, and wrestling are for the body. They are
of no use in themselves; they are not work, but play; but they prepare
the body, and make it alert and active for any thing it may be called
upon to perform. So does the finding out good riddles give quickness of
thought, and facility for turning about a problem every way, and viewing
it in every possible light.

The French have excelled all other people in this species of literary
amusement. Their language is favorable to it, and their writers have
always indulged a fondness for it. As a specimen of the ingenuity of the
earlier literati, we transcribe a rebus of Jean Marot, a favorite old
priest, and valet-de-chambre to Francis I. It would be inexplicable to
most readers without the version in common French, which is subjoined:—

                     riant       fus      n’agueres
                       En                   pris
                    t  D’une  o           affettée
                    u  tile   s
                      espoir              haitée
                      Que                 vent
                  Mais  fus  quand  pr  s’amour  is
                  Car  j’apper  ses  mignards
                  Etoient d’amour  mal  as
                  Ecus     de   elle  a  pris
                  manière rusée
                  te  me  nant
                  Et quand je veux chez elle e faire e
                  Me dit to y us mal appris


               En souriant fus n’agueres surpris
               D’une subtile entrée tous affettée,
               Que sous espoir ai souvent souhaitée,
               Mais fus deçue, quand s’amour entrepris;
               Car j’apperçus que ses mignards souris
               Etoient soustraits d’amour mal assurée
                                             En souriant.

               Ecus soleil dessus moi elle a pris,
               M’entretenant sous manière rusée;
               Et quand je veux chez elle faire entrée,
               Me dit que suis entrée tous mal appris
                                           En souriant.

                          BONAPARTEAN CYPHER.

The following is a key to the cypher in which Napoleon Bonaparte carried
on his private correspondence:—

           A │ a │ b │ c │ d │ e │ f │ g │ h │ i │ k │ l │ m
           B │ n │ o │ p │ q │ r │ s │ t │ u │ w │ x │ y │ z
           C │ a │ b │ c │ d │ e │ f │ g │ h │ i │ k │ l │ m
           D │ z │ n │ o │ p │ q │ r │ s │ t │ u │ w │ x │ y
           E │ a │ b │ c │ d │ e │ f │ g │ h │ i │ k │ l │ m
           F │ y │ z │ n │ o │ p │ q │ r │ s │ t │ u │ w │ x
           G │ a │ b │ c │ d │ e │ f │ g │ h │ i │ k │ l │ m
           H │ x │ y │ z │ n │ o │ p │ q │ r │ s │ t │ u │ w
           I │ a │ b │ c │ d │ e │ f │ g │ h │ i │ k │ l │ m
           K │ w │ x │ y │ z │ n │ o │ p │ q │ r │ s │ t │ u
           L │ a │ b │ c │ d │ e │ f │ g │ h │ i │ k │ l │ m
           M │ u │ w │ x │ y │ z │ n │ o │ p │ q │ r │ s │ t
           N │ a │ b │ c │ d │ e │ f │ g │ h │ i │ k │ l │ m
           O │ t │ u │ w │ x │ y │ z │ n │ o │ p │ q │ r │ s
           P │ a │ b │ c │ d │ e │ f │ g │ h │ i │ k │ l │ m
           Q │ s │ t │ u │ w │ x │ y │ z │ n │ o │ p │ q │ r
           R │ a │ b │ c │ d │ e │ f │ g │ h │ i │ k │ l │ m
           S │ r │ s │ t │ u │ w │ x │ y │ z │ n │ o │ p │ q
           T │ a │ b │ c │ d │ e │ f │ g │ h │ i │ k │ l │ m
           U │ q │ r │ s │ t │ u │ w │ x │ y │ z │ n │ o │ p
           W │ a │ b │ c │ d │ e │ f │ g │ h │ i │ k │ l │ m
           X │ p │ q │ r │ s │ t │ u │ w │ x │ y │ z │ n │ o
           Y │ a │ b │ c │ d │ e │ f │ g │ h │ i │ k │ l │ m
           Z │ o │ p │ q │ r │ s │ t │ u │ w │ x │ y │ z │ n

The subjoined is a proclamation, in cypher, from Bonaparte to the French
army; a copy of which was in the hands of one or more persons in almost
every regiment in the service.



The same deciphered by means of the table and key:—

  “Français! votre pays étoit trahi; votre Empereur seul peut vous
  remettre dans la position splendide que convient à la France. Donnez
  toute votre confiance à celui qui vous a toujours conduit a la gloire.
  Ses aigles pleniront encore en l’air et étonneront les nations.”

  Frenchmen! your country was betrayed; your Emperor alone can replace
  you in the splendid state suitable to France. Give your entire
  confidence to him who has always led you to glory. His eagles will
  again soar on high and strike the nations with astonishment.

The key (which, it will be seen, may be changed at pleasure) was in this
instance “La France et ma famille,” France and my family. It is thus

L being the first letter of the key, refer to that letter in the first
column of the cypher in capitals; then look for the letter _f_, which is
the first letter of the proclamation, and that letter which corresponds
with _f_ being placed underneath, viz., _n_, is that which is to be
noted down. To decipher the proclamation, of course the order of
reference must be inverted, by looking for the corresponding letter to
_n_ in the division opposite that letter L which stands in the column.

                         CASE FOR THE LAWYERS.

X. Y. applies to A. B. to become a law pupil, offering to pay him the
customary fee as soon as he shall have gained his _first suit in law_.
To this A. B. formally agrees, and admits X. Y. to the privileges of a
student. Before the termination of X. Y.’s pupilage, however, A. B. gets
tired of waiting for his money, and determines to sue X. Y. for the
amount. He reasons thus:—If I gain this case, X. Y. will be compelled to
pay me by the decision of the court; if I lose it, he will have to pay
me by the condition of our contract, he having won his first lawsuit.
But X. Y. need not be alarmed when he learns A. B.’s intention, for he
may reason similarly. He may say,—If I succeed, and the award of the
court is in my favor, of course I shall not have to pay the money; if
the court decides against me, I shall not have to pay it, according to
the terms of our contract, as I shall not yet have gained my first suit
in law. _Vive la logique._

                       SIR ISAAC NEWTON’S RIDDLE.

        Four persons sat down at a table to play,
        They played all that night and part of next day.
        It must be observed that when they were seated,
        Nobody played with them, and nobody betted;
        When they rose from the place, each was winner a guinea.
        Now tell me this riddle, and prove you’re no ninny.

                            COWPER’S RIDDLE.

          I am just two and two, I am warm, I am cold,
          And the parent of numbers that cannot be told;
          I am lawful, unlawful,—a duty, a fault,
          I am often sold dear, good for nothing when bought,
          An extraordinary boon, and a matter of course,
          And yielded with pleasure—when taken by force.

                           CANNING’S RIDDLE.

                   There is a word of plural number,
                   A foe to peace and human slumber:
                   Now, any word you chance to take,
                   By adding S, you plural make;
                   But if you add an S to this,
                   How strange the metamorphosis!
                   Plural is plural then no more,
                   And sweet, what bitter was before.

                           THE PRIZE ENIGMA.

The following enigma was found in the will of Miss Anna Seward (the Swan
of Lichfield), with directions to pay £50 to the person who should
discover the solution. When competition for the prize was exhausted, it
was discovered to be a curtailed copy of a rebus published in the
_Gentleman’s Magazine_, March, 1757, and at that time attributed to Lord

             The noblest object in the works of art,
             The brightest scenes which nature can impart;
             The well-known signal in the time of peace,
             The point essential in a tenant’s lease;
             The farmer’s comfort as he drives the plough,
             A soldier’s duty, and a lover’s vow;
             A contract made before the nuptial tie,
             A blessing riches never can supply;
             A spot that adds new charms to pretty faces,
             An engine used in fundamental cases;
             A planet seen between the earth and sun,
             A prize that merit never yet has won;
             A loss which prudence seldom can retrieve,
             The death of Judas, and the fall of Eve;
             A part between the ankle and the knee,
             A papist’s toast, and a physician’s fee;
             A wife’s ambition, and a parson’s dues,
             A miser’s idol, and the badge of Jews.

             If now your happy genius can divine
             The correspondent words in every line,
             By the first letter plainly may be found
             An ancient city that is much renowned.

                          QUINCY’S COMPARISON.

Josiah Quincy, in the course of a speech in Congress, in 1806, on the
embargo, used the following language:—

They who introduced it abjured it. They who advocated it did not wish,
and scarcely knew, its use. And now that it is said to be extended over
us, no man in this nation, who values his reputation, will take his
Bible oath that it is in effectual and legal operation. There is an old
riddle on a coffin, which I presume we all learned when we were boys,
that is as perfect a representation of the origin, progress, and present
state of this thing called non-intercourse, as it is possible to be

               There was a man bespoke a thing,
               Which when the maker home did bring,
               That same maker did refuse it,—
               The man that spoke for it did not use it,—
               And he who had it did not know
               Whether he had it, yea or no.

True it is, that if this non-intercourse shall ever be, in reality,
subtended over us, the similitude will fail in a material point. The
poor tenant of the coffin is ignorant of his state. But the people of
the United States will be literally buried alive in non-intercourse, and
realize the grave closing on themselves and on their hopes, with a full
and cruel consciousness of all the horrors of their condition.

                        SINGULAR INTERMARRIAGES.

There were married at Durham, Canada East, an old lady and gentleman,
involving the following interesting connections:—

The old gentleman is married to his daughter’s husband’s mother-in-law,
and his daughter’s husband’s wife’s mother. And yet she is not his
daughter’s mother; but she is his grandchildren’s grandmother, and his
wife’s grandchildren are his daughter’s step-children. Consequently the
old lady is united in the bonds of holy matrimony and conjugal affection
to her daughter’s brother-in-law’s father-in-law, and her
great-grandchildren’s grandmother’s step-father; so that her son-in-law
may say to his children, Your grandmother is married to my
father-in-law, and yet he is not your grandfather; but he is your
grandmother’s son-in-law’s wife’s father. This gentleman married his
son-in-law’s father-in-law’s wife, and he is bound to support and
protect her for life. His wife is his son-in-law’s children’s
grandmother, and his son-in-law’s grandchildren’s great-grandmother.

A Mr. Harwood had two daughters by his first wife, the eldest of whom
was married to John Coshick; this Coshick had a daughter by his first
wife, whom old Harwood married, and by her he had a son; therefore, John
Coshick’s second wife could say as follows:—

      My father is my son, and I’m my mother’s mother;
      My sister is my daughter, and I’m grandmother to my brother.

                           PROPHETIC DISTICH.

In the year 1531, the following couplet was found written on the wall
behind the altar of the Augustinian monastery at Gotha, when the
building was taken down:—

                MC quadratum, LX quoque duplicatum,
                ORAPS peribit et Huss Wiclefque redibit.

MC quadratum is MCCCC, i.e. 1400. LX duplicatum is LLXX, i.e. 120 =
1520. ORAPS is an abbreviation for _ora pro nobis_ (pray for us). The
meaning is, that in the sixteenth century praying to the saints will
cease, and Huss and Wickliffe will again be recognized.

                        THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST.

                      VIC_AR_IV_S_ _F_ILII D_E_I.
         5 + 1 + 100 + 1 + 5 + 1 + 50 + 1 + 1 + 500 + 1 = 666.

Among the curious things extant in relation to Luther is the covert
attempt of an ingenious theological opponent to make him the apocalyptic
beast or antichrist described in Revelation ch. xiii. The mysterious
number of the beast, “six hundred threescore and six,” excited the
curiosity of mankind at a very early period, particularly that of
Irenæus, in the second century, who indulged in a variety of shrewd
conjectures on the subject. But after discovering the number in several
names, he modestly says, “Yet I venture not to pronounce positively
concerning the name of antichrist, for, had it been intended to be
openly proclaimed to the present generation, it would have been uttered
by the same person who saw the revelation.” A later expositor,
Fevardent, in his Notes on Irenæus, adds to the list the name of Martin
Luther, which, he says, was originally written Martin Lauter. “Initio
vocabatur _Martin Lauter_,” says Fevardent; “cujus nominis literas si
Pythagorice et ratione subducas et more Hebræorum et Græcorum alphabeti
crescat numerus, primo monadum, deinde decadum, hinc centuriarum,
numerus nominis Bestiæ, id est, 666, tandem perfectum comperies, hoc

                          M      30   L      20
                          A       1   A       1
                          R      80   U     200
                          T     100   T     100
                          I       9   E       5
                          N      40   R      80
                              Total, 666.

It is but just to Fevardent, however, to observe that he subsequently
gave the preference to _Maometis_.

                          GALILEO’S LOGOGRAPH.

Galileo was the first to observe a peculiarity in the planet Saturn, but
his telescope had not sufficient refractive power to separate the rings.
It appeared to him like three bodies arranged in the same straight line,
of which the middle was the largest, thus, ⚬⚪⚬. He announced his
discovery to Kepler under the veil of a logograph, which sorely puzzled
his illustrious cotemporary. This is not to be wondered at, for it ran—


Restoring the transposed letters to their proper places, we have the
following sentence:—

               Altissimum planetam tergeminum observavi.

       (I have observed the most distant planet to be threefold.)

                            PERSIAN RIDDLES.

                 Between a thick-set hedge of bones,
                 A small red dog now barks, now moans.
                         ®“A human tongue!”®
                         ®The answer rung,—®

                        A soul above it,
                        And a soul below,
                        With leather between,
                        And swift it doth go.
                    ®On horse, with man a-straddle.®
                    ®The answer is a _saddle_.®

                           CHINESE TEA SONG.

Punch has favored the world with the following song, sung before her
Britannic Majesty by a Chinese lady. It looks rather difficult at first;
but if the reader studies it attentively, he will see how easy it is to
read Chinese:—

                   Ohc ometo th ete asho pwit hme,
                     Andb uya po undo f thebe st,
                   ’Twillpr oveam ostex cellentt ea,
                     Itsq ua lit yal lwi lla tte st.

                   ’Tiso nlyf oursh illi ngs apo und,
                     Soc omet othet eama rtan dtry,
                   Nob etterc anel sewh erebefou nd,
                     Ort hata nyoth er needb uy.

                            DEATH AND LIFE.

            cur     f      w        d      dis      and p
          A     sed   iend   rought   eath     ease       ain.
            bles    fr     b       br      and         ag

                               THE REBUS.

Ben Jonson, in his play _The Alchemist_, takes an opportunity of
ridiculing the Rebus, among the other follies of his day which he so
trenchantly satirizes. When Abel Drugger, the simple tobacconist,
applies to the impostor Subtle to invent for him a sign-board that will
magically attract customers to his shop, the cheat says to his
confederate, in presence of their admiring dupe,—

                             I will have his name
         Formed in some mystic character, whose radii,
         Striking the senses of the passers-by,
         Shall, by a virtual influence, breed affections
         That may result upon the party owns it.
         As thus: He first shall have a _bell_—that’s _Abel_;
         And by it standing one whose name is _Dee_,
         In a _rug_ gown; there’s _D_ and _rug_—that’s _Drug_;
         And right anenst him a dog snarling _er_—
         There’s _Drugger_. §Abel Drugger§, that’s his sign,
         And here’s now mystery and hieroglyphic.

A motto of the Bacon family in Somersetshire has an ingenious rebus,—


the capitals, thus placed, giving it the double reading, Proba
conscientia, and Pro Bacon Scientia.

                              WHAT IS IT?

                A Headless man had a letter to write;
                ’Twas read by one who lost his Sight;
                The Dumb repeated it word for word,
                And he was Deaf who listened and heard.

                          THE BOOK OF RIDDLES.

The Book of Riddles alluded to by Shakspeare in the Merry Wives of
Windsor (Act I. sc. I) is mentioned by Laneham, 1575, and in the English
Courtier, 1586; but the earliest edition of this popular collection now
preserved is dated 1629. It is entitled The _Booke of Merry Riddles,
together with proper Questions and witty Proverbs to make pleasant
pastime; no less usefull then behovefull for any young man or child, to
know if he be quick-witted or no_. The following extract from this very
rare work will be found interesting.

                   _Here beginneth the first Riddle._

Two legs sat upon three legs, and had one leg in her hand; then in came
foure legs, and bare away one leg; then up start two legs, and threw
three legs at foure legs, and brought again one leg.

_Solution._—That is, a woman with two legs sate on a stoole with three
legs, and had a leg of mutton in her hand; then came a dog that hath
foure legs, and bare away the leg of mutton; then up start the woman,
and threw the stoole with three legs at the dog with foure legs, and
brought again the leg of mutton.

                          _The Second Riddle._

                   He went to the wood and caught it,
                   He sate him down and sought it;
                   Because he could not finde it,
                   Home with him he brought it.

_Solution._—That is a thorne: for a man went to the wood and caught a
thorne in his foote, and then he sate him downe, and sought to have it
pulled out, and because he could not find it out, he must needs bring it

                          _The_ iii. _Riddle._

What work is that, the faster ye worke, the longer it is ere ye have
done, and the slower ye worke, the sooner ye make an end?

_Solution._—That is turning of a spit; for if ye turne fast, it will be
long ere the meat be rosted, but if ye turne slowly, the sooner it is

                          _The_ iv. _Riddle._

What is that that shineth bright all day, and at night is raked up in
its own dirt?

_Solution._—That is the fire, that burneth bright all the day; and at
night is raked up in his ashes.

                           _The_ v. _Riddle._

               I have a tree of great honour,
               Which tree beareth both fruit and flower;
               Twelve branches this tree hath nake,
               Fifty [_sic_] nests therein he make,
               And every nest hath birds seaven;
               Thankéd be the King of Heaven;
               And every bird hath a divers name:
               How may all this together frame?

_Solution._—The tree is the yeare; the twelve branches be the twelve
months; the fifty-two nests be the fifty-two weekes; the seven birds be
the seven days in the weeke, whereof every one hath a divers name.

                      BISHOP WILBERFORCE’S PUZZLE.

“All pronounce me a wonderful piece of mechanism, and yet few people
have numbered the strange medley of which I am composed. I have a large
box and two lids, two caps, two musical instruments, a number of
weathercocks, three established measures, some weapons of warfare, and a
great many little articles that carpenters cannot do without; then I
have about me a couple of esteemed fishes, and a great many of a smaller
kind; two lofty trees, and the fruit of an indigenous plant; a handsome
stag, and a great number of a smaller kind of game; two halls or places
of worship, two students or rather scholars, the stairs of a hotel, and
half a score of Spanish gentlemen to attend on me. I have what is the
terror of the slave, also two domestic animals, and a number of

  §Reply.§—“Chest—eye-lids—kneecaps—drum of the ear—veins—hand, foot,
  nail—arms—nails—soles of the feet—muscles—palms—apple—heart
  (hart)—hairs (hares) temples—pupils—insteps—tendons (ten
  Dons)—lashes—calves—nose (no’s.)”

                         CURIOSITIES OF CIPHER.

In 1680, when M. de Louvois was French Minister of War, he summoned
before him one day, a gentleman named Chamilly, and gave him the
following instructions:—

  “Start this evening for Basle, in Switzerland, which you will reach in
  three days; on the fourth, punctually at two o’clock, station yourself
  on the bridge over the Rhine, with a portfolio, ink, and a pen. Watch
  all that takes place, and make a memorandum of every particular.
  Continue doing so for two hours; have a carriage and post-horses await
  you; and at four precisely, mount and travel night and day till you
  reach Paris. On the instant of your arrival, hasten to me with your

De Chamilly obeyed; he reaches Basle, and on the day, and at the hour
appointed, stations himself, pen in hand, on the bridge. Presently a
market-cart drives by, then an old woman with a basket of fruit passes;
anon, a little urchin trundles his hoop by; next an old gentlemen in
blue top-coat jogs past on his gray mare. Three o’clock chimes from the
cathedral-tower. Just at the last stroke, a tall fellow in yellow
waistcoat and breeches saunters up, goes to the middle of the bridge,
lounges over, and looks at the water; then he takes a step back and
strikes three hearty blows on the footway with his staff. Down goes
every detail in De Chamilly’s book. At last the hour of release sounds,
and he jumps into his carriage. Shortly before midnight, after two days
of ceaseless traveling, De Chamilly presented himself before the
Minister, feeling rather ashamed at having such trifles to record. M. de
Louvois took the portfolio with eagerness, and glanced over the notes.
As his eye caught the mention of the yellow-breeched man, a gleam of joy
flashed across his countenance. He rushed to the king, roused him from
sleep, spoke in private with him for a few moments, and then four
couriers, who had been held in readiness since five on the preceding
evening, were dispatched with haste. Eight days after the town of
Strasbourg was entirely surrounded by French troops, and summoned to
surrender; it capitulated and threw open its gates on the 30th
September, 1681. Evidently the three strokes of the stick given by the
fellow in yellow costume, at an appointed hour, were the signal of the
success of an intrigue concerted between M. de Louvois and the
magistrates of Strasbourg, and the man who executed this mission was as
ignorant of the motive as was M. de Chamilly of the motive of his

Now this is a specimen of the safest of all secret communications; but
it can only be resorted to on certain rare occasions. When a lengthy
dispatch is required to be forwarded, and when such means as those given
above are out of the question, some other method must be employed.
Herodotus gives us a story to the point; it is found also, with
variations, in Aulus Gellius:—

  “Histiæus, when he was anxious to give Aristagoras orders to revolt,
  could find but one safe way, as the roads were guarded, of making his
  wishes known; which was by taking the trustiest of his slaves, shaving
  all the hair from off his head, and then pricking letters upon the
  skin, and waiting till the hair grew again. This accordingly he did;
  and as soon as ever the hair was grown, he dispatched the man to
  Miletus, giving him no other message than this: ‘When thou art come to
  Miletus, bid Aristagoras shave thy head, and look thereon.’ Now the
  marks on the head were a command to revolt.”—(Bk. V. 35.)

Is this case no cipher was employed. We shall come now to the use of

When a dispatch or communication runs great risk of falling into the
hands of the enemy, it is necessary that its contents should be so
veiled that the possession of the document may afford him no information
whatever. Julius Cæsar and Augustus used ciphers, but they were of the
utmost simplicity, as they consisted merely in placing D in the place of
A; E in that of B and so on; or else in writing B for A, and C for B,

Secret characters were used at the Council of Nicæa; and Rabanus Maurus,
Abbot of Fulda and Archbishop of Mayence, in the Ninth Century, has left
us an example of two ciphers, the key to which was discovered by the
Benedictines. It is only a wonder that any one could have failed to
unravel them at the first glance. This is a specimen of the first:—


The clue to this is the suppression of the vowels and the filling of
their places by dots—one for i, two for a, three for e, four for o, and
five for u. In the second example, the same sentence would run—Knckpkt
vfrsxs Bpnkfbckk, &c., the vowel places being filled by the
consonants—b, f, k, p, x. By changing every letter in the alphabet, we
make a vast improvement on this last; thus, for instance, supplying the
place of a with z, b with x, c with v, and so on. This is the very
system employed by an advertiser in a provincial paper, which we took up
the other day in the waiting-room of a station, where it had been left
by a farmer. As we had some minutes to spare, before the train was due,
we spent them in deciphering the following:—

Jp Sjddjzbrza rzdd ci sijmr. Bziw rzdd xrndzt, and in ten minutes we
read: “If William can call or write, Mary will be glad.”

When the Chevalier de Rohan was in the Bastile his friends wanted to
convey to him the intelligence that his accomplice was dead without
having confessed. They did so by passing the following words into his
dungeon written on a shirt: “Mg dulhxecclgu ghj yxuj; lm et ulge alj.”
In vain did he puzzle over the cipher, to which he had not the clue. It
was too short; for the shorter a cipher letter, the more difficult it is
to make out. The light faded, and he tossed on his hard bed, sleeplessly
revolving the mystic letters in his brain; but he could make nothing out
of them. Day dawned, and with its first gleam he was poring over them;
still in vain. He pleaded guilty, for he could not decipher “_Le
prisonnier est mort; il n’a rien dit_.”

A curious instance of cipher occurred at the close of the sixteenth
century, when the Spaniards were endeavoring to establish relations
between the scattered branches of their vast monarchy, which at that
period embraced a large portion of Italy, the Low Countries, the
Philippines, and enormous districts in the New World. They accordingly
invented a cipher, which they varied from time to time, in order to
disconcert those who might attempt to pry into the mysteries of their
correspondence. The cipher, composed of fifty signs, was of great value
to them through all the troubles of the “Ligue,” and the wars then
desolating Europe. Some of their dispatches having been intercepted,
Henry IV. handed them over to a clever mathematician, Viete, with the
request that he would find the clue. He did so, and was able also to
follow it as it varied, and France profited for two years by his
discovery. The Court of Spain, disconcerted at this, accused Viete
before the Roman Court as a sorcerer and in league with the devil. This
proceeding only gave rise to laughter and ridicule.

                  *       *       *       *       *

A still more remarkable instance is that of a German professor, Herman,
who boasted, in 1752, that he had discovered a cryptograph absolutely
incapable of being deciphered without the clue being given by him; and
he defied all the savants and learned societies of Europe to discover
the key. However, a French refugee, named Beguelin, managed after eight
days’ study to read it. The cipher—though we have the rules upon which
it is formed before us—is to us perfectly unintelligible. It is grounded
on some changes of numbers and symbols; the numbers vary, being at one
time multiplied, at another added, and become so complicated that the
letter _e_, which occurs nine times in the paragraph, is represented in
eight different ways; _n_ is used eight times, and has seven various
signs. Indeed, the same letter is scarcely ever represented by the same
figure. But this is not all; the character which appears in the place of
_i_ takes that of _n_ shortly after; another Symbol for _n_ stands also
for _t_. How any man could have solved the mystery of this cipher is

All these cryptographs consist in the exchange of numbers of characters
for the real letters; but there are other methods quite as intricate,
which dispense with them.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The mysterious cards of the Count de Vergennes are an instance. De
Vergennes was Minister of Foreign Affairs under Louis XVI., and he made
use of cards of a peculiar nature in his relations with the diplomatic
agents of France. These cards were used in letters of recommendation or
passports, which were given to strangers about to enter France; they
were intended to furnish information without the knowledge of the
bearers. This was the system. The card given to a man contained only a
few words, such as:—

                           ALPHONSE D’ANGEHA,
                         Recommande a Monsieur
     le Comte de Vergennes, par le Marquis de Puysegur, Ambassadeur
                    de France a la Cour de Lisbonne.

The card told more tales than the words written on it. Its color
indicated the nation of the stranger. Yellow showed him to be English;
red, Spanish; white, Portuguese; green, Dutch; red and white, Italian;
red and green, Swiss; green and white, Russian; &c. The person’s age was
expressed by the shape of the card. If it were circular, he was under
25; oval, between 25 and 30; octagonal, between 30 and 45; hexagonal,
between 45 and 50; square, between 50 and 60; an oblong showed that he
was over 60. Two lines placed below the name of the bearer indicated his
build. If he were tall and lean, the lines were waving and parallel;
tall and stout, they converged; and so on. The expression of his face
was shown by a flower in the border. A rose designated an open and
amiable countenance, whilst a tulip marked a pensive and aristocratic
appearance. A fillet round the border, according to its length, told
whether he were bachelor, married, or widower. Dots gave information as
to his position and fortune. A full stop after his name showed that he
was a Catholic; a semicolon, that he was a Lutheran; a comma, that he
was a Calvinist; a dash, that he was a Jew; no stop indicated him an
Atheist. So also his morals and character were pointed out by a pattern
in the card. So, at one glance the Minister could tell all about his
man, whether he were a gamester or a duelist; what was his purpose in
visiting France; whether in search of a wife or to claim a legacy; what
was his profession—that of physician, lawyer, or man of letters; whether
he were to be put under surveillance or allowed to go his way

                  *       *       *       *       *

We come now to a class of cipher which requires a certain amount of
literary dexterity to conceal the clue.

During the Great Rebellion, Sir John Trevanion, a distinguished
cavalier, was made prisoner, and locked up in Colchester Castle. Sir
Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle had just been made examples of, as a
warning to “malignants:” and Trevanion had every reason for expecting a
similar bloody end. As he awaits his doom, indulging in a hearty curse
in round cavalier terms at the canting, crop-eared scoundrels who hold
him in durance vile, and muttering a wish that he had fallen, sword in
hand, facing the foe, he is startled by the entrance of the jailor, who
hands him a letter:

“May’t do thee good,” growls the fellow; “it has been well looked to
before it was permitted to come to thee.”

Sir John takes the letter, and the jailor leaves him his lamp by which
to read it:—

  §Worthie Sir John§:—Hope, that is ye best comport of ye afflictyd,
  cannot much, I fear me, help you now. That I wolde saye to you, is
  this only: if ever I may be able to requite that I do owe you, stand
  not upon asking of me. ’Tis not much I can do; but what I can do, bee
  verie sure I wille. I knowe that, if dethe comes, if ordinary men fear
  it, it frights not you, accounting it for a high honour, to have such
  a rewarde of your loyalty. Pray yet that you may be spared this soe
  bitter, cup. I fear not that you will grudge any sufferings; only if
  it bie submission you can turn them away, ’tis the part of a wise man.
  Tell me, an if you can, to do for you any thinge that you would have
  done. The general goes back on Wednesday. Restinge your servant to

                                                                   R. T.

Now this letter was written according to a preconcerted cipher. Every
third letter after a stop was to tell. In this way Sir John made
out—“Panel at east end of chapel slides.” On the following even, the
prisoner begged to be allowed to pass an hour of private devotion in the
chapel. By means of a bribe, this was accomplished. Before the hour had
expired, the chapel was empty—the bird had flown.

An excellent plan of indicating the telling letter or words is through
the heading of the letter. “Sir,” would signify that every third letter
was to be taken; “Dear Sir,” that every seventh; “My dear sir,” that
every ninth was to be selected. A system, very early adopted, was that
of having pierced cards, through the holes of which the communication
was written. The card was then removed, and the blank spaces filled up.
As for example:—

  §My dear X.§—[The] lines I now send you are forwarded by the kindness
  of the [Bearer], who is a friend. [Is not] the message delivered yet
  [to] my brother? [Be] quick about it, for I have all along [trusted]
  that you would act with discretion and dispatch.

                                                    Yours ever,       Z.

Put your card over the note, and through the piercings you will read:
“The Bearer is not to be trusted.”

Poe, in his story of “The Gold Bug,” gives some valuable hints on the
interpretation of the most common cryptographs. He contends that the
ingenuity of man can construct no enigma which the ingenuity of man
cannot unravel. And he actually read several very difficult ciphers
which were sent to him after the publication of “The Gold Bug.”

But we saw, several years ago, a method which makes the message
absolutely safe from detection. We will try to describe it.

Take a square sheet of paper of convenient size, say a foot square.
Divide it by lines drawn at right angles into five hundred and
seventy-six squares, twenty-six each way; in the upper horizontal row
write the alphabet in its natural order, one letter in each square; in
the second horizontal row write the alphabet, beginning with B. There
will then be one square left at the end of this row; into this put A.
Fill the third row by beginning with C, and writing A and B after Z at
the end. So on until the whole sheet is filled. When completed, the
table, if correct, will present this appearance. In the upper horizontal
row, the alphabet in its natural order from left to right; in the
left-hand vertical row, the same from top to bottom; and the diagonal,
from upper right to lower left-hand corner, will be a line of Z’s.

Each party must have one of the tables. A key-word must be agreed upon,
which may be any word in the English language, or from any other
language if it can be represented by English letters, or, indeed, it may
even be a combination of letters which spells nothing.

Now, to send a message, first write the message in plain English. Over
it write the key-word, letter over letter, repeating it as many times as
it is necessary to cover the message. Take a simple case as an
illustration. Suppose the key-word to be _Grant_, and the message _We
have five days’ provisions_. It should be placed thus:—


Now find, in the upper horizontal row of the table, the first letter of
the key-word, G, and in the left-hand vertical column, the first letter
of the message, W. Run a line straight down from G, and one to the right
from W, and in the angle where the two lines meet will be found the
letter which must be written as the first letter of the cipher. With the
second letter of the key-word, R, and the second letter of the message,
E, find in the same way the second letter of the cipher.

The correspondent who receives the cipher goes to work to translate it
thus:—He first writes over it the key-word, letter over letter,
repeating it as often as necessary. Then finding in the upper row of his
table the first letter of the key-word, he passes his pencil directly
down until he comes to the first letter or the cipher; the letter
opposite to it in the left vertical column is the first letter of the
translation. Each of the succeeding letters is found in a similar way.

A third party, into whose hands such a cipher might fall, could not read
it, though he possessed a copy of the table and knew how to use it,
unless he knew the key-word. The chance of his guessing this is only one
in millions. And there is no such thing as interpreting it by any other
method, because there are no repetitions, and hence all comparison is at
fault. That is to say, in the same cipher, in one place a letter, as for
instance C may stand for one letter in the translation, and in another
place C may stand for quite a different letter. This is the only kind of
cryptograph we have ever seen which is absolutely safe.

                            The Reason Why.

                    WHY THE GERMANS EAT SAUER-KRAUT.

The reason why the most learned people on earth eat sauer-kraut may be
found in the following extract from a work entitled _Petri Andreæ
Matthioli Senensis medici commentarii in sex libros Pedacii Dioscoridis
de Materiâ Medica. Venetiis. ex officina Valgrisiana_ MDLXV. _Traduit de
Latin en Francais, par M. Antoine du Pinot. Lyon_, MDCLV. Preface, p.
13. ligne 30: “Finally, in order to omit nothing which can add to the
knowledge of simples, it must be noted that Nature, mother and producer
of all things, has created various simples, which have a sympathy or
natural antipathy to each other; which is a very considerable point in
this matter, and has no like as a mystery and secret. And thus it has
seemed to me good to hint a word about it, and principally of those
which are used in medicine. To commence, then, with the oak and the
olive; these two trees hate each other in such sort that, if you plant
one in the hole from which the other was dug, it will die there; and,
even if you plant one near the other, they will work each other’s death.
The cabbage and the vine do the like; for it has been seen that, if you
plant a cabbage at the foot of a vine, the vine will recoil and draw
itself away. And thus it is no marvel that the cabbage is very useful to
sober topers, and that the Germans eat it commonly in _a compost_ to
safeguard themselves from their wine.”

                     WHY PENNSYLVANIA WAS SETTLED.

                Penn refused to pull his hat off
                Before the king, and therefore sat off,
                Another country to light pat on,
                Where he might worship with his hat on.


They were so called because their first places of meeting in the city of
Tours (where Calvin’s opinions first prevailed) were cellars
under-ground, near Hugo’s Gate [Heb. XI. 38], whence the vulgar applied
this name to them.

                             ROYAL DEMISE.

         How monarchs die is easily explained,
           And thus upon the tomb it might be chisel’d;
         As long as George the Fourth could reign, he reigned,
           And then he mizzled.


In the seventh century a Roman Catholic monk by the name of Botolph, or
Bot-holp, viz., Boat-help, founded a church in what is now Lincolnshire,
England. Gradually a town grew up around the church, and was called
Botolphstown, which was afterward contracted into Botolphston, and then
shortened to Botoston, and finally to Boston. From that town of Boston
in Lincolnshire came to America the Rev. John Cotton, who gave the name
to the New England Capital. So that the metropolis of good old Puritan
Massachusetts was, it seems, named in honor of a Roman Catholic saint
and monk!


The vane or weathercock must have been of very early origin. Vitruvius
calls it _triton_, evidently from an ancient form. The usual form on
towers and castles was that of a banner; but on ecclesiastical edifices,
it generally was a _weathercock_. There was a symbolical reason for the
adoption of the figure of a cock. The cross was surmounted by a ball, to
symbolize the redemption of the world by the cross of Christ; and the
cock was placed upon the cross in allusion to the repentance of St.
Peter, and to remind us of the important duties of repentance and
Christian vigilance. Apart from symbolism, the large tail of the cock is
well adapted to turn with the wind, just as is the arrow which is so
frequently chosen.

                      CUTTING OFF WITH A SHILLING.

According to Blackstone (ii. 32), the Romans were wont to set aside
testaments as being _inofficiosa_, deficient in natural duty, if they
disinherited or totally passed by (without assigning a true and
sufficient reason) any of the children of the testator. But if the child
had any legacy, though ever so small, it was a proof that the testator
had not lost his memory or his reason, which otherwise the law presumed;
but was then supposed to have acted thus for some substantial cause, and
in such case no _querula inofficiosi testamenti_ was allowed. Hence,
probably, has arisen that groundless error of the necessity of leaving
the heir a shilling, or some such express legacy, in order to disinherit
him effectually. Whereas the law of England makes no such constrained
suppositions of forgetfulness or insanity; and, therefore, though the
heir or next of kin be totally omitted, it admits no _querula
inofficiosi_ to set aside such a testament.

                          CARDINAL’S RED HAT.

The red hat was given to cardinals by Pope Innocent IV., in the first
Council of Lyons, held in 1245, to signify that by that color they
should be always ready to shed their blood in defence of the church.

                       THE ROAST BEEF OF ENGLAND.

              Brave Betty was a maiden Queen,
                Bold and clever! bold and clever!
              King Philip, then a Spaniard King,
                To court her did endeavor.
              Queen Bess she frowned and stroked her ruff,
              And gave the mighty Don a huff:
              For which he swore her ears he’d cuff,
                All with his grand Armada.
              Says Royal Bess, “I’ll vengeance take!”
                Blessings on her! blessings on her!
              “But first I’ll eat a nice beefsteak,
                All with my maids of honor.”
              Then to her admirals she went,
              Drake, Effingham, and Howard sent,
              Who soon dished Philip’s armament,
                And banged his grand Armada.

                           A SENSIBLE QUACK.

An empiric was asked by a regular physician how it was that, without
education or skill, he contrived to live in considerable style, while he
could hardly subsist. “Why” said the other, “how many people do you
think have passed us lately?” “Perhaps a hundred.” “And how many of them
do you think possess common sense?” “Possibly one.” “Why, then,” said
the quack, “that one goes to you, and I get the other ninety-nine.”


The doggerel couplet repeated in varied forms but usually presented in
this shape—

                     When Adam delved and Eve span,
                     Who was then the gentleman?

is a translation of the German

                      Da Adam hackt und Eva spann,
                      Wer war damals der Edelmann?

which is further referred to a wag who had written the couplet on a wall
near to which the Emperor Maximilian was tracing his pedigree; upon
which the Emperor wrote the following impromptu:—

                  Ich bin ein Mann wie ein ander Mann,
                  Nur dass mir Gott die Ehre gann,

     (I am a man like another man, only that God gave honor to me.)

                          A JUGGLER’S MYSTERY.

The French Government, which formerly sent dancing-girls and comic
actors to cheer up its soldiers when they were ordered away from the
dancing-saloons and theatres, so common throughout France, engaged Mr.
Robert Houdin to go to Algeria and exhibit his best feats of legerdemain
before the natives, to shake the excessive influence exerted by the
marabouts or priests, whose power seems to be established solely on
their adroit jugglery. The marabouts were not disposed to yield to the
new-comer’s powers without a struggle, and pressed him as hard as they
could. M. Houdin was successful, but his victory was not altogether
easy, as he tells in the following narrative:—

The marabout said to me: “I believe now in your supernatural power. You
are really a sorcerer. I hope, therefore, you will not refuse to repeat
here an exhibition of your powers made on your stage.” He gave me two
pistols, which he had concealed under his bournous, and said: “Choose
one of those pistols; we are going to load it, and I shall fire it at
you. You have nothing to fear, since you know how to parry any bullet.”
I confess I was for a moment dumb with embarrassment. I tried my best to
think of some subterfuge, but I could think of nothing. Every eye was
fixed on me, in expectation of my reply. The marabout was triumphant.

Bou Allem, who knew that my tricks were due solely to my adroitness,
became angry that his guests should be annoyed in this barbarous way,
and he scolded the marabout. I stopped him. An idea had struck me which
would at least extricate me for the moment from my embarrassment. So I
said to the marabout, speaking with all the assurance I could summon:
“You know that I am not invulnerable unless I have a talisman on me.
Unfortunately, I have left it at Algiers.” The marabout began to laugh
incredulously. “Nevertheless,” I went on to say, “if I remain in prayer
for six hours, I shall be able to make myself invulnerable to your
pistol, even though I have no talisman. To-morrow morning, at eleven
o’clock, I shall let you fire at me before all these Arabs, who are
witnesses of your challenge.” Bou Allem, astonished to hear me make such
a promise, came up and asked me in a low tone if I was speaking
seriously, and if he should invite the Arabs to come the next day. I
told him I was. I need not say I did not spend the night in prayers, but
I worked for two hours to make myself invulnerable, and then satisfied
with my success, I went to sleep with a great deal of pleasure, for I
was horribly tired. We breakfasted before eight o’clock, the next
morning; our horses were saddled, and our escort was waiting the signal
of departure, which was to take place immediately after the famous
experiment. The same persons who were present at the challenge the day
before, were at the rendezvous, and a great many other Arabs who had
heard of what was to take place, had come to witness it.

The pistols were brought. I made them observe the touch-hole was clear.
The marabout put a good load of powder in the pistol and rammed it down
well. I chose a ball from among the balls brought, I ostensibly put it
in the pistol and rammed it thoroughly. The marabout kept a good eye on
me: his honor was at stake. The second pistol was loaded as the first
had been, and now came the trying moment. Trying indeed it was for
everybody. For the Arabs around, uncertain how the experiment would end;
for my wife, who had in vain begged me not to try the experiment which
she was afraid of—and I confess it, trying for me, as my new trick was
based on none of the expedients I had hitherto used, and I was afraid of
some mistake, some treachery, some accident. Nevertheless, I stood
fifteen paces in front of the marabout, without exhibiting the least
emotion. The marabout instantly took up one of the pistols, and at the
given signal he aimed deliberately at me. He fired. I caught the ball in
my teeth. More irritated than ever, the marabout ran to snatch up the
other pistol; I was quickest and I seized it. “You failed to draw blood
from me,” said I to him; “now look, I am going to draw blood from that
wall yonder.” I fired at a wall which had just been whitewashed;
instantly a large clot of blood was seen on it. The marabout went up to
it, put a finger on it, tasted it, and satisfied himself it was really
blood. His arms fell down at his side, he hung his head, he was
overcome. It was evident he doubted now of everything, even of the
Prophet. The Arabs raised their hands to Heaven, muttered prayers, and
looked at me with dread.

This trick, however curious it may seem, is managed easily enough. I
shall describe it. As soon as I was alone in my chamber, I took out of
my pistol-case (which I carry with me wherever I go) a ball-mould. I
took a card, turned up its corners and made a sort of recipient of it,
in which I placed a lump of stearine, taken from one of the candles in
the room. As soon as the stearine was melted, I mixed a little
lamp-black with it—which I obtained by holding a knife over a lighted
candle—and then I poured this composition into my ball-mould. If I had
allowed the liquid stearine to become entirely cold, the ball would have
been solid; but after ten or twelve seconds I reversed the mould, and
the portion of the stearine which was not yet solid flowed out and left
a hollow ball in the mould. This, by the way, is the mode in which the
hollow candles used in the churches are made; the thickness of the sides
depends on the time the melted stearine or wax is left in the mould. I
wanted a second ball. I made it a little thicker than the first. I
filled it with blood, and I closed the aperture with a drop of stearine.
An Irishman had showed me years before, how to extract blood from the
thumb without pain: I adopted his trick to fill my ball with blood. It
is hard to believe how nearly these projectiles of stearine, colored
with lamp-black, look like lead: they will deceive anybody, even when
examined quite closely. The reader now clearly sees through the trick.
While exhibiting the lead bullet to the spectators, I changed it for my
hollow ball, and this last I ostensibly placed in the pistol. I rammed
it down, to break the stearine into small pieces, which could not reach
me at fifteen paces. As soon as the pistol was discharged, I opened my
mouth and exhibited the lead ball between my teeth. The second pistol
contained the ball filled with blood, which was broken to pieces on the
wall, where it left the spot of blood, while the pieces of stearine
could no where be found.

This is the whole mystery.


                      SHERIDAN’S RHYMING CALENDAR.

                            January snowy,
                            February flowy,
                            March blowy,
                            April showery,
                            May flowery,
                            June bowery,
                            July moppy,
                            August croppy,
                            September poppy,
                            October breezy,
                            November wheezy,
                            December freezy.


                 In his shepherd’s calling he was prompt,
             And watchful more than ordinary men.
             Hence had he learned the meaning of all winds,
             Of blasts of every tone; and oftentimes,
             When others heeded not, he heard the South
             Make subterraneous music, like the noise
             Of bagpipes upon distant Highland hills.

The late Sir Humphry Davy, one of the most successful modern explorers
of the secrets of nature, was not above attending to, and explaining,
the “weather-omens” which are derived from popular observation.

In his _Salmonia_ he has the following dialogue between Haliens, (a
fly-fisher,) Poietes, (a poet,) Physicus, (a man of science,) and
Ornither, (a sportsman):—

_Poiet._—I hope we shall have another good day to-morrow, for the clouds
are red in the west.

_Phys._—I have no doubt of it, for the red has a tint of purple.

_Hal._—Do you know why this tint portends fine weather?

_Phys._—The air, when dry, I believe, refracts more red, or heat-making
rays; and as dry air is not perfectly transparent, they are again
refracted in the horizon. I have generally observed a coppery or yellow
sunset to foretell rain; but as an indication of wet weather
approaching, nothing is more certain than a halo round the moon, which
is produced by precipitated water; and the larger the circle, the nearer
the clouds, and consequently the more ready to fall.

_Hal._—I have often observed that the old proverb is correct,—

          A rainbow in the morning is the shepherd’s warning;
          A rainbow at night is the shepherd’s delight.

Can you explain this omen?

_Phys._—A rainbow can only occur when the clouds containing or
depositing the rain are opposite the sun,—and in the evening the rainbow
is in the east, and in the morning in the west; and as our heavy rains,
in this climate, are usually brought by the westerly wind, a rainbow in
the west indicates that the bad weather is on the road, by the wind, to
us; whereas the rainbow in the east proves that the rain in those clouds
is passing from us.

_Poiet._—I have often observed that when the swallows fly high, fine
weather is to be expected or continued; but when they fly low, and close
to the ground, rain is almost surely approaching. Can you account for

_Hal._—Swallows follow the flies and gnats, and flies and gnats usually
delight in warm strata of air; and as warm air is lighter, and usually
moister, than cold air, when the warm strata of air are high, there is
less chance of moisture being thrown down from them by the mixture with
cold air; but when the warm and moist air is close to the surface, it is
almost certain that, as the cold air flows down into it, a deposition of
water will take place.

_Poiet._—I have often seen sea-gulls assemble on the land, and have
almost always observed that very stormy and rainy weather was
approaching. I conclude that these animals, sensible of a current of air
approaching from the ocean, retire to the land to shelter themselves
from the storm.

_Orn._—No such thing. The storm is their element, and the little petrel
enjoys the heaviest gale, because, living on the smaller sea-insects, he
is sure to find his food in the spray of a heavy wave; and you may see
him flitting above the edge of the highest surge. I believe that the
reason of this migration of sea-gulls, and other sea-birds, to the land,
is their security of finding food; and they may be observed at this time
feeding greedily on the earth-worms and larvæ driven out of the ground
by severe floods; and the fish, on which they prey in fine weather in
the sea, leave the surface, and go deeper, in storms. The search after
food, as we have agreed on a former occasion, is the principal cause why
animals change their places. The different tribes of the wading birds
always migrate when rain is about to take place; and I remember once, in
Italy, having been long waiting, in the end of March, for the arrival of
the double snipe in the Campagna of Rome, a great flight appeared on the
3d of April, and the day after heavy rain set in, which greatly
interfered with my sport. The vulture, upon the same principle, follows
armies; and I have no doubt that the augury of the ancients was a good
deal founded upon the observation of the instincts of birds. There are
many superstitions of the vulgar owing to the same source. For anglers,
in spring, it is always unlucky to see single magpies; but two may be
always regarded as a favorable omen; and the reason is, that in cold and
stormy weather one magpie alone leaves the nest in search of food, the
other remaining sitting upon the eggs or the young ones; but when two go
out together it is only when the weather is warm and mild, and favorable
for fishing.

_Poiet._—The singular connections of causes and effects to which you
have just referred, make superstition less to be wondered at,
particularly amongst the vulgar; and when two facts, naturally
unconnected, have been accidentally coincident, it is not singular that
this coincidence should have been observed and registered, and that
omens of the most absurd kind should be trusted in. In the west of
England, half a century ago, a particular hollow noise on the sea-coast
was referred to a spirit or goblin called Bucca, and was supposed to
foretell a shipwreck: the philosopher knows that sound travels much
faster than currents in the air, and the sound always foretold the
approach of a very heavy storm, which seldom takes place on that wild
and rocky coast without a shipwreck on some part of its extensive
shores, surrounded by the Atlantic.

                         SIGNS OF THE WEATHER.

The following signs of rain were given by Dr. Jenner,[14] in 1810, to a
lady, in reply to her inquiry whether it would rain on the morrow:—

                The hollow winds begin to blow,
                The clouds look black, the glass is low;
                The soot falls down, the spaniels sleep,
                And spiders from their cobwebs creep;
                Last night the sun went pale to bed,
                The moon in halos hid her head;
                The boding shepherd heaves a sigh,
                For see, a rainbow spans the sky;
                The walls are damp, the ditches smell,
                Closed is the pink-eyed pimpernel;
                The squalid toads at dusk were seen
                Slowly crawling o’er the green;
                Loud quack the ducks, the peacocks cry,
                The distant hills are looking nigh;
                Hark, how the chairs and tables crack!
                Old Betty’s joints are on the rack;
                And see yon rooks, how odd their flight,
                They imitate the gliding kite,
                Or seem precipitate to fall
                As if they felt the piercing ball;
                How restless are the snorting swine!
                The busy flies disturb the kine;
                Low o’er the grass the swallow wings;
                The cricket too, how loud she sings!
                Puss on the hearth, with velvet paws,
                Sits wiping o’er her whiskered jaws:—
                ’Twill surely rain, I see, with sorrow:
                Our jaunt must be put off to-morrow.

Footnote 14:

  Versified by Darwin.

The following is taken from _The Shepherd’s Calendar_, 1683:

_Signs of Rain, from Birds._—Sea and fresh-water fowls, such as
cormorants, sea-gulls, moor-hens, &c. flying from sea or the fresh
waters to land, show bad weather at hand; land fowls flying to waters,
and those shaking, washing, and noisy, especially in the evening, denote
the same; geese, ducks, coots, &c. picking, shaking, washing, and noisy;
rooks and crows in flocks and suddenly disappearing; pyes and jays in
flocks and very noisy; the raven or hooded-crow crying in the morning,
with an interruption in its notes, or crows being very clamorous at
evening; the heron, bittern, and swallow flying low; birds forsaking
their food and flying to their nests; poultry going to rest or pigeons
to their dove-house; tame fowls grubbing in the dust and clapping their
wings; small birds seeming to duck and wash in the sand; the late and
early crowing of the cock, and clapping his wings; the early singing of
woodlarks; the early chirping of sparrows; the early note of the
chaffinch near houses; the dull appearance of robin-redbreast near
houses; peacocks and owls unusually clamorous.

_Of Wind, from Birds._—Sea and fresh-water fowls gathering in flocks to
the banks, and there sporting, especially in the morning; wild geese
flying high and in flocks, and directing their course eastward; coots
restless and clamorous; the hoopoe loud in his note; the king’s fisher
taking to land; rooks darting or shooting in the air, or sporting on the
banks of fresh waters; and lastly, the appearance of the malefigie at
sea, is a certain forerunner of violent winds, and (early in the
morning) denotes horrible tempests at hand.

_Of Fair Weather, from Birds._—Halcyons, sea-ducks, &c. leaving the
land, and flocking to the sea; kites, herons, bitterns, and swallows
flying high, and loud in their notes; lapwings restless and clamorous;
sparrows after sunrise restless and noisy; ravens, hawks, and kestrils
(in the morning) loud in their notes; robin-redbreast mounted high, and
loud in his song; larks soaring high, and loud in their songs; owls
hooting with an easy and clear note; bats appearing early in the

_Of Rain, from Beasts._—Asses braying more frequently than usual; hogs
playing, scattering their food, or carrying straw in their mouths; oxen
snuffing the air, looking to the south, while lying on their right
sides, or licking their hoofs; cattle gasping for air at noon; calves
running violently and gamboling; deer, sheep, or goats leaping,
fighting, or pushing; cats washing their face and ears; dogs eagerly
scraping up earth; foxes barking; rats and mice more restless than
usual; a grumbling noise in the belly of hounds.

_Of Rain, from Insects._—Worms crawling out of the earth in great
abundance; spiders falling from their webs; flies dull and restless;
ants hastening to their nests; bees hastening home, and keeping close in
their hives; frogs drawing nigh to houses, and croaking from ditches;
gnats singing more than usual; but if gnats play in the open air, or if
hornets, wasps, and glow-worms appear plentifully in the evening, or if
spiders’ webs are seen in the air or on the grass, these do all denote
fair and warm weather at hand.

_Of Rain, from the Sun._—Sun rising dim or waterish; rising red with
blackish beams mixed along with his rays; rising in a musty or muddy
color; rising red and turning blackish; setting under a thick cloud;
setting with a red sky in the east.

Sudden rains never last long; but when the air grows thick by degrees,
and the sun, moon, and stars shine dimmer and dimmer, then it is like to
rain six hours usually.

_Of Wind, from the Sun._—Sun rising pale and setting red, with an iris;
rising large in surface; rising with a red sky in the north; setting of
a blood color; setting pale, with one or more dark circles, or
accompanied with red streaks, seeming concave or hollow; seeming
divided, great storms; parhelia, or mock suns, never appear but are
followed by tempest.

_Of Fair Weather, from the Sun._—Sun rising clear, having set clear the
night before; rising while the clouds about him are driving to the west;
rising with an iris around him, and that iris wearing away equally on
all sides, then expect fair and settled weather; rising clear and not
hot; setting in red clouds, according to the old observation,—

                   The evening red and morning gray,
                   Is the sure sign of a fair day.

To the above may be added the following from a more recent source:—

As a rule, a circle around the moon indicates rain and wind. When seen
with a north or northeast wind, we may look for stormy weather,
especially if the circle be large; with the wind in any other quarter,
we may expect rain; so also when the ring is small and the moon seems
covered with mist. If, however, the moon rise after sunset, and a circle
be soon after formed around it, no rain is foreboded. In the Netherlands
they have this proverb:—

           Een kring om de maan     (A ring round the moon
           Die kan vergaan;         May pass away soon;
           Maar een kring om de zon But a ring round the sun
           Geeft water in de ton.   Gives water in the tun.)

An old astrologer, referring to St. Paul’s day, Jan. 25, says:—

                If St. Paul be fair and clear,
                It promises then a happy year;
                But if it chance to snow or rain,
                Then will be dear all sorts of grain;
                Or if the wind do blow aloft,
                Great stirs will vex the world full oft;
                And if dark clouds do muff the sky,
                Then fowl and cattle oft will die.

Another, alluding to the Ember-day in December, says:—

                 When Ember-day is cold and clear
                 There’ll be two winters in that year.

The following is from a manuscript in the British Museum:—

                 If Christmas day on Thursday be,
                 A windy winter you shall see;
                 Windy weather in each week,
                 And hard tempests, strong and thick;
                 The summer shall be good and dry,
                 Corn and beasts shall multiply;
                 That year is good for lands to till;
                 Kings and princes shall die by skill;
                 If a child born that day shall be,
                 It shall happen right well for thee:
                 Of deeds he shall be good and stable,
                 Wise of speech, and reasonable.
                 Whoso that day goes thieving about,
                 He shall be punished, without doubt;
                 And if sickness that day betide,
                 It shall quickly from thee glide.

                             UNLUCKY DAYS.

The following list of the “evil days in each month” is translated from
the original Latin verses in the old _Sarum Missal_:—

     _January._   Of this first month, the opening day
                  And seventh like a sword will slay.

     _February._  The fourth day bringeth down to death;
                  The third will stop a strong man’s breath.

     _March._     The first the greedy glutton slays;
                  The fourth cuts short the drunkard’s days.

     _April._     The tenth and the eleventh, too,
                  Are ready death’s fell work to do.

     _May._       The third to slay poor man hath power;
                  The seventh destroyeth in an hour.

     _June._      The tenth a pallid visage shows;
                  No faith nor truth the fifteenth knows.

     _July._      The thirteenth is a fatal day;
                  The tenth alike will mortals slay.

     _August._    The first kills strong ones at a blow;
                  The second lays a cohort low.

     _September._ The third day of the month September,
                  And tenth, bring evil to each member.

     _October._   The third and tenth, with poisoned breath,
                  To man are foes as foul as death.

     _November._  The fifth bears scorpion-sting of deadly pain;
                  The third is tinctured with destruction’s train.

     _December._  The seventh’s a fatal day to human life;
                  The tenth is with a serpent’s venom rife.

                            O. S. and N. S.

                        THE GREGORIAN CALENDAR.

The Julian calendar was framed about 46 years before Christ. Cæsar made
the year consist of 365 days; and the annual excess of six hours, which
amounted to one day in four years, was taken into account by making
every fourth year (leap-year) consist of 366 days. But Cæsar’s
correction of the calendar was imperfect, being founded on the
supposition that the solar year consisted of 365 days, 6 hours, whereas
the true solar year consists of 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 45½
seconds. Thus the Julian year exceeded the solar 11 minutes 14½
seconds,—which amounted to a whole day in 130 years. In consequence of
this inaccuracy, the vernal equinox, which happened on the 25th of March
in the time of Julius Cæsar, had receded to the 21st of March in the
year 325, and was fixed to that day by the Council of Nice. Attempts
were afterwards made to effect some change in the calendar; but a
complete reformation was not made until 1582. Pope Gregory XIII. invited
to Rome the most learned astronomers of the age; and, after the subject
had been discussed ten years, it was decreed that the vernal equinox,
which had receded ten days since the Council of Nice, and consequently
happened on the 11th of March, should be brought back to the 21st of
March, and that for this purpose ten days should be taken from the month
of October, 1582. To avoid future deviation, it was determined that
instead of every 100th year being leap-year, every 400th year only
should be leap-year. By this plan—a diminution of three days in 400
years—the error in the present calendar will not exceed a day and a half
in five thousand years.

The calendar thus reformed by Pope Gregory was immediately introduced
into Catholic countries, but was not finally adopted in Great Britain
until 1752, when, by act of Parliament, eleven days were struck out of
the calendar, the 3d of September being reckoned the 14th. The Greek
Church still obstinately adheres to the old style.


The following happily-conceived address to the patrons of “Poor Job’s
Almanac” was occasioned by the change of the style in 1752. The number
of that year bears the title—

_Poor Job_, 1752. _By Job Shepherd, philom. Newport. Printed by James
Franklin,[15] at the Printing-office under the Town School-house._ In
this almanac the month of September has, in the margin, the figures of
the successive days, commencing 1, 2; and, after leaving blank a space
for eleven days, recommencing with 14, and continuing to the 30th.

Footnote 15:

  Brother of Dr. Franklin.

§Kind Reader§:—You have now such a year as you never saw before, nor
will see hereafter, the King and Parliament of Great Britain having
thought proper to enact that the month of September, 1752, shall contain
but nineteen days, which will shorten this year eleven days, and have
extended the same throughout the British dominions; so that we are not
to have two beginnings to our years, but the first of January is to be
the first day and the first month of the year 1752; eleven days are
taken from September, and begin 1, 2, 14, 15, &c. Be not astonished, nor
look with concern, dear reader, at such a deduction of days, nor regret
as for the loss of so much time; but take this for your consolation,
that your expenses will perhaps appear lighter, and your mind be more at
ease. And what an indulgence is here for those who love their pillows,
to lie down in peace on the second of this month, and not perhaps awake
or be disturbed till the fourteenth, in the morning! And, reader, this
is not to hasten the payment of debts, freedom of apprentices or
servants, or the coming to age of minors; but the number of natural days
in all agreements are to be fulfilled. All Church holidays and Courts
are to be on the same nominal days they were before; but fairs, after
the second of September, alter the nominal days, and so seemed to be
held eleven days later. Now, reader, since ’tis likely you may never
have such another year nor such another almanac, I would advise you to
improve the one for your own sake, and I recommend the other for the
sake of your friend,

                                                             §Poor Job§.

                           Memoria Technica.


                The Great Jehovah speaks to us
                In Genesis and Exodus;
                Leviticus and Numbers see
                Followed by Deuteronomy.
                Joshua and Judges sway the land,
                Ruth gleans a sheaf with trembling hand;
                Samuel and numerous Kings appear
                Whose Chronicles we wondering hear.
                Ezra and Nehemiah, now,
                Esther the beauteous mourner show.
                Job speaks in sighs, David in Psalms,
                The Proverbs teach to scatter alms;
                Ecclesiastes then comes on,
                And the sweet Song of Solomon.
                Isaiah, Jeremiah then
                With Lamentations takes his pen,
                Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea’s lyres
                Swell Joel, Amos, Obadiah’s.
                Next Jonas, Micah, Nahum come,
                And lofty Habakkuk finds room—
                While Zephaniah, Haggai calls,
                Wrapt Zachariah builds his walls;
                And Malachi, with garments rent,
                Concludes the ancient Testament.


      Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, wrote the life of their Lord;
      The Acts, what Apostles accomplished, record;
      Rome, Corinth, Galatus, Ephesus, hear
      What Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians revere:
      Timotheus, Titus, Philemon, precede
      The Epistle which Hebrews most gratefully read;
      James, Peter, and John, with the short letter Jude,
      The rounds of Divine Revelation conclude.

                      NAMES OF SHAKSPEARE’S PLAYS.

 _Omitting the Historical English Dramas, “quos versu dicere non est.”_

          Cymbeline, Tempest, Much Ado, Verona,
          Merry Wives, Twelfth Night, As you Like it, Errors,
          Shrew Taming, Night’s Dream, Measure, Andronicus,
                                    Timon of Athens.
          Winter’s Tale, Merchant, Troilus, Lear, Hamlet,
          Love’s Labor, All’s Well, Pericles, Othello,
          Romeo, Macbeth, Cleopatra, Cæsar,

                          ENGLISH SOVEREIGNS.

                     First William the Norman,
                       Then William his son;
                     Henry, Stephen, and Henry,
                       Then Richard and John.
                     Next Henry the Third,
                       Edwards one, two, and three;
                     And again, after Richard,
                       Three Henrys we see.
                     Two Edwards, third Richard,
                       If rightly I guess;
                     Two Henrys, sixth Edward,
                       Queen Mary, Queen Bess.
                     Then Jamie, the Scotchman,
                       Then Charles whom they slew,
                     Yet received after Cromwell
                       Another Charles too.
                     Next James the Second
                       Ascended the throne;
                     Then good William and Mary
                       Together came on.
                     Till, Anne, Georges four,
                       And fourth William all past,
                     God sent Queen Victoria:
                       May she long be the last!


              First stands the lofty §Washington§,
              That nobly great, immortal one;
              The elder §Adams§ next we see,
              And §Jefferson§ comes number three;
              The fourth is §Madison§, you know,
              The fifth one on the list, §Monroe§;
              The sixth an §Adams§ comes again,
              And §Jackson§ seventh in the train;
              §Van Buren§ eighth upon the line,
              And §Harrison§ counts number nine;
              The tenth is §Tyler§ in his turn,
              And §Polk§ eleventh, as we learn;
              The twelfth is §Taylor§ that appears;
              The thirteenth, §Fillmore§ fills his years;
              Then §Pierce§ comes fourteenth into view;
              §Buchanan§ is the fifteenth due;
              The sixteenth §Lincoln§, foully slain;
              The seventeenth was §Johnson§’s _reign_;
              Then §Grant§ was by the people sent
              To be their eighteenth President.

                             THE DECALOGUE.

     1. Have thou no Gods but me; 2. Nor graven type adore;
     3. Take not my name in vain; ’twere guilt most sore:
     4. Hallow the seventh day; 5. Thy parents’ honor love:
     6. No murder do; 7. Nor thou adulterer prove:
     8. From theft be pure thy hands; 9. No witness false, thy word:
    10. Covet of none his house, wife, maid, or herd.

                  *       *       *       *       *

         Worship to God—but not God graven—pay;
           Blaspheme not; sanctify the Sabbath day;
         Be honored parents; brother’s blood unshed;
           And unpolluted hold the marriage bed;
         From theft thy hand—thy tongue from lying—keep,
           Nor covet neighbor’s home, spouse, serf, ox, sheep.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               Thou no God shalt have but me;
               Before no idol bow the knee;
               Take not the name of God in vain;
               Nor dare the Sabbath day profane;
               Give both thy parents honor due;
               Take heed that thou no murder do;
               Abstain from words and deeds unclean;
               Nor steal, though thou art poor and mean;
               Nor make a willful lie, nor love it;
               What is thy neighbor’s, do not covet.

                           METRICAL GRAMMAR.

         Three little words we often see
         Are Articles, _a_, _an_ and _the_.
         A Noun’s the name of any thing,
         As _school_, or _garden_, _hoop_, or _swing_.
         Adjectives tell the kind of Noun,
         As _great_, _small_, _pretty_, _white_, or _brown_.
         Instead of Nouns the Pronouns stand—
         _Her_ fan, _his_ face, _my_ arm, _your_ hand.
         Verbs tell of something being done—
         To _read_, _write_, _count_, _sing_, _jump_, or _run_.
         How things are done the Adverbs tell,
         As _slowly_, _quickly_, _ill_, or _well_.
         Conjunctions join the words together,
         As men _and_ children, wind _or_ weather.
         The Preposition stands before
         A Noun—as, _in_ or _through_ a door.
         The Interjection shows surprise,
         As _Oh!_ how pretty, _Ah!_ how wise.
         The whole are called nine parts of Speech,
         Which _Reading_, _Writing_, _Speaking_, teach.

                     NUMBER OF DAYS IN EACH MONTH.

One of the most useful lessons taught us in early life by arithmetical
treatises, is that of Grafton’s well-known lines in his _Chronicles of
England_, 1590. Sir Walter Scott, in conversation with a friend,
adverted jocularly to that ancient and respectable but unknown poet, who
had given us this formula:—

                  Thirty days hath September,
                  April, June, and November;
                  And all the rest have thirty-one,
                  Excepting February alone,
                  Which has but twenty-eight, in fine,
                  Till Leap-Year gives it twenty-nine.

The form used by the Quakers runs thus:—

                 The fourth, eleventh, ninth and sixth
                 Have thirty days to each affixed;
                 Every other, thirty-one,
                 Except the second month alone.

                       Origin of Things Familiar.

                         MIND YOUR P’S AND Q’S.

It would be a curious thing, if they could be traced out, to ascertain
the origin of half the quaint old sayings and maxims that have come down
to the present time from unknown generations. Who, for example, was
“§Dick§,” who had the odd-looking “hat-band,” and who has so long been
the synonym or representative of oddly-acting people? Who knows any
thing authentic of the leanness of “Job’s turkey,” who has so many
followers in the ranks of humanity? Scores of other sayings there are,
concerning which similar questions might be asked. Who ever knew, until
comparatively late years, what was the origin of the cautionary saying,
“Mind your P’s and Q’s”? A modern antiquarian, however, has put the
world right in relation to _that_ saying. In ale-houses, in the olden
time, when chalk “scores” were marked upon the wall, or behind the door
of the tap-room, it was customary to put the initials “P” and “Q” at the
head of every man’s account, to show the number of “pints” and “quarts”
for which he was in arrears; and we may presume many a friendly rustic
to have tapped his neighbor on the shoulder, when he was indulging too
freely in his potations, and to have exclaimed, as he pointed to the
chalk-score, “Mind your P’s and Q’s, man! mind your P’s and Q’s!” The
writer from whom we glean this information mentions an amusing anecdote
in connection with it, which had its origin in London, at the time a
“Learned Pig” was attracting the attention of half the town. A
theatrical wag, who attended the porcine performances, maliciously set
before the four-legged actor some _peas_,—a temptation which the animal
could not resist, and which immediately occasioned him to lose the “cue”
given him by the showman. The pig-exhibitor remonstrated with the author
of the mischief on the unfairness of what he had done; to which he
replied, “I only wanted to ascertain whether the pig knew his ‘peas’
from his ‘cues!’”

                            ALL FOOLS’ DAY.

            April the First stands marked by custom’s rules,
            A day of being, and of making, fools.

The First of April, as is well known, is distinguished in the calendar
by the singular appellation of “_All Fools’ Day_.” It would be a curious
exception to common experience, if, on the recurrence of this memorable
epoch in the division of time, multitudes were not betrayed into a due
observance of its peculiarities. Many grave and unsuspecting people have
been sent upon the most frivolous and nonsensical errands. Many a
passer-by has been told that there was something out of his pocket,
which was his hand; or something on his face, which was his nose. Many a
school-boy has been sent to the shoemaker’s for stirrup-oil, which he
would get from a strap, across his shoulders; or to ask a schoolmistress
for the biography of Eve’s mother; or to an old bachelor to purchase
pigeon’s milk. Many a printer’s “devil” has been sent to a neighboring
editor for a quart of editorial, and received in return a picture of a
jackass; and many a pretty girl despatched to the handsome druggist
round the corner for the essence of tulips (two-lips,) which she would
sometimes box the pharmaceutic ears for offering to give her. Some would
be summoned, upon the most unfounded pretexts, out of their warm beds,
an hour or more before the accustomed time. Others were enticed to open
packages, promising ample remuneration, but full of disappointment; and
others again, as they passed along the streets, were captivated by the
sight of pieces of spurious coin, which, when they essayed to lift, they
found securely fastened to the pavement,—together with various other
whimsicalities, which under other circumstances would have been deemed
highly offensive, but, happening on the First of April, were considered,
if not agreeable, at least comparatively harmless. The _origin_ of this
strange custom is shrouded in mystery. It has been traced by some to the
scene in the life of Jesus when he was sent from Pilate to Herod, and
back from Herod to Pilate, which occurred about this period.

Brady’s _Clavis Calendaria_, published in 1812, mentions that more than
a century previous the almanacs designated the First of April as “All
Fools’ Day.” In the northern counties of England and Scotland, the jokes
on that day were practised to a great extent, and it scarcely required
an apology to experiment upon the gravest and most respectable of city
or country gentlemen and women. The person whose good nature or
simplicity put him momentarily in the power of his facetious neighbor
was called a “_gowk_”—and the sending upon ridiculous errands, “_hunting
the gowk_.” The term “_gowk_” was a common expression for a cuckoo,
which was reckoned among the silliest and simplest of all the feathered

In France, the person made the butt upon these occasions was styled “_un
poisson d’Avril_”—that is, an April fish—by implication, an April
fool—“_poisson d’Avril_,” the familiar name of the _mackerel_, a fish
easily caught by deception, singly and in shoals, at this season of the
year. The term “April fool” was therefore, probably, nothing more than
an easy substitution of that opprobrious epithet for fish, and it is
quite likely that our ancestors borrowed the custom from France, with
this change in the phrase peculiar to the occasion. It is possible,
however, that it may have been derived from _poison_, mischief. Among
the French, ridicule is the most successful weapon for correcting folly
and holding vice in _terrorem_. A Frenchman is more afraid of a
successful _bon mot_ at his expense than of a sword, and the First of
April is a day, therefore, of which he can make a double application: he
may gratify his love of pleasantry among his friends, or inflict a
severe wound on his enemies, if he possess the art and wit to invent and
perpetrate a worthy piece of foolery upon them. One of the best tricks
that ever occurred in France was that of Rabelais, who fooled the
officers of justice, when he had no money, into conveying him from
Marseilles to Paris on a charge of treason got up for the purpose, and,
when arrived there, showing them how they were hoaxed. For this purpose
he made up some brick-dust and ashes in different packets, labelled as
poisons for the royal family of France. The bait took, and he was
conveyed to the capital as a traitor, seven hundred miles, only to
explain the joke.

There is a very common practical joke on fools’ day in the British
metropolis: it consists in despatching a letter by an unlucky dupe, who
is to wait for an answer. The answer is a second note, to a third
person, “to send the fool farther.” A young surgeon, a greenhorn in
practice, fresh from St. Bartholomew’s, his instruments unfleshed on his
own account, and his surgery bottles full to repletion, was called a few
years ago from the Strand to a patient in Newgate Street, very rich,
named Dobbs. It was the First of April, and it was his first patient.
The young Esculapius was ushered into the presence of the supposed
patient, who was busy writing in his counting-house. The surgeon
explained his errand, and Mr. Dobbs, having an excellent mercantile
discernment, soon saw through the affair. He bowed and said, “It is a
mistake, sir: my name is Dobbs, but I am, thank God, hale and hearty. It
is my brother, the sugar-baker, on Fish Street Hill, that has sent for
you, [carriage or horse he had none,] three-fourths of a mile farther.”
He entered among the pyramids of snowy sweets, and found Mr. Dobbs, the
sugar-baker, of Fish Street Hill, as hale as his brother of Newgate
Street. The refiner of saccharine juice understood his brother’s note,
stammered out a pretended apology for the mistake, and said he supposed,
as the young man’s directions were to Mr. J. Dobbs, and not Mr. Jeffry
Dobbs, that was intended; that his name was Jeffry, but his brother
John, a third member of the family, and in his business, lived at
Limehouse, whither he thought, if our surgeon proceeded, he would find
the person he sought. An address was handed the young tourniquet at the
extreme end of Limehouse, which address, it is needless to say, was
false. What will not a surgeon do to obtain his first patient, and a
rich one too? Away he posted to Limehouse, and soon found how far he had
travelled for nothing. Tired and disappointed, and scheming vengeance on
the authors of the hoax, he set off on his return home, cursing the
Dobbs family every step he went. As he passed along Upper Shadwell, he
saw a horse gallop furiously down Chamomile Street and fling its rider a
heavy fall on the pavement. He ran and lifted the fallen man, whom he
found insensible. He conveyed him to a shop hard by, bled him, and had
the satisfaction of seeing him open his eyes. Suffice it to say that, on
being conveyed home, our young surgeon attended him until he was
restored to health; and so gratefully were his exertions received by the
stranger, who was a rich East India merchant, far advanced in life, that
he took him into his house as a medical attendant and friend, and
ultimately left him the bulk of his property. Thus, out of an intended
Fools’ Day hoax, by the inscrutable caprice of fortune, a frolic led its
dupe to wealth. This anecdote, according to the London Athenæum, may be
depended on as true, nothing in the story but the name adopted, to
conceal the real actors in the drama, being fictitious.

A day of fooleries, the _Huli Fest_, is observed, also, among the
Hindoos, attended with the like silly species of witticism.

By many it is believed that the term “_all_” is a corruption of _auld_
or _old_, thereby making it originally “Old Fools’ Day,” in confirmation
of which opinion the following observation is quoted from an ancient
Roman calendar respecting the 1st of November:—“The feast of old fools
is removed to this day.” The oldest almanacs extant, however, have it
_all_ (and not _old_) fools’ day. Besides the Roman “Saturnalia” and the
Druidical rites, superstitions which the early Christians found in
existence when they commenced their labors in England, was the _Festum
Fatuorum_, or _Fools’ Holiday_, which was doubtless our present First of
April. In some of the German classics frequent mention is made of the
_Aprilen Narr_, so that even the Germans of the olden time understood
how to practise their cunning April arts upon their neighbors quite as
well as we of the present day.

Enough has been here quoted to prove that the custom is of very ancient
existence; but the precise _origin_ thereof remains undiscovered, and
will have to be dug from some of the musty chronicles of gray antiquity.
But, be the origin of the custom what it may, we cannot avoid the
conclusion that it is one “more honored in the breach than in the


About the year 1390, cards were invented to divert Charles IV., then
King of France, who was fallen into a melancholy disposition. That they
were not in use before appears highly probable. 1st, Because no cards
are to be seen in any paintings, sculpture, tapestry, &c. more ancient
than the preceding period, but are represented in many works of
ingenuity since that age. 2dly, No prohibitions relative to cards, by
the king’s edicts, are mentioned; although some few years before, a most
severe one was published, forbidding by name all manner of sports and
pastimes, in order that the subjects might exercise themselves in
shooting with bows and arrows and be in a condition to oppose the
English. Now, it is not to be presumed that so luring a game as cards
would have been omitted in the enumeration had they been in use. 3dly,
In all the ecclesiastical canons prior to the same time, there occurs no
mention of cards; although, twenty years after that date, card-playing
was interdicted the clergy by a Gallican Synod. About the same time is
found in the account-book of the king’s cofferer the following
charge:—“Paid for a pack of painted leaves bought for the king’s
amusement, three livres.” Printing and stamping being not then
discovered, the cards were painted, which made them dear. Thence, in the
above synodical canons, they are called _pagillæ pictæ_, painted little
leaves. 4thly, About thirty years after this came a severe edict against
cards in France, and another by Emanuel, Duke of Savoy, only permitting
the ladies this pastime, _pro spinilis_, for pins and needles.

_Of their designs._—The inventor proposed by the figures of the four
suits, or colors, as the French call them, to represent the four states
or classes of men in the kingdom. By the _Cæsars_ (hearts) are meant the
_Gens de Chœur_, choir-men, or ecclesiastics; and therefore the
Spaniards, who certainly received the use of cards from the French, have
_copas_ or chalices instead of hearts. The nobility, or prime military
part of the kingdom, are represented by the ends or points of lances, or
pikes; and our ignorance of the meaning or resemblance of the figure
induced us to call them spades. The Spaniards have _espadas_ (swords) in
lieu of pikes, which is of similar import. By diamonds are designated
the order of citizens, merchants, and tradesmen, _carraux_, (square
stone tiles, or the like.) The Spaniards have a coin _dineros_, which
answers to it; and the Dutch call the French word _carreaux_,
_stieneen_, stones and diamonds, from the form. _Treste_, the trefoil
leaf, or clover grass, (corruptly called clubs,) alludes to husbandmen
and peasants. How this suit came to be called clubs is not explained,
unless, borrowing the game from the Spaniards, who have _bastos_ (staves
or clubs) instead of the trefoil, we gave the Spanish signification to
the French figure.

The “history of the four kings,” which the French in drollery sometimes
call “the cards,” is that of _David_, _Alexander_, _Cæsar_, and
_Charles_, names which were, and still are, on the French cards. These
respective names represent the four celebrated monarchies of the Jews,
Greeks, Romans, and Franks under Charlemagne.

By the queens are intended _Argine_, _Esther_, _Judith_, and _Pallas_,
(names retained in the French cards,) typical of birth, piety,
fortitude, and wisdom, the qualifications residing in each person.
“Argine” is an anagram for “Regina,” queen by descent.

By the knaves were designed the servants to knights, (for knave
originally meant only servant; and in an old translation of the Bible,
St. Paul is called the knave of Christ,) but French pages and valets,
now indiscriminately used by various orders of persons, were formerly
only allowed to persons of quality, esquires, (escuiers,) shield or
armor bearers. Others fancy that the knights themselves were designed by
those cards, because _Hogier_ and _Lahire_, two names on the French
cards, were famous knights at the time cards were supposed to be

                               SUB ROSA.

   But when we with caution a secret disclose,
   We cry, “Be it spoken, sir, under the rose.”
   Since ’tis known that the rose was an emblem of old,
   Whose leaves by their closeness taught secrets to hold;
   And ’twas thence it was painted on tables so oft
   As a warning, lest, when with a frankness men scoft
   At their neighbor, their lord, their fat priest, or their nation,
   Some among ’em next day should betray conversation.
                                         _British Apollo_, 1708.

The origin of the phrase _under the rose_ implies secrecy, and had its
origin during the year §B.C.§ 477, at which time Pausanias, the
commander of the confederate fleet of the Spartans and Athenians, was
engaged in an intrigue with Xerxes for the subjugation of Greece to the
Persian rule, and for the hand of the monarch’s daughter in marriage.
Their negotiations were carried on in a building attached to the temple
of Minerva, called the Brazen House, the roof of which was a garden
forming a bower of roses; so that the plot, which was conducted with the
utmost secrecy, was literally matured _under the rose_. Pausanias,
however, was betrayed by one of his emissaries, who, by a preconcerted
plan with the ephori, (the overseers and counsellors of state, five in
number,) gave them a secret opportunity to hear from the lips of
Pausanias himself the acknowledgment of his treason. To escape arrest,
he fled to the temple of Minerva, and, as the sanctity of the place
forbade intrusion for violence or harm of any kind, the people walled up
the edifice with stones and left him to die of starvation. His own
mother laid the first stone.

It afterward became a custom among the Athenians to wear roses in their
hair whenever they wished to communicate to another a secret which they
wished to be kept inviolate. Hence the saying _sub rosa_ among them,
and, since, among Christian nations.

                             OVER THE LEFT.

The earliest trace of the use and peculiar significance of this phrase
may be found in the _Records_ of the Hartford County Courts, in the
(then) Colony of Connecticut, as follows:—

                                   At a County Court held at Hartford, }
                                                September 4, 1705.     }

Whereas James Steel did commence an action against Bevell Waters (both
of Hartford) in this Court, upon hearing and tryall whereof the Court
gave judgment against the said Waters, (as in justice they think they
ought,) upon the declaring the said judgment, the said Waters did review
to the Court in March next, that, being granted and entered, the said
Waters, as he departed from the table, he said, “_God bless you over the
left shoulder_.”

The Court order a record to be made thereof forthwith.

                                             A true copie: Test.
                                                 §Caleb Stanley§, Clerk.

At the next court, Waters was tried for contempt, for saying the words
recited, “so cursing the Court,” and on verdict fined £5. He asked a
review of the Court following, which was granted; and pending trial, the
Court asked counsel of the Rev. Messrs. Woodbridge and Buckingham, the
ministers of the Hartford churches, as to the “common acceptation” of
the offensive phrase. Their reply constitutes a part of the _Record_,
and is as follows:—

We are of opinion that those words, said on the other side to be spoken
by Bevell Waters, include (1) prophaneness, by using the name of God,
that is holy, with such ill words whereto it was joyned; (2) that they
carry great contempt in them, arising to the degree of an imprecation or
curse, the words of a curse being the most contemptible that can
ordinarily be used.

                                                        §T. Woodbridge.§
                                                        §T. Buckingham.§

  March 7th, 1705–6.

The former judgment was affirmed on review.

                          KICKING THE BUCKET.

The tradition among the slang fraternity as to the origin of this phrase
is that “One Bolsover, having hung himself to a beam while standing on
the bottom of a pail, or bucket, kicked the vessel away in order to pry
into futurity, and it was all UP with him from that moment—_Finis!_”


When the Roman Catholic religion was in the ascendant in England, the
health of the Pope was usually drunk in a full glass immediately after
dinner—_au bon père_: hence the word “Bumper.”

                             ROYAL SAYING.

It was Alphonsus, surnamed the Wise, King of Aragon, who used to say,
“That among so many things as are by men possessed or pursued in the
course of their lives, all the rest are baubles, besides old wood to
burn, old wine to drink, old friends to converse with, and old books to


This word, generally supposed to be derived from the French _donnez_,
owes its origin, according to the British Apollo of September, 1708, to
one _Joe Dun_, a famous bailiff of Lincoln in the time of Henry VII. He
is said to have been so extremely shrewd in the management of his rough
business, and so dexterous in the collection of dues, that his name
became proverbial; and whenever a man refused to pay his debts, it grew
into a prevalent custom to say, “Why don’t you §Dun§ him?”


Among the many issues of base coin which from time to time were made in
Ireland, there was none to be compared in worthlessness to that made by
James II. at the Dublin Mint. It was composed of any thing on which he
could lay his hands, such as lead, pewter, copper, and brass, and so low
was its intrinsic value that twenty shillings of it was only worth
twopence sterling. William III., a few days after the battle of the
Boyne, ordered that the crown-piece and half-crown should be taken as
one penny and one half-penny respectively. The soft mixed metal of which
that worthless coin was composed was known among the Irish as Uim bog,
pronounced Oom-bug, i.e. soft copper, i.e. worthless money; and in the
course of their dealings the modern use of the word _humbug_ took its
rise, as in the phrases, “That’s a _piece of uimbog_,” “Don’t think to
_pass off your uimbog_ on me.” Hence the word _humbug_ came to be
applied to any thing that had a specious appearance but which was in
reality spurious. It is curious to note that the very opposite of
_humbug_, i.e. false metal, is the word _sterling_, which is also taken
from a term applied to the _true_ coinage of Great Britain, as
_sterling_ coin, _sterling_ worth, &c.


At one corner of the Palazzo Braschi, the last monument of Papal
nepotism, near the Piazza Navona, in Rome, stands the famous mutilated
torso known as the statue of Pasquin. It is the remains of a work of art
of considerable merit, found at this spot, in the sixteenth century, and
supposed to represent Ajax supporting Menelaus. It derives its modern
name from the tailor Pasquin, who kept a shop opposite, which was the
rendezvous of all the gossips in the city, and from which their
satirical witticisms on the manners and follies of the day obtained a
ready circulation.

Misson says in his Travels in Italy,—The tailor had precisely the talent
to head a regiment of satirical wits, and had he had time to publish, he
would have been the Peter Pindar of his day; but his genius seems to
have been satisfied to rest cross-legged on his shop-board. When any
lampoons or amusing _bon-mots_ were current in Rome, they were usually
called, from his shop, _Pasquinades_. After his death, this statue of an
ancient gladiator was found under the pavement of his shop. It was soon
set up, and by universal consent was inscribed with his name; and they
still attempt to raise him from the dead, and keep the caustic tailor
alive, in the marble gladiator of wit.

The statue of Marforio, which stood near the arch of Septimus Severus,
in the Forum, was made the vehicle for replying to the attacks of
Pasquin; and for many years they kept up an incessant fire of wit and
repartee. When Marforio was removed to the museum in the capitol, the
Pope wished to remove Pasquin also; but the Duke di Braschi, to whom he
belongs, would not permit it. Adrian VI. attempted to arrest his career
by ordering the statue to be burnt and thrown into the Tiber; but one of
the Pope’s friends, Ludovico Sussano, saved him, by suggesting that his
ashes would turn into frogs, and croak more terribly than before. It is
said that his owner is compelled to pay a fine whenever he is found
guilty of exhibiting any scandalous placards. The modern Romans seem to
regard Pasquin as part of their social system: in the absence of a free
press, he has become in some measure the organ of public opinion, and
there is scarcely an event upon which he does not pronounce judgment.
Some of his sayings are extremely broad for the atmosphere of Rome, but
many of them are very witty, and fully maintain the character of his
fellow-citizens for satirical epigrams and repartee. When Mezzofanti,
the great linguist, was made a cardinal, Pasquin declared that it was a
very proper appointment, for there could be no doubt that the “Tower of
Babel,” “_Il torre di Babel_” required an interpreter. At the time of
the first French occupation of Italy, Pasquin gave out the following
satirical dialogue:—

                    I Francesi son tutti ladri.
                    Non tutti—ma Bonaparte.

                    The French are all robbers.
                    Not all, but a _good part_; (or
                    Not all—but Bonaparte.)

Another remarkable saying is recorded in connection with the celebrated
bull of Urban VIII., excommunicating all persons who took snuff in the
Cathedral of Seville. On the publication of this decree, Pasquin
appropriately quoted the beautiful passage in Job,—“Wilt thou break a
leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble?”

                              BOTTLED ALE.

          The hop for his profit I thus do exalt;
          It strengtheneth drink and it flavoreth malt;
          And being well brewed, long kept it will last,
          And drawing abide, if ye draw not too fast.
                                              _Tusser_, 1557.

Alexander Newell, Dean of St. Paul’s and Master of Westminster School in
the reign of Queen Mary, was an excellent angler. But, (says Fuller,)
while Newell was catching of fishes, Bishop Bonner was catching of
Newell, and would certainly have sent him to the shambles had not a good
London merchant conveyed him away upon the seas. Newell was fishing upon
the banks of the Thames when he received the first intimation of his
danger, which was so pressing that he dared not go back to his own house
to make any preparation for his flight. Like an honest angler, he had
taken with him provision for the day, and when, in the first year of
England’s deliverance, he returned to his country and his old haunts, he
remembered that on the day of his flight he had left a bottle of beer in
a safe place on the bank: there he looked for it, and “found it no
bottle, but a gun—such the sound at the opening thereof; and this (adds
Fuller,) is believed (casualty is mother of more invention than
industry) the origin of Bottled Ale in England.”

                              THE POTATO.

Although Sir Walter Raleigh was unexpectedly prevented from accompanying
Sir Humphrey Gilbert to Newfoundland, he eventually proved one of the
greatest benefactors to his own country, by the introduction of the
potato on his return from America, in the year 1584. This root was first
planted on Sir Walter’s estate at Youghall, which he afterward sold to
the Earl of Cork; but not having given sufficient directions to the
person who had the management of the land, the latter mistook the
flowers for the fruit and most valuable part of the plant, and, on
tasting them, rejected them as a pernicious exotic. Some time
afterwards, turning up the earth, he found the roots spread to a great
distance, and in considerable quantities; and from this stock the whole
kingdom was soon after supplied with this valuable plant, which
gradually spread throughout Europe and North America. Its name,
_potato_, in Irish _paitey_, and in French _patate_, is said to be
derived from the original language of Mexico, of which it is supposed to
be a native.

                                    _Anspach’s History of Newfoundland._

                        TARRING AND FEATHERING.

Anquetil, in his _Histoire de France_, 1805, has the following passage
in reference to this mode of chastisement:—

They (the two crusading kings, Richard Cœur de Lion and Philip Augustus)
afterwards made in concert the laws of police which should be observed
in both their armies. No women, except washerwomen, were to be permitted
to accompany the troops. Whoever killed another was, according to the
place where the crime should be committed, to be cast into the sea, or
buried alive, bound to the corpse of the murdered person. Whoever
wounded another was to have his hand cut off; whoever struck another
should be plunged three times into the sea; and whoever committed theft
should have _warm pitch poured over his head, which should then be
powdered with feathers_, and the offender should afterwards be left
abandoned on the first shore.


It is stated that Henry the Second, of France, was the first who wore
silk stockings, and this was on the occasion of his sister’s wedding to
the Duke of Savoy, in 1509. Howell, in his _History of the World_, says
that, in 1550, Queen Elizabeth was presented with a pair of black silk
knit stockings by her silk-woman, Mrs. Montague, and that she never wore
cloth ones afterward. He also adds, that Henry the Eighth wore
ordinarily cloth hose, unless there came from Spain, by great chance, a
pair of silk stockings. His son, Edward the Sixth, was presented with a
pair of long Spanish silk stockings by Sir Thomas Gresham. Hence it
would seem that knit stockings originally came from Spain. It is stated
that one William Rider, an apprentice on London Bridge, seeing, at the
house of an Italian merchant, a pair of knit stockings, from Mantua,
took the hint, and made a pair exactly like them, which he presented to
the Earl of Pembroke, and that they were the first of that kind worn in
England. There have been various opinions with respect to the original
invention of the stocking-frame; but it is now generally conceded that
it was invented during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, in the year 1589,
by William Lee, M.A., of St. John’s College, Cambridge. In the _London
Magazine_, it is related that Mr. Lee was expelled from the University
for marrying, contrary to the statutes of the college. Being thus
rejected, and ignorant of any other means of subsistence, he was reduced
to the necessity of living upon what his wife could earn by knitting
stockings, which gave a spur to his invention; and, by curiously
observing the working of the needles in knitting, he formed in his mind
the model of the frame. Mr. Lee went to France, and, for want of
patronage there and in England, died of a broken heart, at Paris. In the
hall of Framework Knitters’ Company, incorporated by Charles the Second,
in 1663, is a portrait of Lee, pointing to one of the iron frames, and
discoursing with a woman, who is knitting with needles and her fingers.

                        THE ORDER OF THE GARTER.

       When Salisbury’s famed countess was dancing with glee,
       Her stocking’s security fell from her knee.
       Allusions and hints, sneers and whispers, went round;
       The trifle was scouted, and left on the ground.
       When Edward the Brave, with true soldier-like spirit,
       Cried, “The garter is mine; ’tis the order of merit:
       The first knights in my court shall be happy to wear—
       Proud distinction!—the garter that fell from the fair;
       While in letters of gold—’tis your monarch’s high will—
       Shall there be inscribed, ‘_Ill to him that thinks ill!_’”

                           DRINKING HEALTHS.

The drinking of healths originated during the Danish occupation of
Britain. The Danes frequently stabbed Englishmen while in the act of
drinking, and it finally became necessary for the English, in view of
the constant repetition of this dastardly mode of assassination, to
enter into a compact to be mutual pledges of security for each other’s
health and preservation. Hence the custom of pledging and drinking

                        A FEATHER IN ONE’S CAP.

In the Lansdowne MS., British Museum, is a _Description of Hungary in
1599_, in which the writer says of the inhabitants, “It hath been an
antient custom among them that none should wear a fether but he who had
killed a Turk, to whom onlie y^t was lawful to shew the number of his
slaine enemys by the number of fethers in his cappe.”

                             THE WORD BOOK.

Before paper came into general use, our Teutonic forefathers wrote their
letters, calendars, and accounts on wood. The _Boc_, or beech, being
close-grained and plentiful in Northern Europe, was generally employed
for the purpose; and hence the word _book_.

                        NINE TAILORS MAKE A MAN.

The following humorous account of the origin of this saying is from _The
British Apollo_. “It happened (’tis no great matter in what year) that
eight tailors, having finished considerable pieces of work at the house
of a certain person of quality, (whose name authors have thought fit to
conceal,) and received all the money due for the same, a virago
servant-maid of the house, observing them to be but slender-built
animals, and in their mathematical postures on their shop-board
appearing but so many pieces of men, resolved to encounter and pillage
them on the road. The better to compass her design, she procured a very
terrible great black pudding, which, having waylaid them, she presented
at the breast of the foremost. They, mistaking this prop of life for an
instrument of death, at least a blunderbuss, readily yielded up their
money; but she, not contented with that, severely disciplined them with
a cudgel she carried in the other hand, all which they bore with a
philosophical resignation. Thus, eight, not being able to deal with one
woman, by consequence could not make a man; on which account a ninth is
added. ’Tis the opinion of our curious virtuosos, that their want of
courage ariseth from their immoderate eating of cucumbers, which too
much refrigerates their blood. However, to their eternal honor be it
spoken, they have often been known to encounter a sort of cannibals, to
whose assaults they are often subject, not fictitious, but real
man-eaters, and that with a lance but two inches long; nay, and although
they go armed no further than their middle finger.”

An earlier authority than the preceding may be found in a note in
_Democritus in London, with the Mad Pranks and Comical Conceits of
Motley and Robin Goodfellow_, in which the following version of the
origin of the saying is given. It is dated 1682:—

            There is a proverb which has been of old,
            And many men have likewise been so told,
            To the discredit of the Taylor’s Trade:
            _Nine Taylors go to make up a man_, they said;
            But for their credit I’ll unriddle it t’ ye:
            A draper once fell into povertie,
            Nine Taylors joined their purses together then,
            To set him up, and make him a man again.


The contraction _viz._ affords a curious instance of the universality of
arbitrary signs. There are few people now who do not readily comprehend
the meaning of that useful particle,—a certain publican excepted, who,
being furnished with a list of the requirements of a festival in which
the word appeared, apologized for the omission of one of the items
enumerated: he informed the company that he had inquired throughout the
town for some viz., but he had not been able to procure it. He was,
however, readily excused for his inability to do so. Viȝ. being a
contraction of _videlicet_, the terminal sign ȝ was never intended to
represent the letter “z,” but was simply a mark or sign of abbreviation.
It is now always written and expressed as a “z” and will doubtless
continue to be so.

                        SIGNATURE OF THE CROSS.

The mark which persons who are unable to write are required to make
instead of their signatures, is in the form of a cross; and this
practice, having formerly been followed by kings and nobles, is
constantly referred to as an instance of the deplorable ignorance of
ancient times. This signature is not, however, invariably a proof of
such ignorance. Anciently the use of the mark was not confined to
illiterate persons; for among the Saxons the mark of the cross, as an
attestation of the good faith of the persons signing, was required to be
attached to the signature of those who _could_ write, as well as to
stand in the place of the signature of those who could not write. In
those times, if a man could write, or even read, his knowledge was
considered proof presumptive that he was in holy orders. The clericus,
or clerk, was synonymous with penman; and the laity, or people who were
not clerks, did not feel any urgent necessity for the use of letters.
The ancient use of the cross was therefore universal, alike by those who
could and those who could not write: it was, indeed, the symbol of an
oath, from its sacred associations, as well as _the mark_ generally
adopted. Hence the origin of the expression “God save the mark,” as a
form of ejaculation approaching the character of an oath.

                         THE TURKISH CRESCENT.

When Philip of Macedon approached by night with his troops to scale the
walls of Byzantium, the _moon_ shone out and discovered his design to
the besieged, who repulsed him. The crescent was afterwards adopted as
the favorite badge of the city. When the Turks took Byzantium, they
found the crescent in every public place, and, believing it to possess
some magical power, adopted it themselves.

The origin of the crescent as a religious emblem is anterior to the time
of Philip of Macedon, dating, in fact, from the very beginning of

                          POSTPAID ENVELOPES.

M. Piron tells us that the idea of a postpaid envelope originated early
in the reign of Louis XIV., with M. de Valfyer, who, in 1653,
established (with royal approbation) a private penny-post, placing boxes
at the corners of the streets for the reception of letters wrapped up in
envelopes, which were to be bought at offices established for that
purpose. M. de Valfyer also had printed certain _forms_ of _billets_, or
notes, applicable to the ordinary business among the inhabitants of
great towns, with blanks, which were to be filled up by the pen with
such special matter as might complete the writer’s object. One of these
_billets_ has been preserved to our times by a pleasant misapplication
of it. Pélisson (Mdme. de Sévigné’s friend, and the object of the _bon
mot_ that “he abused the privilege which men have of being ugly”) was
amused at this kind of skeleton correspondence; and under the affected
name of _Pisandre_, (according to the pedantic fashion of the day,) he
filled up and addressed one of these forms to the celebrated
Mademoiselle de Scuderie, in her _pseudonyme_ of _Sappho_. This strange
_billet-doux_ has happened, from the celebrity of the parties, to be
preserved, and it is still extant,—one of the oldest, it is presumed, of
penny-post letters, and a curious example of a _pre_paying envelope, a
new proof of the adage that “there is nothing new under the sun.”

                              OLD HUNDRED.

The history of this old psalm-tune, which almost every one has been
accustomed to hear ever since he can remember, is the subject of a work
recently written by an English clergyman. Luther has generally been
considered the author of “Old Hundred,” but it has been pretty
satisfactorily ascertained that it was composed in the sixteenth
century, and certainly previous to 1546, by William Franc, a German. In
the course of time its arrangement has undergone repeated alterations;
and it is said that, as it originally appeared, it was of a more lively
character than at present. Many of these alterations have been carefully
preserved and may be seen by reference to Moore’s _Encyclopædia of
Music_. The oldest copy of it that has been preserved was published in
France, in Marot and Beza’s Psalms, 1550. Subjoined is a faithful
transcript of its original adaptation to the 134th Psalm. It contrasts
as broadly with the present style of musical notation as does the
English of Chaucer with that of Noah Webster.


  Or sus serviteurs du Seigneur, Vous qui de nuit en son honneur]

  De-dans sa maison le servez, Louez-le, et son Nom elevez.

                            LA MARSEILLAISE.

Rouget de Lisle was a young officer of engineers at Strasbourg. He was
born at _Lons-le-Saulnier_, in the _Jura_ a country of reverie and
energy, as mountains commonly are. He relieved the tediousness of a
garrison-life by writing verses and indulging a love of music. He was a
frequent visitor at the house of the Baron de Diedrich, a noble Alsacian
of the constitutional party, the Mayor of Strasbourg. The family loved
the young officer, and gave new inspiration to his heart in its
attachment to music and poetry, and the ladies were in the habit of
assisting, by their performances, the early conceptions of his genius. A
famine prevailed at Strasbourg in the winter of 1792. The house of
Diedrich was rich at the beginning of the revolution, but had now become
poor under the calamities and sacrifices of the time. Its frugal table
had always a hospitable place for Rouget de Lisle. He was there morning
and evening as a son and brother. One day, when only some slices of ham
smoked upon the table, with a supply of camp-bread, Diedrich said to De
Lisle, in sad serenity, “Plenty is not found at our meals. But no
matter: enthusiasm is not wanting at our civic festivals, and our
soldiers’ hearts are full of courage. We have one more bottle of Rhine
wine in the cellar. Let us have it, and we’ll drink to liberty and the
country. Strasbourg will soon have a patriotic _fête_, and De Lisle must
draw from these last drops one of his hymns that will carry his own
ardent feelings to the soul of the people.” The young ladies applauded
the proposal. They brought the wine, and continued to fill the glasses
of Diedrich and the young officer until the bottle was empty. The night
was cold. De Lisle’s head and heart were warm. He found his way to his
lodgings, entered his solitary chamber, and sought for inspiration at
one moment in the palpitations of his citizen’s heart, and at another by
touching, as an artist, the keys of his instrument, and striking out
alternately portions of an air and giving utterance to poetic thoughts.
He did not himself know which came first; it was impossible for him to
separate the poetry from the music, or the sentiment from the words in
which it was clothed. He sang altogether, and wrote nothing. In this
state of lofty inspiration, he went to sleep with his head upon the
instrument. The chants of the night came upon him in the morning like
the faint impressions of a dream. He wrote down the words, made the
notes of the music, and ran to Diedrich’s. He found him in the garden
digging winter lettuces. The wife of the patriot mayor was not yet up.
Diedrich awoke her. They called together some friends, who were, like
themselves, passionately fond of music, and able to execute the
compositions of De Lisle. One of the young ladies played, and Rouget
sang. At the first Stanza, the countenances of the company grew pale; at
the second, tears flowed abundantly; at the last, a delirium of
enthusiasm broke forth. Diedrich, his wife, and the young officer cast
themselves into each others’ arms. The hymn of the nation was found.
Alas! it was destined to become a hymn of terror. The unhappy Diedrich a
few months afterwards marched to the scaffold at the sound of the notes
first uttered at his hearth, from the heart of his friend and the voice
of his wife.

The new song, executed some days afterwards publicly at Strasbourg, flew
from town to town through all the orchestras. Marseilles adopted it to
be sung at the opening and adjournment of the clubs. Hence it took the
name of the _Marseillaise Hymn_. The old mother of De Lisle, a loyalist
and a religious person, alarmed at the reverberation of her son’s name,
wrote to him, “What is the meaning of this revolutionary hymn, sung by
hordes of robbers who pass all over France, with which our name is mixed
up?” De Lisle himself, proscribed as a Federalist, heard its re-echo
upon his ears as a threat of death as he fled among the paths of Jura.
“What is this song called?” he inquired of his guide. “The
_Marseillaise_,” replied the peasant. It was with difficulty that he

The “Marseillaise” was the liquid fire of the revolution. It distilled
into the senses and the soul of the people the frenzy of battle. Its
notes floated like an ensign, dipped in warm blood over a field of
combat. Glory and crime, victory and death, seemed interwoven in its
strains. It was the song of patriotism; but it was the signal of fury.
It accompanied warriors to the field and victims to the scaffold!

There is no national air that will compare with the Marseillaise in
sublimity and power: it embraces the soft cadences full of the peasant’s
home, and the stormy clangor of silver and steel when an empire is
overthrown; it endears the memory of the vine-dresser’s cottage, and
makes the Frenchman, in his exile, cry, “La belle France!” forgetful of
the sword, and torch, and guillotine, which have made his country a
spectre of blood in the eyes of nations. Nor can the foreigner listen to
it, sung by a company of exiles, or executed by a band of musicians,
without feeling that it is the pibroch of battle and war.

                             YANKEE DOODLE.

         The good the Rhine-song does to German hearts,
           Or thine, Marseilles! to France’s fiery blood;
         The good thy anthemed harmony imparts,
           “God save the Queen!” to England’s field and flood,
         A home-born blessing, Nature’s boon, not Art’s,
           The same heart-cheering, spirit-warming good,
         To us and ours, where’er we war or woo,
         Thy words and music, §Yankee Doodle§!—do.—§Halleck.§

The origin of _Yankee Doodle_ is by no means so clear as American
antiquaries desire. The statement that the air was composed by Dr.
Shackburg, in 1755, when the colonial troops united with the British
regulars near Albany, preparatory to the attack on the French posts of
Niagara and Frontenac, and that it was produced in derision of the
old-fashioned equipments of the provincial soldiers as contrasted with
the neat and orderly appointments of the regulars, was published some
years ago in a musical magazine printed in Boston. The account there
given as to the origin of the song is this:—During the attacks upon the
French outposts in 1755, in America, Governor Shirley and General
Jackson led the force directed against the enemy lying at Niagara and
Frontenac. In the early part of June, whilst these troops were stationed
on the banks of the Hudson, near Albany, the descendants of the “Pilgrim
fathers” flocked in from the Eastern provinces. Never was seen such a
motley regiment as took up its position on the left wing of the British
army. The band played music as antiquated and _outré_ as their
_uniforms_; officers and privates had adopted regimentals each man after
his own fashion; one wore a flowing wig, while his neighbor rejoiced in
hair cropped closely to the head; this one had a coat with wonderful
long skirts, his fellow marched without his upper garment; various as
the colors of the rainbow were the clothes worn by the gallant band. It
so happened that there was a certain Dr. Shackburg, wit, musician, and
surgeon, and one evening after mess he produced a tune, which he
earnestly commended, as a well-known piece of military music, to the
officers of the militia. The joke succeeded, and Yankee Doodle was
hailed by acclamation “their own march.”

This account is somewhat apocryphal, as there is no song: the tune in
the United States is a march; there are no words to it of a national
character. The only words ever affixed to the air in this country is the
following doggerel quatrain:—

                     Yankee Doodle came to town
                       Upon a little pony;
                     He stuck a feather in his hat
                       And called it macaroni.

It has been asserted by English writers that the air and words of these
lines are as old as Cromwell’s time. The only alteration is in making
_Yankee Doodle_ of what was _Nankee Doodle_. It is asserted that the
tune will be found in the _Musical Antiquities of England_, and that
_Nankee Doodle_ was intended to apply to Cromwell, and the other lines
were designed to “allude to his going into Oxford with a single plume,
fastened in a knot called a macaroni.” The tune was known in New England
before the Revolution as _Lydia Fisher’s Jig_, a name derived from a
famous lady of easy virtue in the reign of Charles II., and which has
been perpetuated in the following nursery-rhyme:—

                      Lucy Locket lost her pocket,
                        Kitty Fisher found it;
                      Not a bit of money in it,
                        Only binding round it.

The regulars in Boston in 1775 and 1776 are said to have sung verses to
the same air:—

                   Yankee Doodle came to town,
                     For to buy a firelock;
                   We will tar and feather him,
                     And so we will John Hancock, &c.

The manner in which the tune came to be adopted by the Americans, is
shown in the following letter of the Rev. W. Gordon. Describing the
battles of Lexington and Concord, before alluded to, he says:—

The brigade under Lord Percy marched out (of Boston) playing, by way of
contempt, _Yankee Doodle_: they were afterwards told that they had been
made to dance to it.

It is most likely that Yankee Doodle was originally derived from
Holland. A song with the following burden has long been in use among the
laborers who, in the time of harvest, migrate from Germany to the Low
Countries, where they receive for their work as much buttermilk as they
can drink, and a tenth of the grain secured by their exertions:—

                       Yanker didel, doodel down,
                         Didel, dudel lauter,
                       Yanke viver, voover vown,
                         Botermilk und Tanther.

That is, buttermilk and a tenth.

                           THE AMERICAN FLAG.

A resolution was introduced in the American Congress, June 13, 1777,
“That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes,
alternately red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a
blue field, representing a new constellation.” There is a striking
coincidence between the design of our flag and the arms of General
Washington, which consisted of three stars in the upper portion, and
three bars running across the escutcheon. It is thought by some that the
flag was derived from this heraldic design. History informs us that
several flags were used by the Yankees before the present national one
was adopted. In March, 1775, a Union flag with a red field was hoisted
in New York, bearing the inscription on one side of “George Rex and the
liberties of America,” and upon the reverse, “No Popery.” General Israel
Putnam raised on Prospect Hill, July 18, 1775, a flag bearing on one
side the motto of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, “_Qui transtulit
sustinet_,” on the other, “An appeal to Heaven,”—an appeal well taken
and amply sustained. In October, 1775, the floating batteries of Boston
bore a flag with the latter motto, and a pine-tree upon a white field,
with the Massachusetts emblem. Some of the colonies used in 1775 a flag
with a rattlesnake coiled as if about to strike, and the motto “Don’t
tread on me.” On January 18, 1776, the grand Union flag of the stars and
stripes was raised on the heights near Boston; and it is said that some
of the regulars made the great mistake of supposing it was a token of
submission to the king, whose speech had just been sent to the
Americans. The _British Register_ of 1776 says, “They [the rebels] burnt
the king’s speech, and changed their colors from a plain red ground to a
flag with thirteen stripes, as a symbol of the number and union of the
colonies.” A letter from Boston, published in the _Pennsylvania
Gazette_, in 1776, says, “The Union flag was raised on the 2d, a
compliment to the United Colonies.” These various flags, the Pine-Tree,
the Rattlesnake, and the Stripes, were used, according to the tastes of
the patriots, until July, 1777, when the blue union of the stars was
added to the stripes, and the flag established by law. At first a stripe
was added for each new State; but the flag became too large, and
Congress reduced the stripes to the original thirteen, and now the stars
are made to correspond in number with the States. No one, who lives
under the protection of the Stars and Stripes, will deny that “the
American flag is one of the most beautiful that floats upon any land or
sea.” Its proportions are perfect when it is properly made,—one-half as
broad as it is long. The first stripe at the top is red, the next white,
and these colors alternate, making the last stripe red. The blue field
for the stars is the width and square of the first seven stripes, viz.,
four red and three white. The colors of the American flag are in
beautiful relief, and it is altogether a splendid national emblem. Long
may it wave untarnished!

                           BROTHER JONATHAN.

The origin of this term, as applied to the United States, is as follows.
When General Washington, after being appointed commander of the army of
the Revolutionary War, went to Massachusetts to organize it, he found a
great want of ammunition and other means of defence; and on one occasion
it seemed that no means could be devised for the necessary safety.
Jonathan Trumbull, the elder, was then Governor of the State of
Connecticut; and the general, placing the greatest reliance on his
excellency’s judgment, remarked, “We must consult Brother Jonathan on
the subject.” The general did so, and the governor was successful in
supplying many of the wants of the army; and thenceforward, when
difficulties arose, and the army was spread over the country, it became
a by-phrase, “We must consult Brother Jonathan;” and the name has now
become a designation for the whole country, as John Bull has for

                               UNCLE SAM.

Immediately after the declaration of war with England, in 1812, Elbert
Anderson, of New York, then a contractor, visited Troy, where he
purchased a large quantity of provisions. The inspectors of the articles
at that place were Ebenezer and Samuel Wilson. The latter gentleman
(universally known as “Uncle Sam”) generally superintended in person a
large number of workmen, who, on this occasion, were employed in
overhauling the provisions purchased by the contractor. The casks were
marked “E. A.—U. S.” Their inspection fell to the lot of a facetious
fellow, who, on being asked the meaning of the mark, said he did not
know, unless it meant _Elbert Anderson_ and _Uncle Sam_, alluding to
_Uncle Sam Wilson_. The joke took among the workmen, and passed
currently; and “Uncle Sam,” when present, was often rallied by them on
the increasing extent of his possessions.

                          THE DOLLAR MARK, $.

Writers are not agreed as to the derivation of this sign to represent
dollars. Some say that it comes from the letters U. S., which, after the
adoption of the Federal Constitution, were prefixed to the Federal
currency, and which afterwards, in the hurry of writing, were run into
one another, the U being made first and the S over it. Others say that
it is derived from the contraction of the Spanish word _pesos_, dollars;
others, from the Spanish _fuertes_, hard,—to distinguish silver from
paper money. The more plausible explanation is, that it is a
modification of the figure 8, and denotes a piece of eight reals, or, as
the dollar was formerly called, a _piece of eight_. It was then
designated by the figures 8/8.


The Saxons first introduced archery in the time of Vortigern. It was
dropped immediately after the conquest, but was revived by the
Crusaders, they having felt the effects of it in their combats with the
Saracens, who probably derived it from the Parthians. The Normans
brought with them the cross-bow, but after the time of Edward II. its
use was supplanted by that of the long-bow, which became the favorite
national weapon. Bows and arrows, as weapons of war, were in use with
stone cannonballs as late as 1640. All the statutes for the
encouragement of archery were framed after the invention of gunpowder
and firearms, the object being to prevent this ancient weapon becoming
obsolete. Yew-trees were encouraged in churchyards, for the making of
bows, in 1642. Hence their generality in churchyards in England.

Coats of arms, or armorial bearings, came into vogue in the reign of
Richard I. of England, and became hereditary in families about the year
1192. They took their rise from the knights painting their banners with
different figures to distinguish them in the Crusades.

The first standing army of modern times was established by Charles VII.
of France, in 1445. Previous to that time the king had depended upon his
nobles for contingents in time of war. A standing army was first
established in England in 1638, by Charles I., but it was declared
illegal, as well as the organization of the royal guards, in 1769. The
first permanent military band instituted in England was the yeomen of
the guards, established in 1486.

Guns were invented by Swartz, a German, about 1378, and brought into use
by the Venetians, in 1382. Cannon were invented at an anterior date: at
Amberg may still be seen a piece of ordnance inscribed 1303. They were
first used at the battle of Cressy in 1346. In England, they were first
used at the siege of Berwick, in 1405. It was not until 1544, however,
that they were cast in England. They were employed on shipboard by the
Venetians in 1539, and were in use among the Turks about the same time.
An artillery company was instituted in England for weekly military
exercises in 1610.

Dating from the Christian Era was commenced in Italy in 525, and in
England in 816.

Pliny gives the origin of glass-making thus. As some merchants were
carrying nitre, they stopped near a river issuing from Mount Carmel. Not
readily finding stones to rest their kettles on, they used some pieces
of nitre for that purpose: the fire gradually dissolving the nitre, it
mixed with the sand, and a transparent matter flowed, which, in fact,
was glass.

Insurance of ships was first practised in the reign of Cæsar, in 45. It
was a general custom in Europe in 1494. Insurance-offices were first
established in London in 1667.

Astronomy was first studied by the Moors, and was introduced by them
into Europe in 1201. The rapid progress of modern astronomy dates from
the time of Copernicus. Books of astronomy and geometry were destroyed,
as infected with magic, in England, under the reign of Edward VI., in

Banks were first established by the Lombard Jews, in Italy. The name is
derived from _banco_, a term applied to the benches erected in the
market-places for the exchanges of money, &c. The first public bank was
at Venice, in 1550. The Bank of England was established in 1693. In 1696
its notes were at twenty per cent. discount.

The invention of bells is attributed to Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, in
Campania, about the year 400. They were originally introduced into
churches as a defence against thunder and lightning. They were first
hung up in England, at Croyland Abbey, Lincolnshire, in 945. In the
eleventh century and later, it was the custom to baptize them in
churches before they were used. The curfew-bell was established in 1068.
It was rung at eight o’clock in the evening, when people were obliged to
put out their fire and candle. The custom was abolished in 1100. Chimes,
or musical bells, were invented at Alost, in Belgium, 1487. Bellmen were
appointed in London, in 1556, to ring the bells at night, and cry, “Take
care of your fire and candle, be charitable to the poor, and pray for
the dead.”

How many are aware of the origin of the word “boo!” used to frighten
children? It is a corruption of Boh, the name of a fierce Gothic
general, the son of Odin, the mention of whose name spread a panic among
his enemies.

Book-keeping was first introduced into England from Italy by Peele, in
1569. It was derived from a system of algebra published by Burgo, at

Notaries public were first appointed by the Fathers of the Christian
Church to make a collection of the acts or memoirs of martyrs in the
first century.

The administration of the oath in civil cases is of high antiquity. See
Exodus xxii. 11. Swearing on the Gospels was first used in 528. The oath
was first administered in judicial proceedings in England by the Saxons,
in 600. The words “So help me God, and all saints,” concluded an oath,
till 1550.

Signals to be used at sea were first contrived by James II., when he was
Duke of York, in 1665. They were afterwards improved by the French
commander Tourville, and by Admiral Balchen.

Raw silk is said to have first been made by a people of China called
Ceres, 150 §B. C.§ It was first brought from India, in 274, and a pound
of it at that time was worth a pound of gold. The manufacture of raw
silk was introduced into Europe from India by some monks in 550. Silk
dresses were first worn in 1455. The eggs of the silk-worm were first
brought into Europe in 527.

Paulus Jovius was the first person who introduced mottoes; Dorat, the
first who brought anagrams into fashion. Rabelais was the first who
wrote satires in French prose; Etienne Jodelle, the first who introduced
tragedies into France. The Cardinal of Ferrara, Archbishop of Lyons, was
the first who had a tragicomedy performed on the stage of Italian
comedians. The first sonnet that appeared in French is attributed to

Guido Aretino, a Benedictine monk of Arezzo, Tuscany, in 1204 designated
the notes used in the musical scale by syllables derived from the
following verses of a Latin hymn dedicated to St. John:—

                 UT queant      laxis  REsonare fibris,
                 MIra gestorum  FAmuli tuorum,
                 SOLve pollutis LAbii reatum.
                            _O Pater Alme._

By this means he converted the old tetrachord into hexachords. He also
invented lines and spaces in musical notation.

The invention of clocks is by some ascribed to Pacificus, Archdeacon of
Verona, in the ninth century; and by others, to Boethius, in the early
part of the sixth. The Saracens are supposed to have had clocks which
were moved by weights, as early as the eleventh century; and, as the
term is applied by Dante to a machine which struck the hours, clocks
must have been known in Italy about the end of the thirteenth or
beginning of the fourteenth century. The most ancient clock of which we
have any certain account was erected in a tower of the palace of Charles
V., King of France, in 1364, by Henry de Wyck or de Vick, a German
artist. A clock was erected at Strasbourg in 1370, at Courtray about the
same period, and at Speyer in 1395.

Watches are said to have been made at Nuremberg as early as 1477; but it
is uncertain how far the watches then constructed resembled those now in
use. Some of the early ones were very small, in the shape of a pear, and
sometimes fitted into the top of a walking-stick. As time-keepers,
watches could have had very little value before the application of the
spiral spring as a regulator to the balance. This was invented by Hooke,
in 1658.

The use of the pendulum was suggested by a circumstance similar to that
which started in Newton’s mind the train of thought that led to the
theory of gravitation. Galileo, when under twenty years of age, standing
one day in the metropolitan church of Pisa, observed a lamp, which was
suspended from the ceiling, and which had been disturbed by accident,
swing backwards and forwards. This was a thing so common that thousands,
no doubt, had observed it before; but Galileo, struck with the
regularity with which it moved backwards and forwards, reflected upon
it, and perfected the method now in use of measuring time by means of a

A monk named Rivalto mentions, in a sermon preached in Florence in 1305,
that spectacles had then been known about twenty years. This would place
the invention about the year 1285.

Quills are supposed to have been used for writing-pens in the fifth
century, though the conjecture rests mainly on an anecdote of Theodoric,
King of the Ostrogoths, who, being so illiterate that he could not write
even the initials of his own name, was provided with a plate of gold
through which the letters were cut, and, this being placed on the paper
when his signature was required, he traced the letters with a quill. The
date of the earliest certain account of the modern writing-pen is 636.
The next notice occurs in the latter part of the same century, in a
Latin sonnet to a pen by Aldhelm, a Saxon author. The reeds formerly
employed are still used in some Eastern nations. Steel pens were first
made by Wise, in England, in 1803.

The first known treatise on stenography is the curious and scarce little
work entitled “Arte of Shorte, Swifte, and Secrete Writing by Character,
invented by Timothe Bright, Doctor of Phisike.”

The art of printing, according to Du Halde and the missionaries, was
practised in China nearly fifty years before the Christian Era. In the
time of Confucius, §B.C.§ 500, books were formed of slips of bamboo; and
about 150 years after Christ, paper was first made; §A.D.§ 745, books
were bound into leaves; §A.D.§ 900, printing was in general use. The
process of printing is simple. The materials consist of a graver, blocks
of wood, and a brush, which the printers carry with them from place to
place. Without wheel, or wedge, or screw, a printer will throw off more
than two thousand five hundred impressions in one day. The paper (thin)
can be bought for one-fourth the price in China that it can in any other
country. The works of Confucius, six volumes, four hundred leaves,
octavo, can be bought for twelve cents.

Stamps for marking wares, packages, &c. were in use among the Roman
tradesmen; and it is highly probable that had the modern art of making
paper been known to the ancients, they would have diffused among
themselves, and transmitted to posterity, printed books.

From the early commercial intercourse of the Venetians with China, there
is reason to believe that the knowledge of the art and of its
application to the multiplying of books was derived from thence; for
Venice is the first place in Europe, of which we have any account, in
which it was practised, a Government decree respecting it having been
issued October 11, 1441. Previous to the year 1450, all printing had
been executed by means of engraved blocks of wood; but about this
period, the great and accumulating expense of engraving blocks for each
separate work led to the substitution of movable metal types. The credit
of this great improvement is given to Peter Schœffer, the assistant and
son-in-law of John Faust, of Mentz, (commonly called Dr. Faustus.) The
first book printed with the cast metal types was the “Mentz Bible,”
which was executed by Faust and Guttemberg, between the years 1450 and

The Dutch claim to have originated stereotyping. They have, as they say,
a prayer-book stereotyped in 1701. The first attempt at stereotyping in
America was made in 1775, by Benjamin Mecom, a printer of Philadelphia.
He cast plates for a number of pages of the New Testament, but never
completed them.

The first printing-press in America was established at Cambridge, Mass.,
in 1639.


Themistocles, marching against the Persians, beheld two gamecocks in the
heat of battle, and thereupon pointed out to his Athenian soldiery their
indomitable courage. The Athenians were victorious; and Themistocles
gave order that an annual cock-fight should be held in commemoration of
the encounter they had witnessed. No record of this sport occurs in
England before the year 1191.


The opprobious epithet, _turncoat_, took its rise from one of the first
dukes of Savoy, whose dominions lying open to the incursions of the two
contending houses of Spain and France, he was obliged to temporize and
fall in with that power that was most likely to distress him, according
to the success of their arms against one another. So being frequently
obliged to change sides, he humorously got a coat made that was _blue_
on one side, and _white_ on the other, and might be indifferently worn
either side out. While in the _Spanish_ interest, he wore the _blue_
side out, and the _white_ side was the badge for the _French_. Hence he
was called Emmanuel, surnamed the _Turncoat_, by way of distinguishing
him from other princes of the same name of that house.


Caoutchouc was long known before its most valuable qualities were
appreciated. One of the earliest notices of its practical use occurs in
Dr. Priestly’s _Theory and Practice of Perspective_, printed in 1770. “I
have seen” says he, “a substance excellently adapted to the purpose of
wiping from paper the marks of a black lead-pencil. It must, therefore,
be of singular use to those who practice drawing. It is sold by Mr.
Nairne, mathematical instrument-maker, opposite the Royal Exchange. He
sells a cubical piece, of about half an inch, for three shillings; and,
he says, it will last several years.”

                           FRICTION MATCHES.

In 1836 the subject of friction matches attracted the attention of Mr.
L. C. Allin, of Springfield, Massachusetts. At that time a clumsy
phosphoric match, imported from France, had come into limited use in the
United States. It was made by dipping the match-stick first into
sulphur, and then into a paste composed of chloride of potash, red lead,
and loaf sugar. Each box of matches was accompanied by a bottle of
sulphuric acid, into which every match had to be dipped in order to
light it. To abolish this inconvenience, and make a match which would
light from the friction caused by any rough surface, was the task to
which young Allin applied himself. He succeeded, but took out no patent.
On being urged to do so, he found that a patent had already been
obtained by one Phillips of Chicopee, a peddler, who had probably picked
up through a third party the result of Mr. Allin’s study. Mr. Allin’s
legal adviser thought that he (Allin) would do better to have the right
to manufacture under Phillips’ patent (which Phillips gave him without
charge, in consideration of the waiving of his claim,) than to bear the
expense of the litigation which was feared to be necessary to establish
his claim. So the inventor of friction matches became simply a
manufacturer under another man’s patent.

                          THE FLAG OF ENGLAND.

On the 12th of April, 1606, the Union Jack—that famous ensign—first made
its appearance. From Rymer’s _Fœdera_, and the Scottish Annals of Sir
James Balfour, we learn that some differences having arisen between
ships of the two countries at sea, the king ordained that a new flag be
adopted with the crosses of St. Andrew and St. George interlaced, by
placing the latter fimbriated on the blue flag of Scotland as the ground
thereof. This flag all ships were to carry at their main top; but
English ships were to display St. George’s red cross at their stern, and
the Scottish the white saltire of St. Andrew.


It was the fashion in London, in 1781, for ladies to have evening
assemblies, where they might participate in conversation with literary
men. These societies acquired the name of _Blue-Stocking_ Clubs,—an
appellation which has been applied to pedantic females ever since. It
arose from the custom of Mr. Stillingfleet, one of the most eminent
members, wearing blue stockings. Such was the excellence of his
conversation, and his absence was so great a loss, that it used to be
said, “We can do nothing without the Blue Stockings;” and thus the title
was gradually established. In Hannah More’s poem, _Bas bleu_, many of
the most conspicuous members are mentioned.


This word may be easily traced to a Greek origin. The verb σκεδαννυμι,
of which the root is σκεδα, is used freely by Thucydides, Herodotus, and
other Greek writers, in describing the dispersion of a routed army. From
the root σκεδα the word skedaddle is formed by simply adding the
euphonious termination _dle_ and doubling the _d_, as required by the
analogy of our language in such words. In many words of undoubted Greek
extraction much greater changes are made.

The Swedes have a similar word, _skuddadahl_, and the Danes another,
_skyededehl_, both of which have the same signification.

An old version of the Irish New Testament contains the passage, “For it
is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall
be _sgedad ol_.” This compound Irish word _sgedad ol_ (all scattered or
utterly routed) was probably used by some Irishman at Bull Run, and,
being regarded as felicitous, was at once adopted.

                            FOOLSCAP PAPER.

The term of “foolscap,” to designate a certain size of paper, no doubt
has puzzled many an anxious inquirer. It appears that Charles I., of
England, granted numerous monopolies for the support of the Government,
among others the manufacture of paper. The water-mark of the finest sort
was the royal arms of England. The consumption of this article was
great, and large fortunes were made by those who purchased the exclusive
right to vend it. This, among other monopolies, was set aside by the
Parliament that brought Charles I. to the scaffold; and, by way of
showing contempt for the King, they ordered the royal arms to be taken
from the paper, and a fool with his cap and bells to be substituted. It
is now over two hundred years since the fool’s cap was taken from the
paper, but still the paper of the size which the Rump Parliament ordered
for their journals bears the name of the water-mark placed there as an
indignity to King Charles.

                      THE FIRST FORGED BANK-NOTE.

Sixty-four years after the establishment of the Bank of England, the
first forged note was presented for payment, and to Richard William
Vaughn, a Stafford linen-draper, belongs the melancholy celebrity of
having led the van in this new phase of crime, in the year 1758. The
records of his life do not show want, beggary or starvation urging him,
but a simple desire to seem greater than he was. By one of the artists
employed (and there were several engaged on different parts of the
notes) the discovery was made. The criminal had filled up to the number
of twenty and deposited them in the hands of a young lady to whom he was
attached, as a proof of his wealth. There is no calculating how much
longer bank-notes might have been free from imitation had this man not
shown with what ease they could be counterfeited. From this period
forged notes became common. His execution did not deter others from the
offence, and many a neck was forfeited to the halter before the late
abolition of capital punishment for that crime.

                         THE FIRST PIANO-FORTE.

A play-bill of the Covent Garden Theatre, dated May 16, 1767, after
setting forth the performance of _The Beggar’s Opera_, contains the
following notification:—“End of Act First, Miss Brickler will sing a
favorite song from _Judith_, accompanied by Mr. Dibdin on a new
instrument called Piano-Forte.” The first manufacturer is believed to be
a German named Backers, as there is still in existence the name-board of
a piano inscribed “Americus Backers, _Factor et Inventor_, Jermyn
Street, London, 1776.”

                           THE FIRST DOCTORS.

The title of §Doctor§ was invented in the twelfth century, at the first
establishment of the universities. The first person upon whom it was
conferred was §Irnerius§, a learned Professor of _Law_, at the
University of Bologna. He induced the Emperor Lothaire II., whose
Chancellor he was, to create the title; and he himself was the first
recipient of it. He was made Doctor of Laws by that university.
Subsequently the title was borrowed by the faculty of Theology, and
first conferred by the University of Paris on §Peter Lombard§, the
celebrated scholastic theologian. §William Gordenio§ was the first
person upon whom the title of Doctor of Medicine was bestowed. He
received it from the college at Asti, in 1329.


The first proclamation of Thanksgiving Day that is to be found in a
printed form is the one issued by his Excellency §Francis Bernard§,
Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief in and over His Majesty’s province
of the Massachusetts Bay, in New England, and Vice-Admiral of the same,
in 1767. It is as follows:—

              §A Proclamation for a Public Thanksgiving.§

As the Business of the Year is now drawing towards a Conclusion, we are
reminded, according to the laudable Usage of this Province, to join
together in a grateful Acknowledgement of the manifold Mercies of the
Divine Providence conferred upon Us in the passing Year: Wherefore, I
have thought fit to appoint, and I do with the advice of His Majesty’s
Council appoint, Thursday, the Third Day of _December_ next, to be a day
of public Thanksgiving, that we may thereupon with one Heart and Voice
return our most humble Thanks to Almighty God for the gracious
Dispensations of His Providence since the last religious Anniversary of
this kind: and especially for—that he has been pleased to preserve and
maintain our most gracious Sovereign King §George§ in Health and Wealth,
in Peace and Honour; and to extend the Blessings of his Government to
the remotest Part of his Dominions;—that He hath been pleased to bless
and preserve our gracious §Queen Charlotte§, their Royal Highnesses the
Prince of §Wales§, the Princess Dowager of §Wales§, and all the Royal
family, and by the frequent Encrease of the Royal Issue to assure to us
the Continuation of the Blessings which we derive from that illustrious
House;—that He hath been pleased to prosper the whole British Empire by
the Preservation of Peace, the Encrease of Trade, and the opening of new
Sources of National Wealth;—and now particularly that he hath been
pleased to favor the people of this province with healthy and kindly
Seasons, and to bless the Labour of their Hands with a Sufficiency of
the Produce of the Earth and of the Sea.

And I do exhort all Ministers of the Gospel, with their several
Congregations, within this Province, that they assemble on the said Day
in a Solemn manner to return their most humble thanks to Almighty §God§
for these and all other His Mercies vouchsafed unto us, and to beseech
Him, notwithstanding our Unworthiness, to continue his gracious
Providence over us. And I command and enjoin all Magistrates and Civil
Officers to see that the said Day be observed as a Day set apart for
religious worship, and that no servile Labour be permitted thereon.

§Given§ at the Council Chamber in Boston, the Fourth Day of November,
1767, in the Eighth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord §George§ the
Third, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King,
Defender of the Faith, &c.

                                                          §Fra Bernard.§

By his Excellency’s Command.

                                                   §A. Oliver§, _Sec’ry_

                          §God save the King.§

                     THE FIRST PRAYER IN CONGRESS.

In Thatcher’s _Military Journal_, under date of December, 1777, is a
note containing the first prayer in Congress, made by the Rev. Jacob
Duché, rector of Christ Church, a gentleman of learning and eloquence,
who subsequently proved traitorous to the cause of Independence:—

O Lord our heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings and Lord of
lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth, and
reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the kingdoms,
empires, and governments; look down in mercy, we beseech thee, on these
American states, who have fled to thee from the rod of the oppressor,
and thrown themselves on thy gracious protection, desiring to be
henceforth dependent only on thee; to thee they have appealed for the
righteousness of their cause; to thee do they now look up for that
countenance and support which thou alone canst give; take them,
therefore, heavenly Father, under thy nurturing care; give them wisdom
in council, and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our
cruel adversaries; convince _them_ of the unrighteousness of their
cause; and if they still persist in their sanguinary purposes, O let the
voice of thine own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain
them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of
battle. Be thou present, O God of Wisdom, and direct the counsels of
this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and
surest foundation, that the scene of blood may be speedily closed, that
order, harmony, and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and
justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst thy people.
Preserve the health of their bodies and the vigor of their minds; shower
down on _them_ and the _millions_ they here represent, such temporal
blessings as thou seest expedient for them in this world, and crown them
with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name
and through the merits of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Saviour. Amen!

                          THE FIRST REPORTERS.

In Sylvester O’Halloran’s _History and Antiquities of Ireland_,
published in Dublin in 1772, is the curious entry subjoined. Bille, a
Milesian king of a portion of Spain, had a son named Gollamh, who
“solicited his father’s permission to assist their Phœnician ancestors,
then greatly distressed by continual wars,” and having gained his
consent, the passage describing the result proceeds thus:—

With a well-appointed fleet of thirty ships and a select number of
intrepid warriors, he weighed anchor from the harbor of Corunna for
Syria. It appears that war was not the sole business of this equipment;
for in this fleet were embarked twelve youths of uncommon learning and
abilities, who were directed to make remarks on whatever they found new,
either in astronomy, navigation, arts, sciences, or manufactures. They
were to communicate their remarks and discoveries to each other, and
keep an exact account of whatever was worthy of notice. This took place
in the year of the world, 2650.

These twelve youths were _reporters_, and if this story be true, the
profession constituting “the fourth estate” may boast of an ancient

                           THE FIRST EPIGRAM.

Among “first things,” the following is worth preserving, as it is
believed to be the first epigram extant in the English language. It was
written by Sir Thomas Wyat, who in some of his sonnets did not hesitate
to intimate his secret passion for Anne Boleyn.

          _Of a new married student that plaid fast or lose._

                  A studient at his bok so plast,
                  That wealth he might have wonne,
                  From bok to wife did flete in hast,
                  From welth to wo to runne.
                  Now who hath plaid a feater cast,
                  Since jugling first begonne?
                  In _knitting_ of himself so _fast_,
                  Himself he hath undone.


The word news is commonly supposed to be derived from the adjective
_new_. It is asserted, however, that its origin is traceable to a custom
in former times of placing on the newspapers of the day the initial
letters of the cardinal points of the compass, thus:—


These letters were intended to indicate that the paper contained
intelligence from the four quarters of the globe, but they finally came
to assume the form of the word _news_, from which the term newspaper is

                        THE EARLIEST NEWSPAPERS.

The Englishe Mercurie, now in MS. in the British Museum, has been proved
to be a forgery. The oldest regular newspaper published in England was
established by Nathaniel Butter, in 1662.

The oldest paper in France was commenced by Theophrastus Renaudet, in
1632, during the reign of Louis XIII. It was called the _Gazette de

The first Dutch newspaper, which is still continued under the name of
the _Haarlem Courant_, is dated January 8, 1656. It was then called _De
Weeckelycke Courante van Europa_, and contained two small folio pages of

The first Russian newspaper was published in 1703. Peter the Great not
only took part personally in its editorial composition, but in
correcting proofs, as appears from sheets still in existence in which
are marks and alterations in his own hand. There are two complete copies
of the first year’s edition of this paper in the Imperial Library at St.

The first newspaper established in North America was the Boston
News-Letter, commenced April 24, 1704. It was half a sheet of paper,
twelve inches by eight, two columns on a page. B. Green was the printer.
It survived till 1776,—seventy-two years. It advocated the policy of the
British Government at the commencement of the Revolution.

From a copy of this paper printed in 1769 is obtained the following

“The bell-cart will go through Boston, before the end of next month, to
collect rags for the paper-mill at Milton, when all people that will
encourage the paper-manufactory may dispose of their rags:

            Rags are as beauties, which concealéd lie,
            But when in paper, how it charms the eye!
            Pray save your rags, new beauties it discover;
            For paper truly, every one’s a lover:
            By the pen and press such knowledge is displayed
            As wouldn’t exist if paper was not made.
            Wisdom of things mysterious, divine,
            Illustriously doth on paper shine.”

                      THE FIRST PRINTING BY STEAM.

The first printing by steam was executed in the year 1817, by Bensley &
Son, London. The first book thus printed was Dr. Elliotson’s second
edition of Blumenbach’s Physiology.


Professor Morse, having returned to his native land from Europe,
proceeded immediately to Washington, where he renewed his endeavors to
procure the passage of the bill granting the appropriation of thirty
thousand dollars. Towards the close of the session of 1844, the House of
Representatives took it up and passed it by a large majority, and it
only remained for the action of the Senate. Its progress through this
house, as might be supposed, was watched with the most intense anxiety
by Professor Morse. There were only two days before the close of the
session, and it was found, on examination of the calendar, that no less
than one hundred and forty-three bills had precedence to it. Professor
Morse had nearly reached the bottom of his purse; his hard-earned
savings were almost spent; and, although he had struggled on with
undying hope for many years, it is hardly to be wondered at that he felt
disheartened now. On the last night of the session he remained till nine
o’clock, and then left without the slightest hope that the bill would be
passed. He returned to his hotel, counted his money, and found that
after paying his expenses to New York he would have seventy-five cents
left. That night he went to bed sad, but not without hope for the
future; for, through all his difficulties and trials, that never forsook
him. The next morning, as he was going to breakfast, one of the waiters
informed him that a young lady was in the parlor waiting to see him. He
went in immediately, and found that the young lady was Miss Ellsworth,
daughter of the Commissioner of Patents, who had been his most steadfast
friend while in Washington.

“I come,” said she, “to congratulate you.”

“For what?” said Professor Morse.

“On the passage of your bill,” she replied.

“Oh, no: you must be mistaken,” said he. “I remained in the Senate till
a late hour last night, and there was no prospect of its being reached.”

“Am I the first, then,” she exclaimed, joyfully, “to tell you?”

“Yes, if it is really so.”

“Well,” she continued, “father remained till the adjournment, and heard
it passed; and I asked him if I might not run over and tell you.”

“Annie,” said the Professor, his emotion almost choking his utterance,
“the first message that is sent from Washington to Baltimore shall be
sent from you.”

“Well,” she replied, “I will keep you to your word.”

While the line was in process of completion, Prof. Morse was in New
York, and upon receiving intelligence that it was in working order, he
wrote to those in charge, telling them not to transmit any messages over
it till his arrival. He then set out immediately for Washington, and on
reaching that city sent a note to Miss Ellsworth, informing her that he
was now ready to fulfill his promise, and asking her what message he
should send.

To this he received the following reply:—

                        §What hath God wrought!§

Words that ought to be written in characters of living light. The
message was twice repeated, and each time with the greatest success. As
soon as the result of the experiment was made known, Governor Seymour,
of Connecticut, afterwards United States minister at St. Petersburg,
called upon Professor Morse and claimed the first message for his State,
on the ground that Miss Ellsworth was a native of Hartford. We need
scarcely add that his claim was admitted; and now, engraved in letters
of gold, it is displayed conspicuously in the archives of the Historical
Society of Connecticut.

                       Nothing New Under the Sun.


                O utinam hæc ratio scribendi prodeat usu,
            Cautior et citior properaret epistola, nullas
            Latronum verita insidias fluviosve morantes:
            Ipse suis Princeps manibus sibi conficeret rem!
            _Nos soboles scribarum, emersi ex æquore nigro,
            Consecraremus calamum Magnetis ad aras!_

The _Prolusiones Academicæ of Famianus Strada_, first printed in 1617,
consist of a series of essays upon Oratory, Philosophy, and Poetry, with
some admirable imitations of sundry Roman authors, in the style of
_Father Prout’s Reliques_. In the imitation of Lucretius, ii. 6, is a
description of the loadstone and its power of communicating
intelligence, remarkable as foreshadowing the modern method of
telegraphic communication. The following is a literal translation of the
curious passage:—

The Loadstone is a wonderful sort of mineral. Any articles made of iron,
like needles, if touched by it, derive by contact not only peculiar
power, but a certain property of motion by which they turn ever towards
the Constellation of the Bear, near the North Pole. By some peculiar
correspondency of impulse, any number of needles, which may have touched
the loadstone, preserve at all times a precisely corresponding position
and motion. Thus it happens that if one needle be moved at Rome, any
other, however far apart, is bound by some secret natural condition to
follow the same motion.

If you desire, therefore, to communicate intelligence to a distant
friend, who cannot be reached by letter, take a plain, round, flat disc,
and upon its outer rim mark down the letters of the alphabet, A, B, C,
&c., and, traversing upon the middle of your disc, have a needle (which
has touched loadstone) so arranged that it may be made to touch upon any
particular letter _ad libitum_. Make a similar disc, the exact duplicate
of this first one, with corresponding letters on its margin, and with a
revolving magnetized needle. Let the friend you propose corresponding
with take, at his departure, one disc along with him, and let him agree
with you beforehand on what particular days and at what particular hours
he will take observation of the needle, to see if it be vibrating and to
learn what it marks on the index. With this arrangement understood
between you both, if you wish to hold a private conversation with this
friend, whom the shores of some distant land have separated from you,
turn your finger to the disc and touch the easy-moving needle. Before
you lie, marked upon the outer edge, all the various letters: direct the
needle to such letters as are necessary to form the words you want,
touching a little letter here and there with the needle’s point, as it
goes traversing round and round the board, until you throw together, one
by one, your various ideas. Lo! the wonderful fidelity of
correspondence! Your distant friend notes the revolving needle vibrate
without apparent impulse and fly hither and thither round the rim. He
notes its movements, and reading, as he follows its motion, the various
letters which make up the words, he perceives all that is necessary, and
learns your meaning from the interpreting needle. When he sees the
needle pause, he, in turn, in like manner touches the various letters,
and sends back his answer to his friend. Oh that this style of writing
were brought into use, that a friendly message might travel quicker and
safer, defying snares of robbers or delaying rivers! Would that the
prince himself would finish the great work with his own hands! Then we
race of scribblers, emerging from our sea of ink, would lay the quill an
offering on the altars of the loadstone.

This idea of Strada is based upon the erroneous impression entertained
generally at the time when he wrote, that magnetic power, when imparted
by the loadstone to metallic articles like needles, communicated to them
a kind of homogeneous impulse, which of necessity caused between them a
sympathetic correspondence of motion.

The curious reader will be further interested to learn from the
following passage, extracted from the “Tour” of §Arthur Young§, the
distinguished agriculturist, who travelled through Ireland in 1775–78,
that the theory of electrical correspondence by means of a wire was
_practically_ illustrated before Mr. Morse was born:—

In electricity, Mons. Losmond has made a remarkable discovery. You write
two or three words on a paper; he takes it with him into a room, and
turns a machine enclosed in a cylindrical case, at the top of which is
an electrometer, in the shape of a small fine pith ball. A wire connects
with a similar cylinder and electrometer in a distant apartment, and his
wife, by remarking the corresponding motions of the ball, writes down
the words they indicate, _from which it appears that he has formed an
alphabet of motions. As the length of wire makes no difference in the
effect, a correspondence might be carried on at any distance_, within
and without a besieged town, for instance, or for a purpose much more
worthy and a thousand times more harmless, between two lovers,
prohibited or prevented from any better epistolary intercourse.

A second edition of Mr. Young’s Tour was published in quarto in 1794,
and the above extract may be found on page 79, volume i.


The following extracts from an address by Edward Everett, at an
agricultural fair, embody facts the more interesting from their limited

I never contemplate the history of navigation of the ocean by steam, but
it seems to illustrate to me in the most striking manner the slow steps
by which a great movement advances for generations, for ages, from the
first germ,—then, when the hour is come, the rapidity with which it
rushes to a final consummation. Providence offered this great problem of
navigating the ocean by steam to every civilized nation almost on the
globe. As long ago as the year 1543, there was a captain in Spain, who
constructed a vessel of two hundred tons, and propelled it, at
Barcelona, in the presence of the Emperor Charles V. and his court, by
an engine, the construction of which he kept a secret. But old documents
tell us it was a monster caldron boiler of water, and that there were
two movable wheels on the outside of the vessel. The Emperor was
satisfied with its operation, but the treasurer of the kingdom
interposed objections to its introduction. The engine itself seems to
have sprung to a point of perfection hardly surpassed at the present
day, but no encouragement was given to the enterprise. Spain was not
ripe for it; the age was not ripe for it; and the poor inventor, whose
name was Blasco de Guerere, wearied and disgusted at the want of
patronage, took the engine out of the vessel and allowed the ship to rot
in the arsenal, and the secret of his machine was buried in his grave.

This was in 1543. A century passed away, and Providence offered the same
problem to be solved by France. In reference to this, we have an
extraordinary account, and from a source equally extraordinary,—from the
writings of a celebrated female, in the middle of that century, equally
renowned for her beauty, for her immoralities, and for her
longevity,—for she lived to be one hundred and thirty-four years of
age,—the famous Marian de l’Orme. There is a letter from this lady,
written to one of her admirers in 1641, containing an account of a visit
she made to a mad-house in Paris in company with the Marquis of
Worcester. She goes on to relate, that in company with the marquis,
while crossing the courtyard of that dismal establishment, almost
petrified with terror, and clinging to her companion, she saw a
frightful face through the bars of the building, and heard this
voice:—“I am not mad—I am not mad: I have made a discovery which will
enrich the kingdom that shall adopt it.” She asked the guide what it
meant: he shrugged his shoulders and said, laughingly, “Not much;
something about the powers of steam.” Upon this, the lady laughed also,
to think that a man should go mad on such a frivolous subject. The guide
went on to say that the man’s name was Solomon de Coste; that he came
from Normandy four years before, and exhibited to the king an invention
by which, by the power of steam, you could move a carriage, navigate the
ocean: “in short, if you believed him,” said the guide, “there was
nothing you could not do by the power of steam.” Cardinal Richelieu, who
at that time was France itself, and who wielded the whole power of
government,—and, in truth, an enlightened man, as worldly wisdom
goes,—was appealed to by Solomon de Coste. De Coste was a persevering
man, and he followed Cardinal Richelieu from place to place, exhibiting
his invention, until the cardinal, getting tired of his importunities,
sent him to the mad-house. The guide stated further that he had written
a book entitled _Motive Power_, and handed the visitors a copy of it.
The Marquis of Worcester, who was an inventor, was much interested in
the book, and incorporated a considerable portion of it in his
well-known work called _The Century of Invention_.

It will be seen from this anecdote how France proved in 1641, as Spain
had proved in 1543, that she was unable to take up and wield this mortal
thunderbolt. And so the problem of navigating the ocean by steam was
reserved for the Anglo-Saxon race. Soon after this period, the best
mechanical skill of England was directed towards this invention.
Experiments were often made, with no success, and sometimes with only
partial success, until the middle of the last century, when the seeds
implanted in the minds of ingenious men for two hundred years
germinated, and the steam-engine—that scarcely inanimate Titan, that
living, burning mechanism—was brought nearly to a state of perfection by
James Watt, who took out a patent in 1769,—the great year in which
Wellington and Napoleon were born; and ages after the names of
Austerlitz and Waterloo shall perish from the memory of man, the myriad
hosts of intelligent labor, marshalled by the fiery champions that James
Watt has placed in the field, shall gain their bloodless triumph, not
for the destruction but for the service of mankind. All hail, then, to
the mute, indefatigable giant, in the depths of the darksome mines,
along the pathway of travel and trade, and on the mountain wave, that is
destined to drag, urge, heave, haul, for the service of man! No fatigue
shall palsy its herculean arm, no trampled hosts shall writhe beneath
its iron feet, no widow’s heart shall bleed at its beneficent victories.
England invented the steam-engine; but it seems as if by the will of
Providence she could not go farther. Queen of the seas, as she deemed
herself, she could not apply the invention she had brought almost to
perfection, and that part of the great problem, the navigation of the
ocean by steam, was reserved for the other branch of the Anglo-Saxon
race,—the branch situated in a region in this Western hemisphere whose
territory is traversed by some of the noblest rivers that belt the
surface of the globe, and separated by the world-wide ocean from the
Eastern hemisphere. It is amazing to consider how, with the dawn of the
Revolution, the thoughts of men turned to the application of
steam-navigation. Rumsey, Fitch, and Evans made experiments, and those
experiments attracted the notice of one whom nothing escaped pertaining
to the welfare of his country: I mean Washington. And we have a
certificate from him, expressing the satisfaction with which he had
witnessed the experiment of Rumsey. The attempt proved rather
unsuccessful. I think it a providential appointment that the ocean was
not navigated by steam in the Revolutionary age. The enormous
preponderance of British capital and skill, if the ocean had been
navigated by steam, would have put in her possession facilities for
blockading our ports and transporting armies to our coasts, which might
have had a disastrous effect on the result of the whole contest. But the
Revolution passed and independence was established: the hour had come,
and the man was there.

In the year 1799 this system of steam-navigation became matured in the
mind of Fulton, who found a liberal and active coadjutor in Chancellor
Livingston, who, in the same year, applied to the Legislature of New
York for an act of incorporation. I am sorry to say that America at that
moment could not boast of much keener perception of the nature of this
discovery than France or Spain had done before. Chancellor Livingston at
last had a petition drawn up of the act he desired passed. It was
drafted by the young men of the Legislature, who, when tired of the
graver matters of law, used to call up the “steam bill” that they might
have a little fun. Young America, on that occasion, did not show himself
much wiser than his senior. Nothing daunted at the coldness he received,
nothing discouraged by the partial success of the first experiment,
Chancellor Livingston persevered. Twenty years elapsed before steamers
were found upon our lakes and rivers, and at that time such a system of
steam-navigation was wholly unknown, except by hearsay, in Europe. This
application of steam soon became a pressing necessity in this country,
but twenty years more passed away before it was adopted in England. I
could not but think, when the news of the Atlantic Telegraph came, what
must have been the emotions of Fulton and Franklin could they have stood
upon the quarter-deck of the Niagara and witnessed the successful
termination of that electric communication which is the result of their
united discoveries!

                           ÆRIAL NAVIGATION.

When air-balloons were first discovered, some one flippantly asked Dr.
Franklin what was the use of it. The philosopher answered the question
by asking another:—“What is the use of a new-born infant? It may become
a man.”

The first balloon-ascension was made by Pilatre de Rozier and the
Marquis d’Arlandes, November 21, 1783, in a montgolfière.

A century and a half before this, John Gregorie wrote, “The air itself
is not so unlike to water, but that it may be demonstrated to be
navigable, and that a ship may sail upon the convexity thereof by the
same reasons that it is carried upon the ocean.”

In the first number of the Philosophical Collections, 1679, is “a
demonstration how it is practically possible to make a ship, which shall
be sustained by the air, and may be moved either by sails or oars,” from
a work entitled _Prodroma_, published in Italian by P. Francesco Lana.
The scheme was that of making a brazen vessel which should weigh less
than the air it contained, and consequently float in the air when that
which was within it was pumped out. He calculated every thing—except the
pressure of the atmosphere, in consequence of which _slight_ oversight
he realized no practical result.

                     THE CIRCULATION OF THE BLOOD.

Harvey discovered the circulation of the blood in 1619; but we learn
from a passage in Longinus (ch. xxii.) that the fact was known two
thousand years before. The father of critics, to exemplify and
illustrate the use and value of _trope_ in writing, has garbled from the
_Timæus_ of Plato a number of sentences descriptive of the anatomy of
the human body, where the circulation of the blood is pointed at in
terms singularly graphic. The exact extent of professional knowledge
attained in the time of the great philosopher is by no means clearly
defined. He speaks of the fact, however, not with a view to prove what
was contested or chimerical, but avails himself of it to figure the
surpassing wisdom of the gods in constructing the human frame.


The use of the vapor of sulphuric ether for the purpose of inducing
insensibility to surgical operations was first practically adopted by
Dr. Morton, of Boston, in 1846; that of chloroform, by Dr. Simpson, of
Edinburgh, in 1847. To this period we must assign the most important
epoch in the annals of surgery, and the date of one of the grandest
discoveries of science and one of the greatest blessings ever conferred
upon humanity.

The idea, however, of saving the human body, by artificial means, from
the pains and tortures inflicted by the knife of the surgeon, has been
by no means either first broached or first acted upon in recent times.
Intense pain is regarded by mankind generally as so serious an evil that
it would have been strange indeed if efforts had not been early made to
diminish this species of suffering. The use of the juice of the poppy,
henbane, mandragora, and other narcotic preparations, to effect this
object by their deadening influence, may be traced back till it
disappears in the darkness of a remote antiquity.

Intoxicating vapors were also employed, by way of inhalation, to produce
the same effects as drugs of this nature introduced into the stomach.
This appears from the account given by Herodotus of the practice of the
Scythians, several centuries before Christ, of using the vapor of
hemp-seed as a means of drunkenness. The known means of stupefaction
were very early resorted to in order to counteract pain produced by
artificial causes. In executions under the horrible form of crucifixion,
soporific mixtures were administered to alleviate the pangs of the
victim. The draught of vinegar and gall, or myrrh, offered to the
Saviour in his agony, was the ordinary tribute of human sympathy
extorted from the bystander by the spectacle of intolerable anguish.

That some lethean anodyne might be found to assuage the torment of
surgical operations as they were anciently performed, [cauterizing the
cut surfaces, instead of tying the arteries,] was not only a favorite
notion, but it had been in some degree, however imperfect, reduced to
practice. Pliny the Naturalist, who perished in the eruption of Vesuvius
which entombed the city of Herculaneum in the year 79, bears distinct
and decided testimony to this fact.

In his description of the plant known as the mandragora or circeius, he
says, “It has a soporific power on the faculties of those who drink it.
The ordinary potion is half a cup. It is drunk against serpents, and
_before cuttings and puncturings_, lest they should be felt.” (_Bibitur
et contra serpentes, et ante sectiones, punctionesque, ne sentiantur._)

When he comes to speak of the plant _eruca_, called by us the rocket, he
informs us that its seeds, when drunk, infused in wine, by criminals
about to undergo the lash, produce a certain callousness or induration
of feeling (_duaitiam, quandam contra sensum induere_).

Pliny also asserts that the stone _Memphitis_, powdered and applied in a
liniment with vinegar, will stupefy parts to be cut or cauterized, “for
it so paralyzes the part that it feels no pain” (_nec sentit

Dioscorides, a Greek physician of Cilicia, in Asia, who was born about
the time of Pliny’s death, and who wrote an extensive work on the
materia medica, observes, in his chapter on mandragora,—

1. “Some boil down the roots in wine to a third part, and preserve the
juice thus procured, and give one cyathus of it in sleeplessness and
severe pains, of whatever part; also _to cause the insensibility_—to
produce the anæsthesia ποιειν αναισθησιαν—_of those who are to be cut or

2. “There is prepared, also, besides the decoction, a wine from the bark
of the root, three minæ being thrown into a cask of sweet wine, and of
this three cyathi are given _to those who are to be cut or cauterized,
as aforesaid_; for, being thrown into a deep sleep, _they do not
perceive pain_.”

3. Speaking of another variety of mandragora, called _morion_, he
observes, “Medical men use it also for those who are to be cut or

Dioscorides also describes the stone Memphitis, mentioned by Pliny, and
says that when it is powdered and applied to parts to be cut or
cauterized, they are rendered, _without the slightest danger_, wholly
insensible to pain. Matthiolus, the commentator on Dioscorides, confirms
his statement of the virtues of mandragora, which is repeated by
Dodoneus. “Wine in which the roots of mandragora have been steeped,”
says this latter writer, “brings on sleep, and appeases all pains, so
that it is given to those who are to be cut, sawed, or burned in any
parts of their body, that they may not perceive pain.”

The expressions used by Apuleius of Madaura, who flourished about a
century after Pliny, are still more remarkable than those already quoted
from the older authors. He says, when treating of mandragora, “If any
one is to have a member mutilated, burned, or sawed, [_mutilandum,
comburendum, vel serrandum_,] let him drink half an ounce with wine, and
_let him sleep till the member is cut away without any pain or
sensation_ [_et tantum dormiet, quosque abscindatur membrum aliquo sine
dolore et sensu_].”

It was not in Europe and in Western Asia alone that these early efforts
to discover some lethean were made, and attended with partial success.
On the opposite side of the continent, the Chinese—who have anticipated
the Europeans in so many important inventions, as in gunpowder, the
mariner’s compass, printing, lithography, paper money, and the use of
coal—seem to have been quite as far in advance of the Occidental world
in medical science. They understood, ages before they were introduced
into Christendom, the use of substances containing iodine for the cure
of the goitre, and employed spurred rye (ergot) to shorten
dangerously-prolonged labor in difficult accouchements. Among the
therapeutic methods confirmed by the experience of thousands of years,
the records of which they have preserved with religious veneration, the
employment of an anæsthetic agent to paralyze the nervous sensibility
before performing surgical operations, is distinctly set forth. Among a
considerable number of Chinese works on the pharmacopœia, medicine, and
surgery, in the National Library at Paris, is one entitled
_Kou-kin-i-tong_, or general collection of ancient and modern medicine,
in fifty volumes quarto. Several hundred biographical notices of the
most distinguished physicians in China are prefixed to this work. The
following curious passages occur in the sketches of the biography of
_Hoa-tho_, who flourished under the dynasty of _Wei_, between the years
220 and 230 of our era. “When he determined that it was necessary to
employ acupuncture, he employed it in two or three places; and so with
the _moxa_ if that was indicated by the nature of the affection to be
treated. But if the disease resided in parts upon which the needle,
moxa, or liquid medicaments could not operate,—for example in the bones,
or the marrow of the bones, in the stomach or the intestines,—_he gave_
the patient a preparation of hemp, (in the Chinese language _mayo_,) and
after a few moments he became as insensible as if he had been drunk or
dead. Then, as the case required, he performed operations, incisions, or
amputations, and removed the cause of the malady; then he brought
together and secured the tissues, and applied liniments. After a certain
number of days, the patient recovered, _without having experienced the
slightest pain during the operation_.”

Almost a thousand years after the date of the unmistakable phrases
quoted from Apuleius, according to the testimony of William of Tyre, and
other chroniclers of the wars for the rescue of the holy sepulchre, and
the fascinating narrative of _Marco Polo_, a state of anæsthesia was
induced for very different purposes. It became an instrument in the
hands of bold and crafty impostors to perpetuate and extend the most
terrible fanaticism that the world has ever seen.

The employment of anæsthetic agents in surgical operations was not
forgotten or abandoned during the period when they were pressed into the
appalling service just described. In the thirteenth century, anæsthesia
was produced by inhalation of an anodyne vapor, in a mode oddly
forestalling the practices of the present day, which is described as
follows in the surgical treatise of Theodoric, who died in 1298. It is
the receipt for the “spongia somnifera,” as it is called in the rubric:—

“The preparation of a scent for performing surgical operations,
according to Master Hugo. It is made thus:—Take of opium and the juice
of unripe mulberry, of hyoscyamus, of the juice of the hemlock, of the
juice of the leaves of the mandragora, of the juice of the woody ivy, of
the juice of the forest mulberry, of the seeds of lettuce, of the seed
of the burdock, which has large and round apples, and of the
water-hemlock, each one ounce; mix the whole of these together in a
brazen vessel, and then place a new sponge in it, and let the whole
boil, and as long as the sun on the dog-days, till it (the sponge)
consumes it all, and let it be boiled away in it. As often as there is
need of it, place this same sponge in warm water for one hour, and let
it be applied to the nostrils till he who is to be operated on (_qui
incidentus est_) has fallen asleep; and in this state let the operation
be performed (_et sic fiat chirurgia_). When this is finished, in order
to rouse him, place another, dipped in vinegar, frequently to his nose,
or let the juice of the roots of fenigreek be squirted into his
nostrils. Presently he awakens.”

Subsequent to Theodoric’s time, we find many interesting and suggestive
observations in the writings of Baptista Porta, Chamappe, Meissner,
Dauriol, Haller, and Blandin. About half a century ago, Sir Humphry Davy
thus hinted at the possibility that a pain subduing gas might be
inhaled:—“As _nitrous oxide_, in its extensive operation, appears
capable of destroying physical pain, it may probably be used with
advantage during surgical operations in which no great effusion of blood
takes place.” Baron Larrey, Napoleon’s surgeon, after the battle of
Eylau, found a remarkable insensibility in the wounded who suffered
amputations, owing to the intense cold. This fact afterwards led to the
application of ice as a local anæsthetic.

The former general belief that a degree of anæsthetic and prolonged
sleep could be induced artificially by certain medicated potions and
preparations is also shown by the frequency with which the idea is
alluded to by the older poets and storytellers, and made part of the
machinery in the popular romance and drama. In the history of Taliesin,
(one of the antique Welsh tales contained in the Mabinogion,) Rhun is
described as having put the maid of the wife of Elphin into a deep sleep
with a powder put into her drink, and as having cut off one of her
fingers when she was in this case of artificial anæsthesia. Shakspeare,
besides alluding more than once to the soporific property of mandragora,
describes with graphic power in Romeo and Juliet, and in Cymbeline, the
imagined effects of subtle distilled potions supposed capable of
inducing, without danger, a prolonged state of death-like sleep or
lethargy. And Thomas Middleton, in his tragedy of _Women beware Women_,
published in 1657, pointedly and directly alludes in the following
lines, to the practice of anæsthesia in ancient surgery:—

                    _Hippolito_. Yes, my lord,
        I make no doubt, as I shall take the course,
        Which she shall never know till it be acted;
        And when she wakes to honor, then she’ll thank me for’t.
        _I’ll imitate the pities of old surgeons_
        To this lost limb; _who, ere they show their art,
        Cast one asleep, then cut the diseased part_;
        So out of love to her I pity most,
        She shall not feel him going till he’s lost;
        Then she’ll commend the cure.—Act iv. Sc. 1.

The following curious lines from Du Bartas, translated by Joshua
Sylvester (?) are also well worth transcribing in this connection.

Du Bartas died about the year 1590:—

          Even as a Surgeon minding off-to-cut
          Som cureless limb; before in use he put
          His violent Engins on the vicious member,
          Bringeth his Patient in a senseless slumber:
          And griefless then (guided by Use and Art)
          To save the whole saws off th’ infested part.
          So God empal’d our Grandsire’s (Adam) lively look,
          Through all his bones a deadly chilness strook,
          Siel’d-up his sparkling eyes with Iron bands,
          Led down his feet (almost) to Lethe’s sands;
          In briefe, so numm’d his Soule’s and Bodie’s sense,
          That (without pain) opening his side, from thence
          He took a rib, which rarely He refin’d,
          And thereof made the Mother of Mankind.

The history of anæsthetics is a remarkable illustration of the
acknowledged fact that science has sometimes, for a long season,
altogether lost sight of great practical thoughts, from being unprovided
with proper means and instruments for carrying out those thoughts into
practical execution; and hence it ever and anon occurs that a supposed
modern discovery is only the rediscovery of a principle already
sufficiently known to other ages, or to remote nations.

                             THE BOOMERANG.

The following paragraph in Pliny’s _Natural History_, xxiv. 72,
apparently refers to the Boomerang, with which, according to recent
discoveries, the early people of the East were acquainted. See Bonomi’s
_Nineveh_, p. 136. Pliny, speaking of the account given by Pythagoras of
the _Aquifolia_, either the holm-oak or the holly, says:—

  Baculum ex eâ factum, in quodvis animal emissum, etiamsi citra
  ceciderit defectu mittentis, ipsum per sese cubitu proprius adlabi;
  tam præcipuam naturam inesse arbori.

  (If a staff made of this wood, when thrown at any animal, from want of
  strength in the party throwing it, happens to fall short of the mark,
  it will fall back again towards the thrower of its own accord—so
  remarkable are the properties of this tree.)

The readings of the passage vary, _cubitu_ being given in some MSS. for
_recubitu_. Pythagoras probably heard of the _baculum_ during his
travels eastward, and being unable to understand how its formation could
endow it with the singular property referred to, was induced to believe
that this peculiarity was owing to the nature of the tree.


Both Dante and Shakspeare preceded Newton in knowledge of the principle,
if not the law, of gravitation. In their anticipation of its discovery,
the poets may not have deemed it other than a philosophic or poetic
speculation. But the following passages attest earlier observations of a
physical law than those of Pascal or Newton.

Shakspeare says in _Troilus and Cressida_:—

              But the strong base and building of my love
              Is as the very centre of the earth
              Drawing all things to it.—iv. 2.


                  True as earth to its centre.—iii. 2.

Three centuries before Shakspeare, Dante said in the _Inferno_:—

     Thou dost imagine we are still
     On the other side the central point, where I
     Clasped the earth-piercing worm, fell cause of ill.
     So far as I continued to descend,
     That side we kept; but when I turned, then we
     _Had passed the point to which all bodies tend_.
                                           _Canto_ xxxiv. 106–111.

                      EARLY INVENTION OF RIFLING.

In Sir Hugh Plat’s _Jewel-House of Art and Nature_, 1653, (1st edition
1594) the 17th article runs thus:—

_How to make a Pistol, whose Barrel is 2 Foot in Length, to deliver a
Bullet point blank at Eightscore._

A pistol of the aforesaid length, and being of the petronel bore, or a
bore higher, having eight gutters somewhat deep in the inside of the
barrel, and the bullet a thought bigger than the bore, and so rammed in
at the first three or four inches at the least, and after driven down
with the scouring stick, will deliver his bullet at such distance. This
I had of an English gentleman of good note for an approved experiment.


The following remarkable narration is the confession of a conspirator
named Hilarius, who was accused of resorting to unlawful arts for the
purpose of discovering who should be the successor to the Roman Emperor
Valens, who died §A.D.§ 378. We are told by Ammianus Marcellinus, a
contemporary historian, that, while under torture, he thus addressed his

With direful rites, O august judges, we prepared this unfortunate little
table, which you see, of laurel branches, in imitation of the Delphic
cortina, (or tripod,) and when it had been duly consecrated by
imprecation of secret charms and many long and choric ceremonies, we at
length moved it. The method of moving it, when it was consulted on
secret matters, was as follows: It was placed in the midst of a house
purified with Arabian odors; upon it was placed a round dish, made of
various metallic substances, which had the twenty-four letters of the
alphabet curiously engraved round the rim, at accurately-measured
distances from each other. One clothed with linen garments, carrying
branches of a sacred tree, and having, by charms framed for the purpose,
propitiated the deity who is the giver of prescience, places other
lesser cortinæ on this larger one, with ceremonial skill. He holds over
them a ring which has been subjected to some mysterious preparation, and
which is suspended by a very fine Carpathian thread. This ring, passing
over the intervals, and falling on one letter after the other, spells
out heroic verses pertinent to the questions asked. We then thus
inquired who should succeed to the government of the empire. The leaping
ring had indicated two syllables, (§The-od§;) and on the addition of the
last letter one of the persons present cried out, “Theodorus.”

Theodorus, and many others, were executed for their share in this dark
transaction, (see Gibbon;) but Theodosius the Great finally succeeded to
the empire, and was, of course, supposed to be the person indicated by
the magic rites. The above literal translation is given by the learned
Dr. Maitland in a little book, lately published, _Essay on False
Worship_, London, 1856. The original was hardly intelligible, till light
had been thrown on it by recent practices, of which we have all heard so
much. The coincidence is, to say the least, extraordinary, and opens
views which are briefly considered in the above-mentioned work.

                      AUSCULTATION AND PERCUSSION.

Laennec invented the stethoscope and perfected his discoveries in the
physical diagnosis of the diseases of the heart and lungs, in 1816.

Avenbrugger published his work on Percussion in 1761.

One hundred and fifty years before Laennec’s suddenly conceived act of
applying a roll of paper to the breast of a female patient gave birth to
thoracic acoustics, that ingenious and philosophic man, Robert Hooke,
said in his writings:—

“There may be a possibility of discovering the internal motions and
actions of bodies by the sound they make. Who knows, but that as in a
watch we may hear the beating of the balance, and the running of the
wheels, and the striking of the hammers, and the grating of the teeth,
and a multitude of other noises,—who knows, I say, but that it may be
possible to discover the motions of internal parts of bodies, whether
animal, vegetable, or mineral, by the sounds they make?—that one may
discover the works performed in the several offices and shops of a man’s
body, and thereby discover what engine is out of order, what works are
going on at several times and lie still at others, and the like? I have
this encouragement not to think all these things impossible, though
never so much derided by the generality of men, and never so seemingly
mad, foolish, and fantastic, that as the thinking them impossible cannot
much improve my knowledge, so the believing them possible may perhaps be
an occasion for taking notice of such things as another would pass by
without regard as useless, and somewhat more of encouragement I have
from experience that I have been able to hear very plainly the beating
of a man’s heart; and it is common to hear the motion of the wind to and
fro in the intestines; the stopping of the lungs is easily discovered by
the wheezing. As to the motion of the parts one among the other, to
their becoming sensible they require either that their motions be
increased or that the organ (the ear) be made more nice and powerful, to
sensate and distinguish them as they are; for the doing of both which I
think it is not impossible but that in many cases there may be §HELPS§

                            THE STEREOSCOPE.

Sir David Brewster, inquiring into the history of the stereoscope, finds
that its fundamental principle was well known even to Euclid; that it
was distinctly described by Galen fifteen hundred years ago; and that
Giambattista Porta had, in 1599, given such a complete drawing of the
two separate pictures as seen by each eye, and of the combined picture
placed between them, that we recognize in it not only the principle, but
the construction, of the stereoscope.


Seneca, in his _Medea_, Act ii, thus shadowed forth this event fifteen
centuries before its occurrence:—

                    Venient annis Sæcula seris,
                    Quibus Oceanus vincula rerum
                    Laxet, et ingens pateat Tellus,
                    Tiphysque novos detegat orbes;
                    Nec sit terris Ultima Thule.

  (After the lapse of years, ages will come in which Ocean shall relax
  his chains around the world, and a vast continent shall appear, and
  Tiphys—the pilot—shall explore new regions, and Thule shall be no
  longer the utmost verge of the earth.)

“A prediction,” says the commentator, “of the Spanish discovery of

Before Seneca’s lines were written, Plato had narrated the Egyptian
legend that, engulfed in the ocean, but sometimes visible, was the
island of Atalantis, supposed to mean the Western world.

Pulci, the friend of Lorenzo de Medici, in his _Morgante Maggiore_,
written before the voyage of Columbus and before the physical
discoveries of Galileo and Copernicus, introduces this remarkable
prophecy; (alluding to the vulgar belief that the _Columns of Hercules_
were the limits of the earth.)

             Know that this theory is false: his bark
             The daring mariner shall urge far o’er
             The western wave, a smooth and level plain,
             Albeit the earth is fashioned like a wheel.
             Man was in ancient days of grosser mould,
             And Hercules might blush to learn how far
             Beyond the limits he had vainly set,
             The dullest sea-boat soon shall wing her way.
             Men shall descry another hemisphere;
             Since to one common centre all things tend,
             So earth, by curious mystery divine,
             Well balanced hangs amid the starry spheres.
             At our antipodes are cities, states,
             And thronged empires, ne’er divined of yore.
             But see, the sun speeds on his western path
             To glad the nations with expected light.

Dante, two centuries before, put this language into the mouth of

           The broad Atlantic first my keel impressed,
           I saw the sinking barriers of the west,
           And boldly thus addressed my hardy crew:—
           While yet your blood is warm, my gallant train,
           Explore with me the perils of the main
           And find new worlds unknown to mortal view.
                                         _Inferno_, Canto 26.

He then proceeds to mention the discovery of a mountainous island, after
five months’ sailing.

The probability of a short western passage to India is mentioned by
Aristotle, _De Cœlo_, ii., a view confirmed in stronger terms afterwards
by Edrisi, the Arabian geographer, Strabo, Francis Bacon, Cardinal de
Alliaco (_Imago Mundi_), and Toscanelli.

                         Triumphs of Ingenuity.

  _Though there were many giants of old in physic and philosophy, yet I
  say, with Didacus Stella, “A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a
  giant may see farther than a giant himself.”_—§Burton§, _Anat. of


In his solitary study sat a young man, pale and thoughtful. His eyes
were fixed upon myriads of numerals, through whose complexity his
far-reaching mind saw into the untold mysteries of the solar universe.
His glass was not pointed to the heavens, his eyes looked not out upon
the stars, but his soul, in deep abstraction, pondered over the
perturbations of Uranus, as noted for many a year before by many a
casual observer. He measured the intensity and the direction of the
disturbing forces, questioned the planet that was seen and known
concerning the unknown cause of its irregularities, and compelled a
star, itself beyond the reach of the common eye, to tell of the
whereabouts, the volume, the orbit, of its fellow, which no eye, even
through an optic-glass, had ever yet seen, and whose very existence then
came for the first time upon the mental vision of the youthful sage
through the power of numerical calculation. His was a faith. It was the
evidence of things not seen. But it was like that higher and better
faith of which spake the great Apostle of the Gentiles,—fast and sure.
Full of his discovery, Le Verrier offered his conclusions to the
Academy; but learned men, when assembled in bodies, give to enthusiasts
but a cold reception. Le Verrier, sure of his position, then wrote to
Dr. Galle, the Astronomer-Royal in Berlin, asking him to point his
powerful glass to a certain quarter of the heavens, where must be found
at that time the last of the planets. And there it was; and thence it
was traced upon its mighty way, bending, like its fellows, to the
distant influence of its great centre, the sun. There is something
almost affecting in the thought that Le Verrier should have been denied
the first direct sight of the sublime star towards which his soul had
been so long leaning and which had so long been within his mental
vision. It was, however, a fortunate loss, since his adversaries would
have charged him with having found by chance what he detected by reason,
and thus have placed in a common category one of the most magnificent
discoveries of modern times, a beautiful illustration of the gigantic
power of calculation.

The distance of Neptune from the sun is 2,810,000,000 miles, and the
time required for its orbital revolution, 164 years. Its diameter is
41,500 miles.


Leverrier, encouraged and made illustrious by his success in exploring
those infinite spaces beyond the orbit of Herschel, turned his attention
to the innermost circles—the central region of our solar system. By
theoretical demonstrations, based on irregularities in the movements of
Mercury, he proved the existence of some planet or planets lying still
more closely within the light and heat of the sun. While proceeding with
his calculations, he received a letter from Lescarbault—a poor physician
of Orgères, a village in the department of Eure and Loire, in
France—announcing the discovery of an intra-Mercurial body, making its
transit, in appearance like a small black spot, across the disk of the
sun. Possessed of a sensitive and modest soul,—as all true lovers of
science are,—the doctor at first doubted the reality of his discovery,
and hesitated to make it known. It was only after vainly waiting nine
months, to verify his observation by another view of the object, that he
prepared a letter, narrating what he thought he had seen, and sent it to
the great Leverrier. The latter had just published an article on
Mercury’s perturbations in the _Kosmos_ of Paris. Astonished at this
coincident proof of the correctness of his theory, he lost no time in
starting for the village of Orgères, to obtain a personal interview with
the humble discoverer of the new orb. The following account of the
meeting was reported in the _Kosmos_ by the Abbé Moigne, who took it
from the lips of Leverrier himself:—

Leverrier left Paris for Orgères, in company with Vallee, four days
after the date of Lescarbault’s letter. Orgères was twelve miles from
the nearest railroad-station, and the party had to foot it across the
country. On their arrival, Leverrier knocked loudly at the door, which
was opened by the doctor himself; but his visitor declined to give his
name. The simple, modest, timid Lescarbault, small in stature, stood
abashed before the tall Leverrier, who, in blunt intonation, addressed
him thus: “It is you, then, sir, who pretend to have discovered the
intra-Mercurial planet, and who have committed the grave offence of
keeping your discovery secret for nine months! I come to do justice to
your pretensions, to warn you that you have either been dishonest or
deceived. Tell me unequivocally what you have seen.” The lamb-like
doctor, trembling at this rude summons, stammered out the following

“On the 26th of March (1859), about four o’clock, I turned my telescope
to the sun, when, to my surprise, I saw, at a small distance from its
margin, a black spot, well defined, and perfectly round, advancing upon
the disk of the sun. A customer called me away, and, hurrying him off as
fast as I could, I came back to my glass, when I found the round spot
had continued its transit, and I saw it disappear from the opposite
margin of the sun, after a projection upon it of an hour and a half. I
did not seize the precise moment of contact. The spot was on the disk
when I first saw it. I measured its distance from the margin, and
counted the time it took to make the same distance, and so approximated
the instant of its entry.” “To count time is easy to say,” said
Leverrier; “but where is your chronometer?” “My chronometer is this
watch, that beats only minutes,—the faithful companion of my
professional labors.” “What! with that old watch? How dare you talk of
counting seconds? My suspicions are too well founded.” “Pardon me, sir,
but I have a pendulum that nearly beats seconds, and I will bring it
down to show you.” He goes above-stairs and brings down a silken thread,
the upper end of which he fastens to a nail, and brings to rest the
ivory ball at the lower end. He then starts it from the vertical, and
its oscillations beat seconds very nearly. “This is not enough, sir: how
do you count these seconds while in the act of observing?” “My
profession is to feel pulses and count their pulsations, and my pendulum
puts my seconds into my ears, and I have no difficulty in counting

“But where is your telescope?” The doctor showed Leverrier his glass,
which was one of Cauchoix’s best. It was four inches in diameter, and
mounted on a rude stand. He took the wondering astronomer-imperial to
his roof, where he was building a rude revolving platform and dome.
“This is all very well; but where is your original memorandum?” The
doctor ran and got his almanac, or _Connaissance des Temps_, and in it
he finds a square piece of paper, used as a marker, and on it, all
covered with grease and laudanum, is the original memorandum! “But you
have falsified the time of emergence. It is four minutes too late by
this memorandum.” “It is; but the four minutes are the error of my
watch, which I corrected by sidereal time, by the aid of this little

“But how did you determine the two angular co-ordinates of the point of
contact, of the entry and emergence of the planet, and how did you
measure the chord of the arc between them?” Having explained the simple
method which he pursued in the premises to the satisfaction of the
astronomer, the latter next inquired after his rough drafts of
calculation for determining the distance of the planet from the sun. “My
rough draughts! Paper is scarce with us. I am a joiner as well as an
astronomer. I write on my boards, and when I am done, I plane them off
and begin again; but I think I have preserved them.” On visiting the
shop, they found the board, with all its lines and numbers still

The Parisian savant was now convinced that Lescarbault had really seen
the planet whose existence he had himself foretold. Turning to the
amateur astronomer, he revealed his personality, and congratulated his
humble brother on the magnificent discovery thus confirmed. It was the
event in the Orgères physician’s life. Honors poured in upon him. The
cross of the Legion of Honor was sent to him from Paris, and his name
was at once enrolled in the lists of the leading scientific academies of

The new orb, whose revolution is performed in 19 days, 17 hours, has
been felicitously named Vulcan. If objection be offered to the selection
of names for the planets from “Olympus’ dread hierarchy,” it must at
least be acknowledged that there is a peculiar fitness in their


                Thou Luther of the darkened deep!
                  Nor less intrepid, too, than he
                Whose courage broke earth’s bigot sleep,
                  While thine unbarred the sea!

During the fourth voyage of Columbus, while prosecuting his discoveries
among the West India Islands and along the coast of the continent, his
vessels, from continual subjection to tempestuous weather, and being, to
use his own expression, “bored by the worms as full of holes as a
honey-comb,” were reduced to mere wrecks, unable any longer to keep the
sea, and were finally stranded on the shore of Jamaica. Being beyond the
possibility of repair, they were fitted up for the temporary use of
Columbus, who was in feeble health, and of such of his crew as were
disabled by sickness, those who were well being sent abroad for
assistance and supplies. Their immediate wants were amply provided for,
Diego Mendez having made arrangements with the natives for a daily
exchange of knives, combs, beads, fish-hooks, &c., for cassava bread,
fish, and other provisions. In the course of a short time, however,
provisions on the island became scarce, and the supplies began gradually
to fall off. The arrangements for the daily delivery of certain
quantities were irregularly attended to, and finally ceased entirely.
The Indians no longer thronged to the harbor with provisions, and often
refused them when applied for. The Spaniards were obliged to forage
about the neighborhood for their daily food, but found more and more
difficulty in procuring it; and now, in addition to their other causes
of despondency, they began to entertain horrible apprehensions of

The admiral heard the melancholy forebodings of his men, and beheld the
growing evil, but was at a loss for a remedy. To resort to force was an
alternative full of danger, and of but temporary efficacy. It would
require all those who were well enough to bear arms to sally forth,
while he and the rest of the infirm would be left defenceless on board
the wreck, exposed to the vengeance of the natives.

In the mean time, the scarcity daily increased. The Indians perceived
the wants of the white men, and had learned from them the art of making
bargains. They asked ten times the former quantity of European articles
for a given amount of provisions, and brought their supplies in scanty
quantities, to enhance the eagerness of the Spaniards. At length even
this relief ceased, and there was an absolute distress for want of food,
the natives withholding all provisions, in hopes either of starving the
admiral and his people, or of driving them from the island.

In this extremity, a fortunate idea suddenly presented itself to
Columbus. From his knowledge of astronomy, he ascertained that within
three days there would be a total eclipse of the moon, in the early part
of the night. He sent, therefore, an Indian of the island of Hispaniola,
who served as his interpreter, to summon the principal caciques to a
grand conference, appointing for it the day of the eclipse. When all
were assembled, he told them, by his interpreter, that he and his
followers were worshippers of a deity who lived in the skies; that this
deity favored such as did well, but punished all transgressors; that, as
they must all have noticed, he had protected Diego Mendez and his
companions in their voyage, they having gone in obedience to the orders
of their commander, but that, on the other hand, he had visited
Francisco de Porras and his companions with all kinds of crosses and
afflictions, in consequence of their rebellion; that this great deity
was incensed against the Indians who had refused or neglected to furnish
his faithful worshippers with provisions, and intended to chastise them
with pestilence and famine. Lest they should disbelieve this warning, a
signal would be given that very night, in the heavens. They would behold
the moon change its color, and gradually lose its light,—a token of the
fearful punishment which awaited them.

Many of the Indians were alarmed at the solemnity of this prediction;
others treated it with scoffing: all, however, awaited with solicitude
the coming of the night, and none with more than Columbus himself, who
was distracted with anxiety lest the weather should prove cloudy or
rainy. Imagine his gratitude when the evening sky appeared undimmed by a
cloud! When the time arrived, and the natives beheld a dark shadow
stealing over the moon, they began to tremble. Their fears increased
with the progress of the eclipse; and when they saw mysterious darkness
covering the whole face of nature, there were no bounds to their terror.
Seizing upon whatever provisions they could procure, they hurried to the
ships, uttering cries and lamentations. They threw themselves at the
feet of Columbus, implored him to intercede with his God to avert the
threatened calamities, and assured him that thenceforth they would bring
him whatever he required. Columbus told them that he would retire and
commune with the deity. Shutting himself up in his cabin, he remained
there during the increase of the eclipse, the forests and shores all the
while resounding with the howlings and supplications of the savages.
When the eclipse was about to diminish, he came forth and informed the
natives that he had interceded for them with his God, who, on condition
of their fulfilling their promises, had deigned to pardon them; in sign
of which he would withdraw the darkness from the moon.

When the Indians saw that planet restored presently to its brightness
and rolling in all its beauty through the firmament, they overwhelmed
the admiral with thanks for his intercession, and repaired to their
homes, joyful at having escaped such great disasters. They now regarded
Columbus with awe and reverence, as a man in the peculiar favor and
confidence of the Deity, since he knew upon earth what was passing in
the heavens. They hastened to propitiate him with gifts, supplies again
arrived daily at the harbor, and from that time forward there was no
want of provisions.

                        A LESSON WORTH LEARNING.

The possibility of a great change being introduced by very slight
beginnings may be illustrated by a tale which Lockman tells of a vizier,
who, having offended his master, was condemned to perpetual captivity in
a lofty tower. At night his wife came to weep below his window. “Cease
your grief,” said the sage: “go home for the present, and return hither
when you have procured a live black beetle, together with a little
_ghee_, [or buffalo’s butter,] three clews,—one of the finest silk,
another of stout pack-thread, and another of whip-cord; finally, a stout
coil of rope.” When she again came to the foot of the tower, provided
according to her husband’s demands, he directed her to touch the head of
the insect with a little of the _ghee_, to tie one end of the silk
thread around him, and to place him on the wall of the tower. Attracted
by the smell of the butter, which he conceived to be in store somewhere
above him, the beetle continued to ascend till he reached the top, and
thus put the vizier in possession of the end of the silk thread, who
drew up the pack-thread by means of the silk, the small cord by means of
the pack-thread, and, by means of the cord, a stout rope capable of
sustaining his own weight,—and so at last escaped from the place of his

                            CHOOSING A KING.

The Tyrians having been much weakened by long wars with the Persians,
their slaves rose in a body, slew their masters and their children, took
possession of their property, and married their wives. The slaves,
having thus obtained everything, consulted about the choice of a king,
and agreed that he who should first discern the sun rise should be king.
One of them, being more merciful than the rest, had in the general
massacre spared his master, Straton, and his son, whom he hid in a cave;
and to his old master he now resorted for advice as to this competition.

Straton advised his slave that when others looked to the east he should
look toward the west. Accordingly, when the rebel tribe had all
assembled in the fields, and every man’s eyes were fixed upon the east,
Straton’s slave, turning his back upon the rest, looked only westward.
He was scoffed at by every one for his absurdity, but immediately he
espied the sunbeams upon the high towers and chimneys in the city, and,
announcing the discovery, claimed the crown as his reward.

                        KING JOHN AND THE ABBOT.

       _An old and formerly very popular ballad.—Percy Reliques._

          An ancient story Ile tell you anon
          Of a notable prince, that was called King John;
          And he ruled England with maine and with might,
          For he did great wrong, and mainteined little right.

          And Ile tell you a story, a story so merrye,
          Concerning the Abbot of Canterburye;
          How for his house-keeping, and high renowne,
          They rode poste for him to fair London towne.

          An hundred men, the king did heare say,
          The abbot kept in his house every day;
          And fifty gold chaynes, without any doubt,
          In velvet coates waited the abbot about.

          How now, father abbot, I heare it of thee,
          Thou keepest a farre better house than mee,
          And for thy house-keeping and high renowne,
          I fear thou work’st treason against my crown.

          My liege, quo’ the abbot, I would it were knowne,
          I never spend nothing but what is my owne;
          And I trust your grace will doe me no deere
          For spending of my owne true-gotten geere.

          Yes, yes, father abbot, your fault it is highe,
          And now for the same thou needest must dye;
          For except thou canst answer me questions three,
          Thy head shall be smitten from thy bodie.

          And first, quo’ the king, when I’m in this stead,
          With my crowne of golde so faire on my head,
          Among all my liege-men so noble of birthe,
          Thou must tell me to one penny what I am worthe.

          Secondlye, tell me, without any doubt,
          How soone I may ride the whole world about;
          And at the third question thou must not shrink,
          But tell me here truly what I do think.

          O, these are hard questions for my shallow witt,
          Nor I cannot answer your grace as yet;
          But if you will give me but three weeks space,
          Ile do my endeavour to answer your grace.

          Now three weeks space to thee will I give,
          And that is the longest time thou hast to live;
          For if thou dost not answer my questions three,
          Thy lands and thy livings are forfeit to mee.

          Away rode the abbot, all sad at that word,
          And he rode to Cambridge and Oxenford;
          But never a doctor there was so wise
          That could with his learning an answer devise.

          Then home rode the abbot, of comfort so cold,
          And he mett his shepheard agoing to fold:
          How now, my lord abbot, you are welcome home:
          What newes do you bring us from good King John?

          Sad newes, sad newes, shepheard, I must give:
          That I have but three days more to live;
          For if I do not answer him questions three,
          My head will be smitten from my bodie.

          The first is to tell him there in that stead,
          With his crowne of golde so fair on his head,
          Among all his liege-men so noble of birthe,
          To within one penny of what he is worthe.

          The second, to tell him, without any doubt,
          How soone he may ride this whole world about;
          And at the third question I must not shrinke,
          But tell him there truly what he does thinke.

          Now cheare up, sire abbot: did you never hear yet,
          That a fool he may learne a wise man witt?
          Lend me horse, and serving-men, and your apparel,
          And Ile ride to London to answere your quarrel.

          Nay, frowne not, if it hath bin told unto mee,
          I am like your lordship, as ever may bee;
          And if you will but lend me your gowne,
          There is none shall knowe us in fair London towne.

          Now horses and serving-men thou shalt have,
          With sumptuous array most gallant and brave;
          With crozier, and mitre, and rochet, and cope,
          Fit to appeare ’fore our fader the Pope.

          Now welcome, sire abbot, the king he did say,
          ’Tis well thou’rt come back to keepe thy day;
          For and if thou canst answer my questions three,
          Thy life and thy living both saved shall bee.

          And first, when thou seest me here in this stead,
          With my crowne of golde so fair on my head,
          Among all my liege-men so noble of birthe,
          Tell me to one penny what I am worthe.

          For thirty pence our Saviour was sold
          Among the false Jewes, as I have bin told;
          And twenty-nine is the worth of thee,
          For I think thou art one penny worser than hee.

          The king he laughed, and swore by St. Bittel,
          I did not think I had been worth so littel!
          Now secondly, tell me, without any doubt,
          How soone I may ride this whole world about.

          You must rise with the sun, and ride with the same,
          Until the next morning he riseth againe;
          And then your grace need not make any doubt
          But in twenty-four hours you’ll ride it about.

          The king he laughed, and swore by St. Jone,
          I did not think it could be gone so soone!
          Now, from the third question thou must not shrinke,
          But tell me here truly what I do thinke.

          Yea, that shall I do, and make your grace merry;
          You thinke I’m the abbot of Canterbury;
          But I’m his poor shepheard, as plain you may see,
          That am come to beg pardon for him and for mee.

          The king he laughed, and swore by the masse,
          Ile make thee lord abbot this day in his place!
          Naye naye, my liege, be not in such speede,
          For alacke, I can neither write nor reade.

          Four nobles a week, then, I will give thee,
          For this merry jest thou hast showne unto mee;
          And tell the old abbot, when thou comest home,
          Thou hast brought him a pardon from good King John.

                          The Fancies of Fact.

                      THE WOUNDS OF JULIUS CÆSAR.

           “Look! in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through:
           See what a rent the envious Casca made:
           Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabbed.”

At a meeting of the French Academy of Medicine, a few years ago, a
curious paper was read, on behalf of M. Dubois, of Amiens, entitled
“Investigations into the death of Julius Cæsar.” M. Dubois having looked
up the various passages referring to this famous historic incident to be
found in Dion Cassius, Plutarch, Suetonius, Appian, &c., and compared
them with one another, has fixed the spots where the four first wounds
were inflicted, and the names of the conspirators who inflicted them.
The first blow, struck by one of the brothers Casca, produced a slight
wound underneath the left clavicle; the second, struck by the other
Casca, penetrated the walls of the thorax toward the right; Cassius
inflicted the third wound in the face. Decimus Brutus gave the fourth
stab in the region of the groin. Contrary to the general opinion, Marcus
Brutus, though one of the conspirators, did not strike the dictator.
After the first blows Cæsar fainted, and then all the conspirators
hacked his body. He was carried by three slaves in a litter to his
house. Anstistius, the physician, was called in and found thirty-five
wounds, only one of which was in his opinion fatal, that of the second

                      BILLS FOR STRANGE SERVICES.

The bill of the Cirencester painter, mentioned by Bishop Horne, (_Essays
and Thoughts_,) is as follows:—

 Mr. Charles Terrebee

                                                     To Joseph Cook, Dr.
 To mending the Commandments, altering the Belief, and making a
   new Lord’s Prayer                                              £1—1—0

Here is a Carpenter’s bill of the Fifteenth Century, copied from the
records of an old London Church:—

                                                                 s.   d.

 Item. To screwynge a home on e/y Divil, and glueinge a bitt
       on hys tayle                                                  vij

 Item. To repayring e/y Vyrginne Marye before and behynde, &
       makynge a new Chylde                                      ij viij

                               LAW LOGIC.

Judge Blackstone says, in his _Commentaries_ (Vol. i. ch. xviii.), that
every Bishop, Parson or Vicar is _a Corporation_. Lord Coke asserts, in
his Reports (10. Rep. 32,) that “_a Corporation has no soul_.” Upon
these premises, the logical inference would be that neither Bishops,
Parsons nor Vicars have souls.

                         RECIPROCAL CONVERSION.

A curious case of mixed process of conversion was that of the two
brothers, Dr. John Reynold’s, King’s Professor at Oxford, in 1630, a
zealous Roman Catholic, and Dr. Wm. Reynolds, an eminent Protestant.
They were both learned men, and as brothers held such affectionate
relations, that the deadly heresies of which each regarded the other as
the victim were matters of earnest and pleading remonstrance between
them by discussion and correspondence. The pains and zeal of each were
equally rewarded. The Roman Catholic brother became an ardent
Protestant, and the Protestant brother became a Roman Catholic.

                             PITHY PRAYER.

We are indebted to Hume for the preservation of a short prayer, which he
says was that of Lord Astley, before he charged at Edge-hill. It ran
thus: “O Lord, thou knowest how busy I must be this day; if I forget
thee, do not thou forget me.” And Hume adds, “There were certainly much
longer prayers in the Parliamentary army, but I doubt if there was as
good a one.”

                          MELROSE BY SUNLIGHT.

The beautiful description of the appearance of the ruins of Melrose
Abbey by moonlight, in the _Lay of the Last Minstrel_, has led thousands
to visit the scene “when silver edges the imagery,” yet it is worth
noting that the author never saw the ruined pile by “the pale
moonlight.” Bernard Barton once wrote to Scott to request him to favor a
young lady with a copy of the lines in his own handwriting. Sir Walter
complied, but substituted for the concluding lines of the original the

                  “Then go—and muse with deepest awe
                  On what the writer never saw;
                  Who would not wander ’neath the moon
                  To see what he could see at noon.”

                              BACK ACTION.

Alphonse Karr, in his _Guêpes_, speaking of the dexterities of the legal
profession, relates a pleasant anecdote of the distinguished lawyer,
afterward deputy, M. Chaix d’Est-Ange. He was employed in a case where
both the parties were old men. Referring to his client, he said: “He has
attained that age, when the mind, freed from the passions, and tyranny
of the body, takes a higher flight, and soars in a purer and serener
air.” Later in his speech, he found occasion to allude to the opposite
party, of whom he remarked: “I do not deny his natural intelligence; but
he has reached an age in which the mind participates in the
enfeeblement, the decrepitude, and the degradation of the body.”


When we read of Patrick Henry’s wonderful displays of eloquence, we
naturally figure to ourselves a spacious interior and a great crowd of
rapt listeners. But, in truth, those of his orations which quickened or
changed the march of events, and the thrill of which has been felt in
the nerves of four generations, were all delivered in small rooms and to
few hearers, never more than one hundred and fifty. The first thought of
the visitor to St. John’s Church in Richmond, is: Could it have been
_here_, in this oaken chapel of fifty or sixty pews, that Patrick Henry
delivered the greatest and best known of all his speeches? Was it here
that he uttered those words of doom, so unexpected, so unwelcome, “We
must fight”? Even here. And the words were spoken in a tone and manner
worthy of the men to whom they were addressed—with quiet and profound

                        TRUE FORM OF THE CROSS.

The ancient and ignominious punishment of crucifixion was abolished by
the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, who thought it indecent and
irreligious that the Cross should be used for the putting to death of
the vilest offenders, while he himself erected it as a trophy, and
esteemed it the noblest ornament of his diadem and military standards.
In consequence of his decree, crucifixion has scarcely been witnessed in
Europe for the last 1500 years. Those painters, sculptors, poets and
writers who have attempted to describe it have, therefore, followed
their own imagination or vague tradition rather than the evidence of
history. But they could hardly do otherwise, because the writings of the
early fathers of the Church and of pagan historians were not generally
accessible to them until after the revival of learning in the Fifteenth
Century, and because the example of depicting the cross once given had
been religiously followed by the earliest painters and sculptors, and
universally accepted without question; and to object to the generally
received form would have been deemed sacrilegious. These two reasons may
have been sufficient to deter the great artists of the Sixteenth and
Seventeenth Centuries from making any change; there may, however, have
been a third, quite as potent (if not more so), and that is that the
introduction of the lower projecting beam, _astride_ of which the
crucified person was _seated_, would have been both inartistic and
indecent, yet this third piece was invariably used when the punishment
was inflicted, except in the case where the sufferer was crucified with
the head downward. The researches of two eminent scholars of the
Seventeenth Century—Salmasius and Lipsius—have put it beyond a doubt
that the cross consisted of a strong upright post, not much taller than
a man of lofty stature, which was sharpened at the lower end, by which
it was fixed into the ground, having a short bar or stake projecting
from its middle, and a longer transverse beam firmly joined to the
upright post near the top. The condemned person was made to carry his
cross to the place of execution, after having been first whipped; he was
then stripped of his clothing, and offered a cup of medicated wine, to
impart firmness or alleviate pain. He was then made to sit astride the
middle bar, and his limbs, having been bound with cords, the legs to the
upright beam, the arms to the transverse, were finally secured by
driving large iron spikes through the hands and feet. The cross was then
fixed in its proper position, and the sufferer was left to die, not so
much from pain (as is generally supposed) as from exhaustion, or heat,
or cold, or hunger, or wild beasts, unless (as was usually the case) his
sufferings were put an end to by burning, stoning, suffocation, breaking
the bones, or piercing the vital organs. If left alone he generally
survived two days or three, and there are cases recorded where the
sufferer lingered till the fifth day before dying.

Referring to the earliest Christian writers, who witnessed the
crucifixion of hundreds of their martyred brethren, it will be seen that
the foregoing statement of Salmasius respecting the true form of the
cross is well founded. Irenæus, Bishop of Lyons, in the second century,
says: “The structure of the cross has five ends or summits, two in
length, two in breadth, and one in the middle, on which the crucified
person rests.” Justin, another Christian writer of the same period, who
acquired the surname of Martyr from the cruel death he suffered for his
faith, also speaks of “that end projecting from the middle of the
upright post like a horn, on which crucified persons are seated.”
Tertullian, another Christian writer, who lived a little later, says: “A
part, and, indeed, a principal part, of the cross is any post which is
fixed in an upright position; but to us the entire cross is imputed,
including its transverse beam, and the projecting bar which serves as a

This fact (of the sufferer being seated) will account for the long
duration of the punishment; the wounds in the hands and feet did not
lacerate any large vessel, and were nearly closed by the nails which
produced them. The Rev. Alban Butler, in his _Lives of the Saints_,
gives numerous instances of the lingering nature of this mode of
execution, and of the wonderful heroism displayed by the Christians who
underwent it. The Pagan historians also narrate instances of similar
heroism on the part of political offenders, who were put to death on the
Cross. Bomilcar, the commander of the Carthaginian army in Sicily,
having shown a disposition to desert to the enemy, was nailed to a
gibbet in the middle of the forum; but “from the height of the Cross, as
from a tribunal, he declaimed against the crimes of the citizens; and
having spoken thus with a loud voice amid an immense concourse of the
people, he expired.” Crucifixion has been practised from the remotest
ages in the East, and is still occasionally resorted to in Turkey,
Madagascar, and Northern Africa. The Jewish historian, Josephus, states
that the chief baker of Pharaoh, whose dream had been interpreted by
Joseph, was _crucified_, though Scripture says he was _hanged_; but this
may mean hanged on a cross, for the expression seems to be almost
equivalent to crucified, as appears from Galatians, chap. III. v. 13.
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse
for us; for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that hangeth on a
tree.’” As regards art, it is not now to be expected that the example
set by the great masters will be discarded. In this, as in other
matters, custom is law, whose arbitrary sway will be exercised in spite
of facts.

                         SINGULAR COINCIDENCES.

A. was walking with a friend near Oxford, when a snipe rose within shot.
They both “presented” their walking-sticks at the bird, remarking what a
“pretty shot” it would have been for a gun. The snipe flew on a short
distance, then towered, and fell dead. When examined, the bird was found
to be apparently uninjured; but a close examination discovered the trace
of a former injury, which had led to the rupture of a blood-vessel. If,
instead of a walking-stick a gun had been presented and discharged at
the bird, no one would have ventured to doubt that the death of the bird
was due to the gun.

                  *       *       *       *       *

A young officer in the army of the famous Wolfe was apparently dying of
an abscess in the lungs. He was absent from his regiment on sick-leave;
but resolved to rejoin it, when a battle was expected. “For,” said he,
“since I am given over, I had better be doing my duty; and my life’s
being shortened a few days, matters not.” He received a shot which
_pierced the abscess_, and made an opening for the discharge. He
recovered, and lived to the age of eighty.

                  *       *       *       *       *

In the United Service Museum, (Whitehall Yard, London,) are exhibited
the “jaws of a shark,” wide open, and enclosing a tin box. The history
of this strange exhibition is as follows:—A ship, on her way to the West
Indies, “fell in with” and chased a suspicious-looking craft, which had
all the appearance of a slaver. During the pursuit, the chase threw
something overboard. She was subsequently captured, and taken into Port
Royal to be tried as a slaver. In absence of the ship’s papers and other
proofs, the slaver was not only in a fair way to escape condemnation,
but her captain was anticipating the recovery of pecuniary damages
against his captor for illegal detention. While the subject was under
discussion, a vessel came into port, which had followed closely in the
track of the chase above described. She had caught a shark; and in its
stomach was found a tin box, which contained the slaver’s papers. Upon
the strength of this evidence the slaver was condemned. The written
account is attached to the box.

                  *       *       *       *       *

A. B. was present while some “tricks in cards” were being exhibited by a
professional juggler. He took a fresh pack of cards, and directed the
company to take out a card from the pack, to replace it, and shuffle the
pack. This being done, A. B. took the pack in his hand and carelessly
tossed on the table a card, which proved to be the correct one. The
professor, in the utmost surprise and admiration, offered to give A. B.
three of his best tricks if he would give him the secret of the trick
which he had just exhibited. A. B. coolly declined the offer, and
concealed the fact that it was all _chance_, in the purest sense of the
word, that led to the selection of the proper card from the pack.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Upon the death of a seaman, some money became payable to his widow,
Elizabeth Smith, No. 20 (of a certain, say “King”) Street, Wapping. The
government agent called at No. 20 King Street, and finding that
Elizabeth Smith lived there, paid the money without further inquiry.
Subsequently the true widow, Elizabeth Smith, turned up; and it was then
discovered that, at the very time the money was paid, the street was
being _re-numbered_, and there were _two_ houses numbered 20; and what
was most remarkable, there was an Elizabeth Smith living in each of

                  *       *       *       *       *

Some time in the last century, a Mrs. Stephens professed to have
received from her husband a medicine for dissolving “the stone in the
bladder,” and offered to sell it to government. In order to test the
virtue of this medicine, a patient was selected who had undeniably the
complaint in question. He took the medicine, and was soon quite well.
The doctors watched him anxiously, and when he died, many years after,
he was seized by them, and the body examined. It was then discovered
that the stone had made for itself a little sac in the bladder, and was
so tightly secured that it had never caused any inconvenience.

Government, however, (somewhat prematurely,) rewarded Mrs. Stephens with
a sum of £10,000. The cure appeared to have been purely accidental, as
the remedy was nothing but potash, which has little or no virtue in such

                  *       *       *       *       *

A gentleman of fortune, named Angerstein, lost a large quantity of
valuable plate. His butler was soon on the track of the thieves, (who
had brought a coach to carry the plate), and enquired at the first
turnpike gate whether any vehicle had lately passed. The gate-keeper
stated that a hackney-coach had shortly before gone through; and though
he was surprised at its passing by so early in the morning, he had not
noticed the “number” on the coach. A servant girl, hearing the
conversation, volunteered her statement, that she saw the coach pass by,
and its number was “45.” As the girl _could not read_, they were
surprised at her knowing the “number.” She stated that she knew it well,
as being the same number she had long seen about the walls everywhere,
which she knew was “45,” as every one was speaking of it. This allusion
of the girl’s was in reference to the “Wilkes” disturbances, when the
45th number of the _True Briton_ was prosecuted, and caused a great deal
of public excitement. Mr. Angerstein’s butler went at once to London and
found out the driver of the hackney-coach No. 45, who at once drove him
to the place where the plate was deposited, and it was all recovered.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Some years since, in the “Temple,” was a vertical sun-dial, with the
motto, “Be gone about your business.” It is stated that this very
appropriate motto was the result of the following blunder:—When the dial
was erected, the benchers were applied to for a motto. They desired the
“builder’s man” to call at the library at a certain hour on a certain
day, when he should receive instructions. But they forgot the whole
matter. On the appointed day and hour the “builder’s man” called at the
library, and found only a lawyer in close study over a law book. The man
stated the cause of his intrusion, which suited so badly the lawyer’s
time and leisure that he bid the man sharply “Be gone about your
business.” The lawyer’s testy reply was duly painted in big letters upon
the dial, and was considered so apposite that it was not only allowed to
remain, but was considered to be as appropriate a motto as could be

                  *       *       *       *       *

Two men in France took shelter in a barn for the night. In the morning
one of them was found dead, with severe injury to the head. The comrade
was at once arrested, and told some “cock-and-bull” story about the
terrible storm of the night in question, and attributed his companion’s
death to the effect of a thunderbolt. He was not credited: and was in a
fair way to be executed for the supposed crime. A scientific gentleman,
hearing of the circumstance, examined the place, and found a hole in the
roof of the barn, and an aërolite close to the spot where the deceased
had slept on the night in question. The innocence of the accused was at
once considered as established, and he was released.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Now, even in these cases, there is nothing _supernatural_, or even
_un_natural; i.e., there is nothing to _prevent_ the occurrence. The
improbability is only from the enormous number of chances against each.
But when any German theologian, or other, pretends to _explain a series_
of alleged _miracles_ as mere _accidents_, he should be reminded that
the chances are _multiplied_ against each repeated occurrence. If, e.g.,
the chances against a person’s bagging a snipe, which died accidentally
just as he pointed a stick or a gun at it, be only 1/1000, then, against
his thus obtaining _two_, the chances would be 1/1000000, and so on. No
one familiar with what is sometimes called the _Doctrine of Chances_ but
more correctly called the _Theory of Probabilities_, would believe that
a sportsman could bring home a bag full of game, _every_ bird having
died _accidentally_ just when shot at.

                           CHICK IN THE EGG.

The hen has scarcely sat on the egg twelve hours, when we begin already
to discover in it some lineaments of the head and body of the chicken
that is to be born. The heart appears to beat at the end of the day; at
the end of forty-eight hours, two vesicles of blood can be
distinguished, the pulsation of which is very visible. At the fiftieth
hour, an auricle of the heart appears, and resembles a lace, or noose
folded down upon itself. At the end of seventy hours, we distinguish
wings, and on the head two bubbles for the brain; one for the bill, and
two others for the forepart and hindpart of the head; the liver appears
towards the fifth day. At the end of one hundred and thirty-one hours,
the first voluntary motion is observed. At the end of one hundred and
thirty-eight hours the lungs and stomach become visible; at the end of
one hundred and forty-two, the intestines, the loins, and the upper jaw.
The seventh day, the brain, which was slimy, begins to have some
consistence. At the 190th hour of incubation, the bill opens, and the
flesh appears in the breast. At the 194th, the sternum is seen, that is
to say, the breastbone. At the 210th, the ribs come out of the back, the
bill is very visible, as well as the gall-bladder. The bill becomes
green at the end of two hundred and thirty-six hours; and if the chick
is taken out of its covering, it evidently moves itself. The feathers
begin to shoot out towards the 240th hour, and the skull becomes
gristly. At the 264th, the eyes appear. At the 288th, the ribs are
perfect. At the 331st, the spleen draws near to the stomach, and the
lungs to the chest. At the end of three hundred and fifty-five hours,
the bill frequently opens and shuts; and at the end of four hundred and
fifty-one hours, or the eighteenth day, the first cry of the chick is
already heard: it afterwards gets more strength, and grows continually,
till at last it sets itself at liberty, by opening the prison in which
it was shut up. Thus is it by so many different degrees that these
creatures are brought into life. All these progressions are made by
rule, and there is not one of them without sufficient reason. No part of
its body could appear sooner or later without the whole embryo
suffering; and each of its limbs appears at the proper moment. How
manifestly is this ordination—so wise, and so invariable in the
production of the animal—the work of a Supreme Being!

                            INNATE APPETITE.

McKenzie, in his _Phrenological Essays_, mentions the following curious
fact, witnessed by Sir James Hall. He had been engaged in making some
experiments on hatching eggs by artificial heat, and on one occasion
observed in one of his boxes a chicken in the act of breaking from its
confinement. It happened that just as the creature was getting out of
the shell, a spider began to run along the box, when the chicken darted
forward, seized and swallowed it.

                    THE INDIAN AND HIS TAMED SNAKE.

An Indian had tamed a blacksnake, which he kept about him during the
summer months. In autumn he let the creature go whither it chose to
crawl, but told it to come to him again upon a certain day, which he
named, in the spring. A white man who was present, and saw what was
done, and heard the Indian affirm that the serpent would return to him
the very day he had appointed, had no faith in the truth of his
prediction. The next spring, however, retaining the day in his memory,
curiosity led him to the place, where he found the Indian in waiting;
and, after remaining with him about two hours, the serpent came crawling
back, and put himself under the care of his old master.

In this case, the Indian had probably observed that blacksnakes usually
return to their old haunts at the same vernal season; and as he had
tamed, fed, and kept this snake in a particular place, experience taught
him that it would return on a certain day.


The Indians on the banks of the Oronoko assert that previously to an
alligator going in search of prey it always swallows a large stone, that
it may acquire additional weight to aid it in diving and dragging its
victims under water. A traveller being somewhat incredulous on this
point, Bolivar, to convince him, shot several with his rifle, and in all
of them were found stones varying in weight according to the size of the
animal. The largest killed was about seventeen feet in length, and had
within him a stone weighing about sixty or seventy pounds.

                            HABITS OF SHEEP.

                 Never jumps a sheep that’s frightened
                 Over any fence whatever,
                 Over wall, or fence, or timber,
                 But a second follows after,
                 And a third upon the second,
                 And a fourth, and fifth, and so on,
                 When they see the tail uplifted,—
                 First a sheep, and then a dozen,
                 Till they all, in quick succession,
                 One by one, have got clear over.

Dr. Anderson, of Liverpool, relates the following amusing illustration
of the singularly persevering disposition of sheep to follow their
leader wherever he goes:—

A butcher’s boy was driving about twenty fat wethers through the town,
but they ran down a street where he did not want them to go. He observed
a scavenger at work, and called out loudly for him to stop the sheep.
The man accordingly did what he could to turn them back, running from
side to side, always opposing himself to their passage, and brandishing
his broom with great dexterity; but the sheep, much agitated, pressed
forward, and at last one of them came right up to the man, who, fearing
it was going to jump over his head, whilst he was stooping, grasped the
broom with both hands and held it over his head. He stood for a few
seconds in this position, when the sheep made a spring and jumped fairly
over him, without touching the broom. The first had no sooner cleared
this impediment than another followed, and another, in quick succession,
so that the man, perfectly confounded, seemed to lose all recollection,
and stood in the same attitude till the whole of them had jumped over
him, and not one attempted to pass on either side, although the street
was quite clear.


Mr. Cooper Thornhill, an innkeeper at Stilton, in Huntingdonshire, rode
from that place to London and back again, and also a second time to
London, in one day,—which made a journey in all of two hundred and
thirteen miles. He undertook to ride this journey with several horses in
fifteen hours, but performed it in twelve hours and a quarter. This
remarkable feat gave rise to a poem called the Stilton Hero, which was
published in the year 1745.

Some years ago, Lord James Cavendish rode from Hyde Park Corner to
Windsor Lodge, which is upwards of twenty miles, in less than an hour.

Sir Robert Cary rode nearly three hundred miles in less than three days,
when he went from London to Edinburgh to inform King James of the death
of Queen Elizabeth. He had several falls and sore bruises on the road,
which occasioned his going battered and bloody into the royal presence.

On the 29th of August, 1750, was decided at Newmarket a remarkable wager
for one thousand guineas, laid by Theobald Taaf, Esq., against the Earl
of March and Lord Eglinton, who were to provide a four-wheel carriage
with a man in it, to be drawn by four horses nineteen miles in an hour.
The match was performed in fifty-three minutes and twenty-four seconds.
An engraved model of the carriage was formerly sold in the print-shops.

The Marquis de la Fayette rode in August, 1778, from Rhode Island to
Boston, nearly seventy miles distant, in seven hours, and returned in
six and a half.

Mr. Fozard, of Park Lane, London, for a wager of one hundred and fifty
pounds against one hundred pounds, undertook to ride forty miles in two
hours, over Epsom course. He rode two miles more than had been agreed
on, and performed it in five minutes under time, in October, 1789.

Mr. Wilde, an Irish gentleman, lately rode one hundred and twenty-seven
miles on the course of Kildare, in Ireland, in six hours and twenty
minutes, for a wager of one thousand guineas.

The famous Count de Montgomery escaped from the massacre of Paris in
1572, through the swiftness of his horse, which, according to a
manuscript of that time, carried him ninety miles without halting.

                            WONDERFUL HORSE.

In the year 1609, an Englishman named Banks had a horse which he had
trained to follow him wherever he went, even over fences and to the
roofs of buildings. He and his horse went to the top of that immensely
high structure, St. Paul’s Church. After many extraordinary performances
at home, the horse and his master went to Rome, where they performed
feats equally astonishing. But the result was that both Banks and his
horse were burned, by order of the Pope, as enchanters. Sir Walter
Raleigh observes, that had Banks lived in olden times, he would have
shamed all the enchanters of the world, for no beast ever performed such
wonders as his.

Fortunately, for men like Thorne, and Rice, and Franconi, who have been
so successful in training the noblest animal in creation for the
stage-representations of Mazeppa, Putnam’s Leap, &c., and for the
various and fantastic tricks which have won so much admiration and
applause, the present age is not disgraced by such besotted ignorance
and superstition.

                            WONDERFUL LOCK.

Among the wonderful products of art in the French Crystal Palace was
shown a lock which admits of 3,674,385 combinations. Heuret passed a
hundred and twenty nights in locking it, and Fichet was four months in
unlocking it; now they can neither shut nor open it.


Many accounts have been published of the celerity with which
manufacturers of cloth, both English and American, have completed the
various parts of the process, from the fleece to the garment. In England
the fleece was taken from the sheep, manufactured into cloth, and the
cloth made into a coat, in the short space of thirteen hours and twenty
minutes. Messrs. Buck, Brewster & Co., proprietors of the Ontario
manufactory at Manchester, Vermont, on perusing an account of this
English achievement, conceived, from the perfection of their machinery
and the dexterity of their workmen, that the same operations might be
accomplished even in a shorter time. A wager of five hundred dollars was
offered, and accepted, that they would perform the same operations in
twelve hours. The wool was taken from the sack in its natural state, and
in nine hours and fifteen minutes precisely, the coat was completed, and
worn in triumph by one of the party concerned. The wool was picked,
greased, carded, roped, and spun,—the yarn was worked, put into the loom
and woven,—the cloth was fulled, colored, and four times shorn, pressed,
and carried to the tailor’s, and the coat completed,—all within the time
above stated. The cloth was not of the finest texture, but was very
handsomely dressed, and fitted the person who wore it remarkably well.
The only difference between this and the English experiment was the time
occupied in shearing the fleece; and any wool-grower knows that this
part of the operation may be performed in ten minutes.

                 CRUDE VALUE _versus_ INDUSTRIAL VALUE.

Algarotti, in his Opuscula, gives the following example to show the
prodigious addition of value that may be given to an object by skill and
industry. A pound weight of pig-iron costs the operative manufacturer
about five cents. This is worked up into steel, of which is made the
little spiral spring that moves the balance-wheel of a watch. Each of
these springs weighs but the tenth part of a grain, and, when completed,
may be sold as high as $3.00, so that out of a pound of iron, allowing
something for the loss of metal, eighty thousand of these springs may be
made, and a substance worth but five cents be wrought into a value of

An American gentleman says, that during a recent visit to Manchester,
England, a pound of cotton, which in its crude state may have been worth
eight cents, was pointed out to him as worth a pound of gold. It had
been spun into a thread that would go round the globe at the equator and
tie in a good large knot of many hundred miles in length.

                          QUANTITY AND VALUE.

              For what is worth in any thing
              But so much money as ’twill bring?—§Butler.§

When emeralds were first discovered in America, a Spaniard carried one
to a lapidary in Italy, and asked him what it was worth; he was told a
hundred _escudos_. He produced a second, which was larger; and that was
valued at three hundred. Overjoyed at this, he took the lapidary to his
lodging and showed him a chest full; but the Italian, seeing so many,
damped his joy by saying, “Ah ha, Señor! so many!—these are worth _one_

Montenegro presented to the elder Almagro the first cat which was
brought to South America, and was rewarded for it with six hundred
_pesos_. The first couple of cats which were carried to Cuyaba sold for
a pound of gold. There was a plague of rats in the settlement, and they
were purchased as a speculation, which proved an excellent one. Their
first kittens produced thirty _oitavas_ each; the next generation were
worth twenty; and the price gradually fell as the inhabitants were
stocked with these beautiful and useful creatures.

          Could every hailstone to a pearl be turned,
          Pearls in the mart like oyster-shells were spurned!

                      AMOUNT OF GOLD IN THE WORLD.

Estimate the yard of gold at £2,000,000, (which it is in round numbers,)
and all the gold in the world might, if melted into ingots, be contained
in a cellar twenty-four feet square and sixteen feet high. All the
boasted wealth already obtained from California and Australia would go
into a safe nine feet square and nine feet high; so small is the cube of
yellow metal that has set populations on the march and occasioned such
wondrous revolutions in the affairs of the world.

The contributions of the people, in the time of David, for the
sanctuary, exceeded £6,800,000. The immense treasure David is said to
have collected for the sanctuary amounted to £889,000,000 sterling,
(Crito says £798,000,000,)—a sum greater than the British national debt.
The gold with which Solomon overlaid the “most holy place,” a room only
thirteen feet square, amounted to more than thirty-eight millions

The products of the California mines from 1853 to 1858 are put down at
$443,091,000; those of Australia, since their discovery, at
$296,813,000; or $739,904,000 in all,—an increase of about one-third,
according to the best statistical writers, on the value of this precious
metal known in 1850. The total value of gold in the world at the present
time, then, is but little more than $3,000,000,000.

                     IMMENSE WEALTH OF THE ROMANS.

 Crassus’ landed estate was valued at                         $8,333,330
 His house was valued at                                         400,000
 Cæcilius Isidorus, after having lost much, left               5,235,800
 Demetrius, a freedman of Pompey, was worth                    3,875,000
 Lentulus, the augur, no less than                            16,666,666
 Clodius, who was slain by Milo, paid for his house              616,666
 He once swallowed a pearl worth                                  40,000
 Apicius was worth more than                                   4,583,350
 And after he had spent in his kitchen, and otherwise
   squandered, immense sums, to the amount of                  4,166,666
 He poisoned himself, leaving                                    416,666
 The establishment belonging to M. Scarus, and   burned at
   Tusculum, was valued at                                     4,150,000
 Gifts and bribes may be considered signs of great   riches:
   Cæsar presented Servilia, the mother of   Brutus, with a
   pearl worth                                                   200,000
 Paulus, the consul, was bribed by Cæsar with the   sum of       292,000
 Curio contracted debts to the amount of                       2,500,000
 Milo contracted a debt of                                     2,915,666
 Antony owed at the Ides of March, which he paid before the
   Calends of April                                            1,666,666
 He had squandered altogether                                735,000,000
 Seneca had a fortune of                                      17,500,000
 Tiberius left at his death, and Caligula spent in   less
   than twelve months,                                       118,120,000
 Caligula spent for one supper                                   150,000
 Heliogabalus in the same manner                                 100,000
 The suppers of Lucullus at the Apollo cost                        8,330
 Horace says that Pegellus, a singer, could in five   days
   spend                                                          40,000
 Herrius’ fish-ponds sold for                                    166,000
 Calvinus Labinus purchased many learned slaves,   none of
   them at a price less than                                       4,165
 Stage-players sold much higher.

                     WINE AT TWO MILLIONS A BOTTLE.

Wine at two millions of dollars a bottle is a drink that in expense
would rival the luxurious taste of barbaric splendor, when priceless
pearls were thrown into the wine-cup to give a rich flavor to its
contents; yet that there is such a costly beverage, is a fixed fact. In
the Rose apartment (so called from a bronze bas-relief) of the ancient
cellar under the Hotel de Ville in the city of Bremen is the famous
Rosenwein, deposited there nearly two centuries and a half ago. There
were twelve large cases, each bearing the name of one of the apostles;
and the wine of Judas, despite the reprobation attached to his name, is
to this day more highly esteemed than the others. One case of the wine,
containing five oxhoft of two hundred and four bottles, cost five
hundred rix-dollars in 1624. Including the expenses of keeping up the
cellar, and of the contributions, interests of the amounts, and
interests upon interests, an oxhoft costs at the present time
555,657,640 rix-dollars, and consequently a bottle is worth 2,723,812
rix-dollars; a glass, or the eighth part of a bottle, is worth 340,476
rix-dollars, or $272,380; or at the rate of 540 rix-dollars, or $272,
per drop. A burgomaster of Bremen is privileged to have one bottle
whenever he entertains a distinguished guest who enjoys a German or
European reputation. The fact illustrates the operation of interest, if
it does not show the cost of luxury.

                         CAPACIOUS BEER-CASKS.

A few years before Mr. Thrale’s death, which happened in 1781, an
emulation arose among the brewers to exceed each other in the size of
their casks for keeping beer to a certain age,—probably, says Sir John
Hawkins, taking the hint from the tun at Heidelberg, of which the
following is a description:

At Heidelberg, on the river Neckar, near its junction with the Rhine, in
Germany, there was a tun or wine-vessel constructed in 1343, which
contained twenty-one pipes. Another was made, or the one now mentioned
rebuilt, in 1664, which held six hundred hogsheads, English measure.
This was emptied, and knocked to pieces by the French, in 1688. But a
new and larger one was afterwards fabricated, which held eight hundred
hogsheads. It was formerly kept full of the best Rhenish wine, and the
Electors have given many entertainments on its platform; but this
convivial monument of ancient hospitality is now, says Mr. Walker, but a
melancholy, unsocial, solitary instance of the extinction of
hospitality: it moulders in a damp vault, quite empty.

The celebrated tun at Königstein is said to be the most capacious cask
in the world,—holding 1,869,236 pints. The top is railed in, and it
affords room for twenty people to regale themselves. There are also
several kinds of welcome-cups, which are offered to strangers, who are
invited by a Latin inscription to drink to the prosperity of the whole
universe. This enormous tun was built in 1725, by Frederick Augustus,
King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, who, in the inscription just
mentioned, is styled “the father of his country, the Titus of his age,
and the delight of mankind.”

Dr. Johnson once mentioned that his friend Thrale had four casks so
large that each of them held one thousand hogsheads. But Mr. Meux, of
Liquorpond Street, Gray’s Inn Lane, could, according to Mr. Pennant,
show twenty-four vessels containing in all thirty-five thousand barrels:
one alone held four thousand five hundred barrels; and in the year 1790
this enterprising brewer built another, containing nearly twelve
thousand barrels, valued at about £20,000. A dinner was given to two
hundred people at the bottom of it, and two hundred more joined the
company to drink success to this unrivalled vat.


Chaucer describes men and things as they _are_; Shakspeare, as they
_would be_ under the circumstances supposed; Spenser, as we would _wish_
them to be; Milton, as they _ought_ to be; Byron, as they ought _not_ to
be; and Shelley, as they never _can_ be.

                          PERILS OF PRECOCITY.

Baillet mentions one hundred and sixty-three children endowed with
extraordinary talents, among whom few arrived at an advanced age. The
two sons of Quintilian so vaunted by their father did not reach their
tenth year. Hermogenes, who at the age of fifteen taught rhetoric to
Marcus Aurelius, who triumphed over the most celebrated rhetoricians of
Greece, did not die at an early age, but at twenty-four lost his
faculties and forgot all he had previously acquired. Pico di Mirandola
died at thirty-two; Johannus Secundus at twenty-five, having at the age
of fifteen composed admirable Greek and Latin verses and become
profoundly versed in jurisprudence and letters. Pascal, whose genius
developed itself when ten years old, did not attain the third of a
century. In 1791, a child was born at Lubeck, named Henri Heinneken,
whose precocity was miraculous. At ten months of age he spoke
distinctly, at twelve learned the Pentateuch by rote, and at fourteen
months was perfectly acquainted with the Old and New Testament. At two
years he was as familiar with geography and ancient history as the most
erudite authors of antiquity. In the ancient and modern languages he was
a proficient. This wonderful child was unfortunately carried off in his
fourth year.

                      THE BLACK HOLE AT CALCUTTA.

This celebrated place of confinement was only eighteen feet by eighteen,
containing, therefore, three hundred and twenty-four square feet. When
Fort William was taken, in 1756, by Surajah Dowla, Nabob of Bengal, one
hundred and forty-six persons were shut up in the Black Hole. The room
allowed to each person a space of twenty-six and a half inches by twelve
inches, which was just sufficient to hold them without their pressing
violently on each other. To this dungeon there was but one small grated
window, and, the weather being very sultry, the air within could neither
circulate nor be changed. In less than an hour, many of the prisoners
were attacked with extreme difficulty of breathing; several were
delirious; and the place was filled with incoherent ravings, in which
the cry for water was predominant. This was handed them by the
sentinels, but without the effect of allaying their thirst. In less than
four hours, many were suffocated, or died in violent delirium. In five
hours, the survivors, except those at the grate, were frantic and
outrageous. At length most of them became insensible. Eleven hours after
they were imprisoned, twenty-three only, of the one hundred and
forty-six, came out alive, and those were in a highly-putrid fever, from
which, however, by fresh air and proper attention, they gradually

                            STONE BAROMETER.

A Finland newspaper mentions a stone in the northern part of Finland,
which serves the inhabitants instead of a barometer. This stone, which
they call Ilmakiur, turns black, or blackish gray, when it is going to
rain, but on the approach of fine weather it is covered with white
spots. Probably it is a fossil mixed with clay, and containing
rock-salt, nitre, or ammonia, which, according to the greater or less
degree of dampness of the atmosphere, attracts it, or otherwise. In the
latter case the salt appears, forming the white spots.

                        BITTERNESS OF STRYCHNIA.

Strychnia, the active principle of the Nux Vomica bean, which has become
so famous in the annals of criminal poisoning, is so intensely bitter
that it will impart a sensibly bitter taste to six hundred thousand
times its weight of water.

                           SALT, AS A LUXURY.

Mungo Park describes salt as “the greatest of all luxuries in Central
Africa.” Says he, “It would appear strange to a European to see a child
suck a piece of rock-salt, as if it were sugar. This, however, I have
frequently seen; although in the inland parts the poorer class of
inhabitants are so very rarely indulged with this precious article, that
to say a man eats salt with his victuals is the same as saying that he
is a rich man. I have myself suffered great inconvenience from the
scarcity of this article. The long-continued use of vegetable food
creates so painful a longing for salt, that no words can sufficiently
describe it.”

                       SINGULAR CHANGE OF TASTE.

The sense by which we appreciate the sweetness of bodies is liable to
singular modifications. Thus, the leaves of the _Gymnema sylvestre_,—a
plant of Northern India,—when chewed, take away the power of tasting
sugar for twenty-four hours, without otherwise injuring the general
sense of taste.

                         BLUNDERS OF PAINTERS.

Tintoret, an Italian painter, in a picture of the Children of Israel
gathering manna, has taken the precaution to arm them with the modern
invention of guns. Cigoli painted the aged Simeon at the circumcision of
the infant Saviour; and as aged men in these days wear spectacles, the
artist has shown his sagacity by placing them on Simeon’s nose. In a
picture by Verrio of Christ healing the sick, the lookers-on are
represented as standing with periwigs on their heads. To match, or
rather to exceed, this ludicrous representation, Durer has painted the
expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden by an angel in a dress
fashionably trimmed with flounces. The same painter, in his scene of
Peter denying Christ, represents a Roman soldier very comfortably
smoking a pipe of tobacco. A Dutch painter, in a picture of the Wise Men
worshipping the Holy Child, has drawn one of them in a large white
surplice, and in boots and spurs, and he is in the act of presenting to
the child a model of a Dutch man-of-war. In a Dutch picture of Abraham
offering up his son, instead of the patriarch’s “stretching forth his
hand and taking the knife,” as the Scriptures inform us, he is
represented as using a more effectual and modern instrument: he is
holding to Isaac’s head a _blunderbuss_. Berlin represents in a picture
the Virgin and Child listening to a violin; and in another picture he
has drawn King David playing the harp at the marriage of Christ with St.
Catherine. A French artist has drawn, with true French taste, the Lord’s
Supper, with the table ornamented with tumblers filled with
cigar-lighters; and, as if to crown the list of these absurd and
ludicrous anachronisms, the garden of Eden has been drawn with Adam and
Eve in all their primeval simplicity and virtue, while near them, in
full costume, is seen a hunter with a gun, shooting ducks.

                           MINUTE MECHANISM.

There is a cherry-stone at the Salem (Mass.) Museum, which contains one
dozen silver spoons. The stone itself is of the ordinary size; but the
spoons are so small that their shape and finish can only be well
distinguished by the microscope. Here is the result of immense labor for
no decidedly useful purpose; and there are thousands of other objects in
the world fashioned by ingenuity, the value of which, in a utilitarian
sense, may be said to be quite as indifferent. Dr. Oliver gives an
account of a cherry-stone on which were carved one hundred and
twenty-four heads, so distinctly that the naked eye could distinguish
those belonging to popes and kings by their mitres and crowns. It was
bought in Prussia for fifteen thousand dollars, and thence conveyed to
England, where it was considered an object of so much value that its
possession was disputed, and it became the object of a suit in chancery.
One of the Nuremberg toy-makers enclosed in a cherry-stone, which was
exhibited at the French Crystal Palace, a plan of Sevastopol, a
railway-station, and the “Messiah” of Klopstock. In more remote times,
an account is given of an ivory chariot, constructed by Mermecides,
which was so small that a fly could cover it with his wing; also a ship
of the same material, which could be hidden under the wing of a bee!
Pliny, too, tells us that Homer’s Iliad, with its fifteen thousand
verses, was written in so small a space as to be contained in a
nutshell; while Elian mentions an artist who wrote a distich in letters
of gold, which he enclosed in the rind of a kernel of corn. But the
Harleian MS. mentions a greater curiosity than any of the above, it
being nothing more nor less than the Bible, written by one Peter Bales,
a chancery clerk, in so small a book that it could be enclosed within
the shell of an English walnut. Disraeli gives an account of many other
exploits similar to the one of Bales. There is a drawing of the head of
Charles II. in the library of St. John’s College, Oxford, wholly
composed of minute written characters, which at a small distance
resemble the lines of an engraving. The head and the ruff are said to
contain the book of Psalms, in Greek, and the Lord’s Prayer. In the
British Museum is a portrait of Queen Anne, not much larger than the
hand. On this drawing are a number of lines and scratches, which, it is
asserted, comprise the entire contents of a thin folio. The modern art
of Photography is capable of effecting wonders in this way. We have
before us the Declaration of Independence, containing seven thousand
eight hundred letters, on a space not larger than the head of a pin,
which, when viewed through a microscope, may be read distinctly.


The proportion of the diameter of a circle to its circumference has
never yet been exactly ascertained. Nor can a square or any other
right-lined figure be found that shall be equal to a given circle. This
is the celebrated problem called the squaring of the circle, which has
exercised the abilities of the greatest mathematicians for ages and been
the occasion of so many disputes. Several persons of considerable
eminence have, at different times, pretended that they had discovered
the exact quadrature; but their errors have readily been detected; and
it is now generally looked upon as a thing impossible to be done.

But though the relation between the diameter and circumference cannot be
accurately expressed in known numbers, it may yet be approximated to any
assigned degree of exactness. And in this manner was the problem solved,
about two thousand years ago, by the great Archimedes, who discovered
the proportion to be nearly as seven to twenty-two. The process by which
he effected this may be seen in his book _De Dimensione Circuli_. The
same proportion was also discovered by Philo Gadarensis and Apollonius
Pergeus at a still earlier period, as we are informed by Eutocius.

The proportion of Vieta and Metius is that of one hundred and thirteen
to three hundred and fifty-five, which is a little more exact than the
former. It was derived from the pretended quadrature of a M. Van Eick,
which first gave rise to the discovery.

But the first who ascertained this ratio to any great degree of
exactness was Van Ceulen, a Dutchman, in his book _De Circulo et
Adscriptis_. He found that if the diameter of a circle was 1, the
circumference would be 3·141592653589793238462643383279502884 nearly;
which is exactly true to thirty-six places of decimals, and was effected
by the continual bisection of an arc of a circle, a method so extremely
troublesome and laborious that it must have cost him incredible pains.
It is said to have been thought so curious a performance that the
numbers were cut on his tombstone in St. Peter’s churchyard, at Leyden.

But since the invention of fluxions, and the summation of infinite
series, several methods have been discovered for doing the same thing
with much more ease and expedition. Euler and other eminent
mathematicians have by these means given a quadrature of the circle
which is true to more than one hundred places of decimals,—a proportion
so extremely near the truth that, unless the ratio could be completely
obtained, we need not wish for a greater degree of accuracy.

                        MATHEMATICAL PRODIGIES.

              They with the pen or pencil problems solved;
              He, with no aid but wondrous memory.

Prominent among the precocious mathematicians of the present day is a
colored boy in Kentucky, named William Marcy, whose feats in mental
arithmetic are truly wonderful. His powers of computation appear to be
fully equal to those of Bidder, Buxton, Grandimange, Colburn, or
Safford. He can multiply or divide millions by thousands in a few
minutes from the time the figures are given to him, and always with the
utmost exactness. Recently, in the presence of a party of gentlemen, he
added a column of figures, _eight_ in a line, and _one hundred and
eighty_ lines, making the sum total of several millions, within _six
minutes_. The feat was so astounding, and apparently incredible, that
several of the party took off their coats, and, dividing the sum, went
to work, and in two hours after they commenced produced identically the
same answers. The boy is not quite seventeen years of age; he cannot
read nor write, and in every other branch of an English education is
entirely deficient. It is worthy of remark that mathematics is the only
department of science in which such feats of imbecile minds can be
achieved. The supposition would not, _a priori_, be admissible; but
frequent facts prove it. A negro, a real idiot, was not long since
reported in Alabama, who could beat this Kentuckian in figures, but
could scarcely do any thing else worthy of a human intellect. Precocious
mathematicians, not imbecile, have usually turned out poorly; few of
them, like Pascal, have shown any general capacity. These facts suggest
inferences unfortunate for mathematical genius, if not for mathematical
studies. They have sublime relations, in their “mixed” form, with our
knowledge of the universe; but their relations to genius—to human
sentiments and sensibilities—to the moral and ideal in humanity,—are, to
say the least, quite equivocal. The calculating power alone would seem
to be the least of human qualities, and to have the smallest amount of
reason in it; since a machine like Babbage’s can be made to do the work
of three or four calculators, and better than any of them.

                         EXTRAORDINARY MEMORY.

Lipsius made this offer to a German prince:—Sit here with a poniard, and
if in repeating _Tacitus_ from beginning to end I miss a single word,
stab me. I will freely bare my breast for you to strike.

Muretus tells us of a young Corsican, a law-student at Padua, who could,
without hesitation, repeat thirty-six thousand Latin, Greek, or
barbarous words, significant or insignificant, upon once hearing them.
Muretus himself tested his wonderful memory, and avers all alleged
respecting it to be strictly true.

Mr. Carruthers, in the course of a lecture on Scottish history mentioned
an instance of Sir Walter Scott’s wonderful memory: “I have heard
Campbell relate how strongly Scott was impressed with his (Campbell’s)
poem of _Lochiel’s Warning_. ‘I read it to him in manuscript,’ he said;
‘he then asked to read it over himself, which he did slowly and
distinctly, after which he handed to me the manuscript, saying, ‘Take
care of your copyright, for I have got your poem by heart,’ and with
only these two readings he repeated the poem with scarcely a mistake.’
Certainly an extraordinary instance of memory, for the piece contains
eighty-eight lines. The subject, however, was one which could not fail
powerfully to arrest Scott’s attention, and versification and diction
are such as are easily caught up and remembered.”

                           SILENT COMPLIMENT.

While an eloquent clergyman was addressing a religious society, he
intimated, more than once, that he was admonished to conclude by the
lateness of the hour. His discourse, however, was so attractive that
some ladies in the gallery covered the clock with their shawls.


Comyn, Bishop of Durham, having quarrelled with his clergy, they mixed
poison with the wine of the Eucharist, and gave it to him. He perceived
the poison, but yet, with misguided devotion, he drank it and died.

                        THE NEED OF PROVIDENCE.

Cecil says in his _Remains_:—We require the same hand to protect us in
apparent safety as in the most imminent and palpable danger. One of the
most wicked men in my neighborhood was riding near a precipice and fell
over: his horse was killed, but he escaped without injury. Instead of
thanking God for his deliverance, he refused to acknowledge the hand of
God in it, but attributed his escape to chance. The same man was
afterwards riding on a very smooth road: his horse suddenly fell and
threw his rider over his head, and killed him on the spot, while the
horse escaped unhurt.

                    The Fancies of Fact.-§Continued§

                         DIMENSIONS OF HEAVEN.

  And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The
  length, and the breadth, and the height of it are equal.—Rev. xxi. 16.

Twelve thousand furlongs, 7,920,000 feet, which being cubed,
496,793,088,000,000,000,000 cubic feet. Half of this we will reserve for
the Throne of God and the Court of Heaven, and half the balance for
streets, leaving a remainder of 124,198,272,000,000,000,000 cubic feet.
Divide this by 4,096, the cubical feet in a room sixteen feet square,
and there will be 30,321,843,750,000,000 rooms.

We will now suppose the world always did and always will contain
990,000,000 inhabitants, and that a generation lasts for 33⅓ years,
making in all 2,970,000,000 every century, and that the world will stand
100,000 years, or 1,000 centuries, making in all 2,970,000,000,000
inhabitants. Then suppose there were one hundred worlds equal to this in
number of inhabitants and duration of years, making a total of
297,000,000,000,000 persons, and there would be more than a hundred
rooms sixteen feet square for each person.

                     THE COST OF SOLOMON’S TEMPLE.

According to the computation of Villalpandus, the talents of gold,
silver, and brass, used in the construction of the Temple, amounted to
£6,879,822,500. The jewels are reckoned to have exceeded this sum; but,
for the sake of an estimate, let their value be set down at the same
amount. The vessels of gold (_vasa aurea_) consecrated to the use of the
Temple are reckoned by Josephus at 140,000 talents, which, according to
Capel’s reduction, are equal to £545,296,203. The vessels of silver
(_vasa argentea_) are computed at 1,340,000 talents, or £489,344,000.
The silk vestments of the priests cost £10,000; the purple vestments of
the singers, £2,000,000. The trumpets amounted to £200,000; other
musical instruments to £40,000. To these expenses must be added those of
the other materials, the timber and stone, and of the labor employed
upon them, the labor being divided thus: there were 10,000 men engaged
at Lebanon in hewing timber (_silvicidæ_); there were 70,000 bearers of
burdens (_vectores_); 20,000 hewers of stone (_lapicidinæ_); and 3,300
overseers (_episcopi_); all of whom were employed for seven years, and
upon whom, besides their wages and diet, Solomon bestowed £6,733,977
(_donum Solomonis_). If the daily food and wages of each man be
estimated at 4_s._ 6_d._, the sum total will be £93,877,088. The costly
stone and the timber in the rough may be set down as at least equal to
one-third of the gold, or about £2,545,296,000. The several estimates
will then amount to £17,442,442,268, or $77,521,965,636.

                           THE NUMBER SEVEN.

In the year 1502 there was printed at Leipsic a work entitled
_Heptalogium Virgilii Salsburgensis_, in honor of the number seven. It
consists of seven parts, each consisting of seven divisions. In 1624
appeared in London a curious work on the subject of numbers, bearing the
following title: _The Secrets of Numbers, according to Theological,
Arithmetical, Geometrical, and Harmonical Computation; drawn, for the
better part, out of those Ancients, as well as Neoteriques. Pleasing to
read, profitable to understand, opening themselves to the capacities of
both learned and unlearned; being no other than a key to lead men to any
doctrinal knowledge whatsoever_. In the ninth chapter the author has
given many notable opinions from learned men, to prove the excellency of
the number _seven_. “First, it neither begets nor is begotten, according
to the saying of Philo. Some numbers, indeed, within the compass of ten,
beget, but are not begotten; and that is the unarie. Others are
begotten, but beget not; as the octonarie. Only the septenarie, having a
prerogative above them all, neither begetteth nor is begotten. This is
its first divinity or perfection. Secondly, this is a harmonical number,
and the well and fountain of that fair and lovely _Digamma_, because it
includeth within itself all manner of harmony. Thirdly, it is a
theological number, consisting of perfection. Fourthly, because of its
compositure; for it is compounded of the first two perfect numbers equal
and unequal,—three and four; for the number two, consisting of repeated
unity, which is no number, is not perfect. Now, every one of these being
excellent of themselves, (as hath been demonstrated,) how can this
number be but far more excellent, consisting of them all, and
participating, as it were, of all their excellent virtues?”

Hippocrates says that the septenary number by its occult virtue tends to
the accomplishment of all things, is the dispenser of life and fountain
of all its changes; and, like Shakspeare, he divides the life of man
into seven ages. In seven months a child may be born and live, and not
before. Anciently a child was not named before seven days, not being
accounted fully to have life before that periodical day. The teeth
spring out in the seventh month, and are renewed in the seventh year,
when infancy is changed into childhood. At thrice seven years the
faculties are developed, manhood commences, and we become legally
competent to all civil acts; at four times seven man is in the full
possession of his strength; at five times seven he is fit for the
business of the world; at six times seven he becomes grave and wise, or
never; at seven times seven he is in his apogee, and from that time he
decays. At eight times seven he is in his first climacteric; at nine
times seven, or sixty-three, he is in his grand climacteric, or year of
danger; and ten times seven, or threescore years and ten, has, by the
Royal Prophet, been pronounced the natural period of human life.

In six days creation was perfected, and the seventh was consecrated to
rest. On the seventh of the seventh month a holy observance was ordained
to the children of Israel, who feasted seven days and remained seven
days in rest; the seventh year was directed to be a sabbath of rest for
all things; and at the end of seven times seven years commenced the
grand Jubilee; every seventh year the land lay fallow; every seventh
year there was a general release from all debts, and all bondsmen were
set free. From this law may have originated the custom of binding young
men to seven years’ apprenticeship, and of punishing incorrigible
offenders by transportation for seven, twice seven, or three times seven
years. Every seventh year the law was directed to be read to the people;
Jacob served seven years for the possession of Rachel, and also another
seven years. Noah had seven days’ warning of the flood, and was
commanded to take the fowls of the air into the ark by sevens, and the
clean beasts by sevens. The ark touched the ground on the seventh month;
and in seven days a dove was sent, and again in seven days after. The
seven years of plenty and seven years of famine were foretold in
Pharaoh’s dreams by the seven fat and the seven lean beasts, and the
seven ears of full corn and the seven ears of blasted corn. The young
animals were to remain with the dam seven days, and at the close of the
seventh taken away. By the old law, man was commanded to forgive his
offending brother seven times; but the meekness of the last revealed
religion extended his humility and forbearance to seventy times seven
times. “If Cain shall be revenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy times
seven.” In the destruction of Jericho, seven priests bore seven trumpets
seven days, and on the seventh day surrounded the walls seven times, and
after the seventh time the walls fell. Balaam prepared seven bullocks
and seven rams for a sacrifice; Laban pursued Jacob seven days’ journey;
Job’s friends sat with him seven days and seven nights, and offered
seven bullocks and seven rams as an atonement for their wickedness;
David, in bringing up the ark, offered seven bullocks and seven rams;
Elijah sent his servant seven times to look for the cloud; Hezekiah, in
cleansing the temple, offered seven bullocks and seven rams and seven
he-goats for a sin-offering. The children of Israel, when Hezekiah took
away the strange altars, kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days,
and then again another seven days. King Ahasuerus had seven
chamberlains, a seven days’ feast, and sent for the queen on the seventh
day; and in the seventh year of his reign she was taken to him. Queen
Esther had seven maids to attend her. Solomon was seven years building
the temple, at the dedication of which he feasted seven days; in the
tabernacle were seven lamps; seven days were appointed for an atonement
upon the altar, and the priest’s son was ordained to wear his father’s
garment seven days; the children of Israel ate unleavened bread seven
days; Abraham gave seven ewe-lambs to Abimelech as a memorial for a
well; Joseph mourned seven days for Jacob. The rabbins say God employed
the power of answering this number to perfect the greatness of Samuel,
his name answering the value of the letters in the Hebrew word, which
signifies seven,—whence Hannah, his mother, in her thanks, says “that
the barren had brought forth the seventh.” In Scripture are enumerated
seven resurrections,—the widow’s son, by Elias; the Shunamite’s son, by
Elisha; the soldier who touched the bone of the prophet; the daughter of
the ruler of the synagogue; the widow’s son of Nain; Lazarus, and our
blessed Lord. Out of Mary Magdalene were cast seven devils. The apostles
chose seven deacons. Enoch, who was translated, was the seventh after
Adam, and Jesus Christ the seventy-seventh in a direct line. Our Saviour
spoke seven times from the cross, on which he remained seven hours; he
appeared seven times; after seven times seven days he sent the Holy
Ghost. In the Lord’s Prayer are seven petitions, expressed in seven
times seven words, omitting those of mere grammatical connection. Within
this number are contained all the mysteries of the Apocalypse revealed
to the seven churches of Asia; there appeared seven golden candlesticks
and seven stars that were in the hand of Him that was in the midst;
seven lamps, being the seven spirits of God; the book with seven seals;
seven kings; seven thunders; seven thousand men slain; the dragon with
seven heads, and the seven angels bearing seven vials of wrath; the
vision of Daniel seventy weeks. The fiery furnace was made seven times
hotter for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; Nebuchadnezzar ate the grass
of the field seven years. The elders of Israel were seventy. There are
also numbered seven heavens, seven planets, seven stars, seven wise men,
seven champions of Christendom, seven notes in music, seven primary
colors, seven deadly sins, seven sacraments in the Roman Catholic
Church, and seven wonders of the world. The seventh son was considered
as endowed with pre-eminent wisdom; the seventh son of a seventh son is
still thought by some to possess the power of healing diseases
spontaneously. Perfection is likened to gold seven times purified in the
fire; and we yet say, “you frighten me out of my seven senses.” There
were seven chiefs before Thebes. The blood was to be sprinkled seven
times before the altar; Naaman was to be dipped seven times in Jordan;
Apuleius speaks of the dipping of the head seven times in the sea for
purification. In all solemn rites of purgation, dedication, and
consecration, the oil or water was seven times sprinkled. The house of
wisdom, in Proverbs, had seven pillars.

                           THE NUMBER THREE.

When the world was created, we find land, water, and sky; sun, moon, and
stars. Noah had but three sons; Jonah was three days in the whale’s
belly; our Saviour passed three days in the tomb. Peter denied his
Saviour thrice. There were three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Abraham entertained three angels. Samuel was called three times. “Simon,
lovest thou me?” was repeated three times. Daniel was thrown into a den
with three lions, for praying three times a day. Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego were rescued from the flames of the oven. The Commandments were
delivered on the third day. Job had three friends. St. Paul speaks of
faith, hope, and charity, these three. Those famous dreams of the baker
and butler were to come to pass in three days; and Elijah prostrated
himself three times on the body of the dead child. Samson deceived
Delilah three times before she discovered the source of his strength. In
mythology there were three graces; Cerberus with his three heads;
Neptune holding his three-toothed staff; the Oracle of Delphi cherished
with veneration the tripod; and the nine Muses sprang from three. The
witches in Macbeth ask, “When shall we three meet again?” The Pope’s
tiara is triple. We have morning, noon, and night; fish, flesh, and
fowl; water, ice, and snow. Trees group their leaves in threes; there is
three-leaved clover. What could be done in mathematics without the aid
of the triangle? witness the power of the wedge; and in logic three
propositions are indispensable. It is a common phrase that “three is a
lucky number.” Life stands on a tripod, the feet of which are the
circulation, respiration, and innervation; death is therefore the result
of a failure in the heart, the lungs, or the brain. Finally, there is
earth, heaven, and hell; and above all, the Holy Trinity.

                            THE NUMBER NINE.

The singular properties of the number nine are well known to
arithmeticians. The following is one of the most interesting. If the
cardinal numbers from 1 to 9 inclusive, omitting 8, be used as a
multiplicand, and any one of them multiplied by 9 be used as a
multiplier, the result will present a succession of figures the same as
that multiplied by the 9. For example, if we wish a series of fives, we
take 5 times 9, equal to 45, for a multiplier:—

                             1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9
                                         4 5
                             6 1 7 2 8 3 9 5
                           4 9 3 8 2 7 1 6
                           5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

A similar result will be obtained by using all the other numbers,
including 8 (72); but the 8 must in all cases be omitted in the

                      CHANGES OF THE KALEIDOSCOPE.

The following curious calculation has been made of the number of changes
which this wonderful instrument will admit:—

Supposing the instrument to contain twenty small pieces of glass, &c.,
and that you make ten changes in each minute, it will take the
inconceivable space of 462,880,899,576 years and 360 days to go through
the immense variety of changes it is capable of producing,—amounting
(according to our frail idea of the nature of things) to an eternity,
Or, if you take only twelve small pieces, and make ten changes in each
minute, it will then take 33,264 days, or 91 years and 49 days, to
exhaust its variations. However exaggerated this statement may appear to
some, it is actually the case.


The following comparison between the size of Noah’s Ark and the
Leviathan (Great Eastern), both being considered in point of tonnage,
after the old law for calculating the tonnage, exhibits a remarkable
similarity. The sacred cubit, as stated by Sir Isaac Newton, is 20·625
English inches; by Bishop Wilkins at 21·88 inches. According to these
authorities, the dimensions will be as follows:—

                               SIR I. NEWTON. BP. WILKINS. GR. EASTERN.
                                  _Feet._       _Feet._       _Feet._
 Length between perpendiculars         515·62       547·00           680
 Breadth                                84·94        91·16            83
 Depth                                  51·56        54·70            60
 Keel, or length for tonnage           464·08       492·31           630
 Tonnage according to old law    18,231 58–94 21,761 50–94 23,092 25–94.

                          DIVERSITY OF COLORS.

In a very amusing work of the celebrated Goethe, entitled _Winkelmann
und sein Jahrhundert_, it is stated that about fifteen thousand
varieties of color are employed by the workers of mosaic in Rome, and
that there are fifty shades of each of these varieties, from the deepest
to the palest, thus affording seven hundred and fifty thousand tints,
which the artist can distinguish with the greatest facility. It might be
imagined that with the command of seven hundred and fifty thousand tints
of colors, the most varied and beautiful painting could be perfectly
imitated; yet this is not the case, for the mosaic-workers find a lack
of tints, even amid this astonishing variety.


Meteoric stones, in single masses and in showers, have fallen from the
atmosphere at various, and in many cases uncertain, periods, throughout
the world. The largest of these at present known is in the province of
Tucuman, in South America, in the midst of an extensive plain. It weighs
thirty thousand pounds. A mass in the Imperial Cabinet in Vienna was
brought from Agram, in Croatia, where it fell in 1751. It was seen by
the inhabitants while falling from the air, and is said to have appeared
like a globe of fire. Professor Pallas, in his travels in Siberia, found
a mass on the mountains of Kemir, weighing sixteen hundred and eighty
pounds, which the inhabitants told him fell from the sky. About one
hundred and fifty miles from Bahia, in Brazil, is a mass of a
crystalline texture weighing fourteen thousand pounds. There are also
large masses in West Greenland, Mexico, Peru, and South Africa. The
specimen in the cabinet at New Haven, weighing three thousand pounds,
was brought from Red River in Louisiana. Showers of meteorolites,
weighing from a few ounces to twenty pounds, are recorded by observers
as having fallen at Ensisheim, in 1492; at Mort, in 1750; at Aire, in
1769; at Juliac, in 1790; at Sienna, in 1794; at Benares, in 1798; at
L’Aigle, in 1803; and at St. Germaine, in 1808. One of the most
remarkable instances that has occurred in this country under the direct
observation of eye-witnesses took place in Fairfield county,
Connecticut, in December, 1807, an interesting account of which may be
found in vol. vi. American Philosophical Transactions (1809). A similar
occurrence happened at Norwich, in the same State, in 1836.

With regard to the extraordinary origin of these aerolites, or
meteorolites, it has been incontestably proved to be atmospheric, by
eye-witnesses, by the similarity of their composition in all cases, by
the fact that though the materials thus mingled—being chiefly native
iron, with small proportions of nickel, silex, aluminium, magnesium, and
sulphur—are well known, they are never united in the same manner among
the productions of the globe; and further, by the fact that they are
never projected from terrestrial volcanoes, and that the situations in
which they are found are generally isolated and always on the surface of
the earth.

It remains, then, for the philosopher to ascertain the source of this
interesting portion of nature. The great difficulty of this task is
evident from the number and variety of the theories which have been
formed respecting it, and their liability to serious objections. Those
who hold the opinion that aerolites are formed from substances floating
in the atmosphere must resort to the hypothesis that iron, nickel,
silex, sulphur, &c. are first rendered volatile, and then synthetically
formed into the ponderous stones which fall from above. Professor
Silliman remarks of this recourse to atmospheric formation from gaseous
ingredients, that it is a crude, unphilosophical conception,
inconsistent with known chemical facts, and physically impossible. The
theory which refers these aerolites to _lunar_ volcanic origin seems to
have more to recommend it. La Place, the illustrious author of the
_Mécanique Céleste_,—the respect due to whose opinion no one will
dispute,—maintained that these meteoric stones are expelled violently
from the active volcanoes which telescopic research has proved to exist
in great numbers on the surface of the moon, and that, passing beyond
the limits of the attraction of our satellite, they come within the
influence of the earth and are drawn towards its surface. It has been
calculated that the power required to drive a body beyond the moon’s
attraction would be only about four times that with which a ball is
expelled from a cannon with the ordinary charge of gunpowder. However
rapid a velocity of seven thousand seven hundred and seventy feet per
second may seem, it would not require an improbable amount of mechanical

Professor Olmsted, the American astronomer, has offered the most
satisfactory explanation. He has shown that countless bodies, of
comparatively small dimensions, cluster together in vast rings, and
revolve, as do the planets, around the sun; that these bodies become
visible when the orbit of the earth approaches their orbit; that
sometimes they are entangled in our atmosphere, catch fire from their
enormous velocity, and fall to the earth as meteoric stones. In this way
the shooting stars and meteors are shown to be diminutive planets, which
in composition and orbital motion resemble our own earth, and almost
fill the planetary space with their countless squadrons.

                     FATE OF AMERICA’S DISCOVERERS.

It is remarkable how few of the eminent men of the discoverers and
conquerors of the New World died in peace. Columbus died broken-hearted;
Roldin and Bobadilla were drowned; Ovando was harshly superseded; Las
Casas sought refuge in a cowl; Ojeda died in extreme poverty; Enciso was
deposed by his own men; Nicuessa perished miserably by the cruelty of
his party; Vasco Nunez de Balboa was disgracefully beheaded; Narvaez was
imprisoned in a tropical dungeon, and afterwards died of hardship;
Cortez was dishonored; Alvarado was destroyed in ambush; Almagro was
garroted; Pizarro was murdered, and his four brothers cut off; and there
was no end to the assassinations and executions of the secondary chiefs
among the energetic and daring adventurers.

                      FACTS ABOUT THE PRESIDENTS.

Of the first seven Presidents of the United States, four were from
Virginia, two of the same name from Massachusetts, and one from
Tennessee. All but one were sixty-six years old on leaving office,
having served two terms, and one of those who served but one term would
have been sixty-six years of age at the end of another. Three of the
seven died on the 4th of July, and two of them on the same day and year.
Two of them were on the sub-committee of three that drafted the
Declaration of Independence; and these two died on the same day and
year, on the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and just
half a century from the day of the Declaration. The names of three of
the seven end in son, yet none of them transmitted his name to a _son_.
The initials of the names of two of the seven are the same; the initials
of two others are the same; and those of still two others, the same. The
remaining one, who stands alone in this particular, stands also alone in
the love and admiration of his countrymen and of the civilized
world,—Washington. Of the first five, only one had a son, and that son
was also President. Neither of the Presidents who had sons were elected
for a second term.

                         THE CROWN OF ENGLAND.

The crown of England is a costly “bauble,” bedazzled with jewels enough
to found three or four public charities, or a half-dozen ordinary
colleges. There are twenty diamonds round the circle, worth $7,500 each,
making $150,000; two large centre diamonds, $10,000 each, making
$20,000; fifty-four smaller diamonds, placed at the angle of the former,
each $500; four crosses, each composed of twenty-five diamonds, $60,000;
four large diamonds on the top of the crosses, $20,000; twelve diamonds
contained in the fleur-de-lis, $50,000; eighteen smaller diamonds
contained in the same, $10,000; pearls, diamonds, &c. upon the arches
and crosses, $50,000; also one hundred and forty-one small diamonds,
$25,000; twenty-six diamonds in the upper cross, $15,500; two circles of
pearls about the rim, $15,000. The cost of the stones in the crown,
exclusive of the metal, is, therefore, nearly half a million of dollars.

                           AN ARMY OF WOMEN.

In the army of the Chinese rebels, there were in 1853, in Nanking alone,
about half a million of women, collected from various parts of the
country and formed into brigades of thirteen thousand, under female
officers. Of these, ten thousand were picked women, drilled and
garrisoned in the city; the rest were compelled to undergo the drudgery
of digging moats, making earth works, erecting batteries, &c.

                         THE STAR IN THE EAST.

Under the influence of a conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars, which
took place in the year 1604, Kepler was led to think that he had
discovered means for determining the true year of our Saviour’s birth.
He made his calculations, and found that Jupiter and Saturn were in
conjunction in the constellation of the Fishes (a fish is the
astrological symbol of Judæa) in the latter half of the year of Rome
747, and were joined by Mars in 748. Here then he fixed the first figure
in the date of our era, and here he found the appearance in the heavens
which induced the magi to undertake their journey, and conducted them
successfully on their way. Others have taken up this view, freed it from
astrological impurities, and shown its trustworthiness and applicability
in the case under consideration. It appears that Jupiter and Saturn came
together for the first time on May 20th in the twentieth degree of the
constellation of the Fishes. They then stood before sunrise in the
eastern part of the heavens, and so were seen by the magi. Jupiter then
passed by Saturn towards the north. About the middle of September they
were near midnight both in opposition to the sun, Saturn in the
thirteenth, Jupiter in the fifteenth degree, being distant from each
other about a degree and a half. They then drew nearer: on October 27th
there was a second conjunction in the sixteenth degree, and on November
12th there took place a third conjunction in the fifteenth degree of the
same constellation. In the last two conjunctions the interval between
the planets amounted to no more than a degree, so that to the unassisted
eye the rays of the one planet were absorbed in those of the other, and
the two bodies would appear as one. The two planets went past each other
three times, came very near together, and showed themselves all night
long for months in conjunction with each other, as if they would never
separate again. Their first union in the east awoke the attention of the
magi, told them the expected time had come, and bade them set off
without delay towards Judæa (the fish land). When they reached Jerusalem
the two planets were once more blended together. Then, in the evening,
they stood in the southern part of the sky, pointing with their united
rays to Bethlehem, where prophecy declared the Messiah was to be born.
The magi followed the finger of heavenly light, and were brought to the
child Jesus. The conclusion in regard to the time of the advent is that
our Lord was born in the latter part of the year of Rome 747, or six
years before the common era.

A recent writer of considerable merit, Wieseler (_Chronolog. Synop. der
4 Evangelien._) has applied this theory of Kepler in conjunction with a
discovery that he has made from some Chinese astronomical tables, which
show that in the year of Rome 750 a comet appeared in the heavens, and
was visible for seventy days. Wieseler’s opinion is that the conjunction
of the planets excited and fixed the attention of the magi, but that
their guiding-star was the aforesaid comet.

                          DIPLOMATIC COSTUME.

Dr. Franklin, it is well known, gained great praise for wearing an
ordinary plain suit, instead of a gold embroidered Court costume, when
formally presented to King Louis XVI. In reference to this anecdote,
Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his notebook states that he was told by an aged
lady, in England, that the circumstance above mentioned arose from the
fact that Franklin’s tailor disappointed him of his Court suit, and that
he wore his plain one with great reluctance, because he had no other.
Franklin, it is said, having by his mishap made a successful impression,
continued to wear his plain dress through policy. Thus we have another
dissipation of one of those pleasant fictions which have been
transmitted by the historian and the painter. It is like the apocryphal
story of Franklin reading the prayer of Habakkuk to an assembly of
French infidels, who are said to have pronounced it one of the finest
compositions they had ever heard, and to have eagerly inquired where it
might be found.


  The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason
  of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and
  sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.—Psalm xc. 10.

Haller has noted one thousand cases of centenarians: sixty-two of from
110 to 120 years; twenty-nine of from 120 to 130; and fifteen who had
attained from 130 to 140 years. Beyond this advanced age,
well-authenticated examples of longevity are very rare. The case of
Henry Jenkins, the Yorkshire fisherman, who died in December, 1670, at
the age of 169, is one of the most remarkable. He is buried in the
church of Bolton-upon-Swale, where may be found a long inscription,
chiefly referring to his humble position in life and his patriarchal
age. That of Thomas Parr is also well known. He was first married at the
age of 80, and afterwards at 122, and died in 1635, aged 152. He was a
farmer, and up to the age of 130 was able to dig, plough, and thrash.
Had he continued his simple and abstemious habits, his life would
probably have been prolonged a considerable period; but the luxurious
living of the court of Charles I., at which his latter years were spent,
occasioned a plethoric condition which hastened his end. The famous
Harvey dissected him after death, and found no appearance of decay in
any organ.

The following list of instances of very advanced age is given on the
authority of Prichard, Whitehurst, Bailey, and others:—

                                                  Died.    Age.
         Apollonius of Tyana                   §A.D.§   99  130
         St. Patrick                                   491  122
         Attila                                        500  124
         Llywarch Hên                                  500  150
         St. Coemgene                                  618  120
         St. Mongah, or Kentigern                      781  185
         Piastus, King of Poland                       861  120
         Countess of Desmond                          1612  145
         Thomas Parr                                  1635  152
         Thomas Damme                                 1648  154
         Dr. Mead, Hertfordshire                      1652  148
         James Bowles, Kenilworth                     1656  152
         Henry Jenkins                                1670  169
         William Edwards[16]                          1688  168
         Petrarch Czartan                             1724  185
         Margaret Patten                              1739  137
         John Roven                                   1741  172
         Mrs. John Roven                              1741  164
         John Effingham, Cornwall                     ————  144
         Thomas Winslow, a captain of Cromwell        1766  146
         Draakenburg, a Dane                          1772  146
         Jonas Warren, Ballydole                      1787  167
         Jonas Surington, Bergen, Norway              1797  159
         Demetrius Grabowsky, Poland                  1830  169
         Bridget Devine                               1845  147

Footnote 16:

  On a long freestone slab, in Caery church, near Cardiff, Glamorgan
  co., Wales, is the following inscription:—

                          Here lyeth the Body of
                              William Edwds,
                   of the Cairey who departed this life
                     February 24, Anno Domini, 1688,
                         Annoque ætatis suæ 168.
                             O, happy change!
                             And ever blest,
                         When greefe and pain is
                             Changed to rest.

Czartan’s biographer says of him:—He was born in the year 1539 and died
January 5th, 1724, at Kofrosch, a village four miles from Temeswar. A
few days before his death, being nearly 185 years old, he had walked,
with the help of a stick, to the post-house at Kofrosch, to ask charity
from the travellers. His eyes were much inflamed; but he still enjoyed a
little sight. His hair and beard were of a greenish white color, like
mouldy bread; and he had a few of his teeth remaining. His son, who was
97 years of age, declared that his father had once been a head taller;
that at a great age he married for the third time, and that he was born
in this last marriage. He was accustomed, agreeably to the rules of his
religion, (Greek Church,) to observe fast-days with great strictness,
and never to use any other food than milk, and certain cakes, called by
the Hungarians _collatschen_, together with a good glass of brandy such
as is made in the country.

The Hungarian family of Roven affords an extraordinary example of long
life. The father attained the age of 172, the wife, 164; they had been
married 142 years, and their youngest child was 115; and such was the
influence of habit and filial affection that this _child_ was treated
with all the severity of parental rigidity, and did not dare to act
without his _papa’s_ and _mamma’s_ permission.

Examples of great longevity are frequent in Russia. According to an
official report, there were, in 1828, in the empire, 828 centenarians,
of whom forty had exceeded 120 years; fifteen, 130; nine, 136; and
three, 138 years. In the government of Moscow there died, in 1830, a man
aged 150. In the government of Kieff, an old soldier died in 1844, at
the age of 153. There lately died on an estate in the government of
Viatka, a peasant named Michael Kniawelkis, who had attained the age of
137 years, 10 months, and 11 days. He was born in a village of the same
district, married at the age of 19, and had had, by several wives, 32
children, one of whom, a daughter, is still living, at the age of 100.
He never had any serious illness; some years before his death he
complained that he could not read without glasses, but to the last day
he retained the use of all his faculties, and was very cheerful. He
frequently said that he thought death had forgotten him.

In China, on the contrary, such instances are rare. From a census made a
few years ago, we learn that out of a population of 369,000,000 there
were but four centenarians.

According to the census of the United States, taken in 1830, there were
2,556 persons a hundred years old, or upwards. The census of 1850
exhibits nearly the same number. This gives one centenarian to a
population of 9,000. From this census we also learn that the oldest
person then living in the United States was 140. This was an Indian
woman residing in North Carolina. In the same State was an Indian aged
125, a negro woman 111, two black slaves 110 each, one mulatto male 120,
and several white males and females from 106 to 114. In the parish of
Lafayette, La., was a female, black, aged 120. In several of the States
there were found persons, white and black, aged from 110 to 115.

There is now living in Murray county, Georgia, on the waters of Holy
Creek, a Revolutionary veteran, who has attained the age of 135. His
name is John Hames. He is known throughout the region in which he lives
by the appellative, “Gran’sir Hames.” He was born in Mecklenburg county,
Virginia, and was a lad 10 years old when Washington was in his cradle.
He was 32 when Braddock met his disastrous defeat on the Monongahela.
He, with a number of his neighbors, set forth to join the ill-fated
commander, but after several days’ march were turned back by the news of
his overthrow. He migrated to South Carolina nearly 100 years ago. He
was in thirteen considerable conflicts during the war of Independence,
and in skirmishes and encounters with Indians, with tories, and with
British, times beyond memory. He was with Gates at Camden, with Morgan
at Cowpens, with Green at Hillsboro’ and Eutaw, and with Marion in many
a bold rush into a tory camp or redcoat quarters.

At the time of the Eighth Census there were about 20,000 persons in the
United States who were living when the Declaration of Independence was
signed in 1776. They must necessarily have been more than eighty years
old, in order to have lived at that time. The French Census of 1851
shows only 102 persons over 100 years old,—though the total population
was nearly 36,000,000. Old age is therefore attained among us much more
frequently than in France.

At Cordova, in South America, in the year of 1780, a judicial inquiry
was instituted by the authorities to determine the age of a negress by
the name of Louisa Truxo. She testified that she perfectly remembered
Fernando Truxo, the bishop, who gave her as his contribution toward a
university fund: he died in 1614. Another negress, who was known to be
120, testified that Louisa was an elderly woman when she was a child. On
this evidence the authorities of Cordova concluded that Louisa was, as
she asserted, 175 years old.

Two cases are recorded by Mr. Bailey, in his _Annals of Longevity_,
which throw all these into the shade; but the evidence furnished is
inadequate and unsatisfactory. One is that of an Englishman, Thomas Cam,
whom the parish register of Shoreditch affirms to have died in 1588, at
the age of 207, having paid allegiance to twelve monarchs. The other is
that of a Russian,—name not given,—whom the St. Petersburg Gazette
mentioned as having died in 1812, at an age exceeding 200.

The following in relation to Cam is copied literally from the register
of burials of St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch:—

 │_1588._                       BURIALLES.                    Fol. 35.│
 │                                                                    │
 │             §Thomas Cam§ was buriel * e/y 22 inst. of              │
 │                     Januarye, Aged 207 yeares.                     │
 │                                                                    │
 │                                                 Holywell Street.   │
 │                                                    Geo. Garrow,    │
 │Copy, Aug’st 25, 1832.                                 Parish Clerk.│

In connection with the foregoing facts, it will be interesting to revert
to the ages of the antediluvian patriarchs:—

       Adam lived                                           930
       Seth                                                 912
       Enos                                                 905
       Canaan                                               910
       Mahalaleel                                           895
       Jared                                                962
       Enoch                                                365
       Methuselah                                           969
       Lamech                                               777
       Noah, who lived before and after the Deluge, in all  950

In Willet’s _Hexapla, in Leviticum_, is the following remarkable

Ludovicus Vives (_in Aug. de Civit, Dei, lib. XV._) writeth of a town in
Spain, consisting of about an hundred houses, all of them inhabited by
the seed of one old man, then living; so that the youngest of them knew
not what to call him: _Quia lingua Hispana supra abavum non ascendit_,
because the Spanish tongue goeth no higher than the great-grandfather’s
father. And Bas. Johan. Heroldus hath a pretty epigram of an aged matron
that lived to see her children’s children to the sixth degree:—

            ^1Mater ait ^2natæ die quod ^3sua filia ^4natam
              Admoneat ^5natæ plangere ^6filiolam.

            The ^1Mother said, Go tell my ^2Child
            That ^3her Girl should her ^4Daughter tell
            She must now mourn (that lately smiled),
            Her ^5Daughter’s little ^6Babe’s not well.

                         MEANS OF RECOGNITION.

When the English suite of Lord Macartney was invited to a grand
entertainment in China, one of them, understanding that it was not
expedient to venture upon every dish which appeared under the guise of
the native cookery, was desirous of ascertaining how far he might
venture with safety, and as the Chinese waiters could understand a
little English, he pointed to a dish before him, and said to the
attendant in an interrogative tone, “Quack-quack?” meaning to inquire if
it was a duck. The attendant perfectly understood him, and immediately
replied, with great solemnity and sincerity, “Bow-wow!”

                  *       *       *       *       *

Rossini once unexpectedly met his old friend Sir Henry Bishop, but
having at the moment forgotten his name, after puzzling and stammering
for some time, he at length took him by the hand, and sang a few bars to
prove he identified him through Bishop’s beautiful song, “Blow gentle

                             MARRIAGE VOW.

The matrimonial ceremony, like many others, has undergone some variation
in the progress of time. Upwards of three centuries ago, the husband, on
taking his wife by the right hand, thus addressed her; “I, A. B.,
_undersygne_ thee, C. D., for my wedded wyfe, for beter, for worse, for
richer, for porer, yn sekness, and in helthe, tyl dethe us departe, [not
“do part,” as now erroneously rendered, _departe_ formerly meaning to
_separate_,] as holy churche hath ordeyned, and thereto I plyght thee my
trowthe.” The wife replied in the same form, with an additional clause,
“to be buxum to thee, tyl dethe us departe.” So it appears in the first
edition of the _Missals for the use of the famous and celebrated Church
of Hereford_, 1502. In the _Salisbury Missal_, the lady promised “to be
bonere [debonnair] and buxum in bedde and at the borde.”

                         COMPOSITION IN DREAMS.

Condorcet is said to have attained the conclusion of some of his most
abstruse unfinished calculations in his dreams. Franklin makes a similar
admission concerning some of his political projects, which in his waking
moments sorely puzzled him. Herschel composed the following lines in a

 “Throw thyself on thy God, nor mock him with feeble denial;
   Sure of his love, and, oh! sure of his mercy at last;
 Bitter and deep though the draught, yet drain thou the cup of thy trial,
   And, in its healing effect, smile at the bitterness past.”

Goethe says in his _Memoirs_, “The objects which had occupied my
attention during the day often reappeared at night in connected dreams.
On awakening, a new composition, or a portion of one I had already
commenced, presented itself to my mind.” Coleridge composed his poem of
the _Abyssinian Maid_ during a dream. Cockburn says of Lord Jeffrey:—“He
had a fancy that though he went to bed with his head stuffed with the
names, dates, and other details of various causes, they were all in
order in the morning; which he accounted for by saying that during sleep
they all crystallized round their proper centres.”

                           FACTS ABOUT SLEEP.

       Come sleep, O sleep! the certain knot of peace,
         The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe;
       The poor man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release,
         The impartial judge between the high and low.
                                             §Sir Philip Sidney.§

  While I am asleep I have neither fear nor hope, neither trouble nor
  glory, and blessings on him who invented sleep, the mantle that covers
  all human thoughts; the food that appeases hunger; the drink that
  quenches thirst; the fire that warms cold; the cold that moderates
  heat; and lastly, the general coin that purchases all things; the
  balance and weight that makes the shepherd equal to the king, and the
  simple to the wise.—_Sancho Panza._

Sir Philip Sidney calls sleep “the poor man’s wealth,” and, he might
have added, it is every man’s health. Men have often, according to their
own notions, attempted to limit or extend the hours of sleep. Thus, the
“immortal Alfred” of England divided the day into three portions of
eight hours each, assigning one for refreshment and the health of the
body by sleep, diet, and exercise, another for business, and the third
for study and devotion. Bishop Taylor considered three hours’, and
Richard Baxter four hours’, sleep sufficient for any man.

                       “Nature requires five,
                         Custom gives seven,
                       Laziness takes nine,
                         And wickedness eleven.”

The error into which these and others have fallen arises not only from
the fact that in this, as well as in other things, every man is a law to
himself, but from the varying amount required in each individual case at
different times, depending upon the amount of renovation required by the
nervous and muscular systems. John Wesley, the distinguished founder of
Methodism, who attained the age of eighty-eight, and who could command
sleep on horseback, says very properly, in some curious remarks which he
has left upon sleep, that no one measure will do for all, nor will the
same amount of sleep suffice even for the same person at all times. A
person debilitated by sickness requires more of “tired nature’s sweet
restorer” than one in vigorous health. More sleep is also necessary when
the strength and spirits are exhausted by hard labor or severe mental
efforts. Whatever may be the case with some few persons, of a peculiar
constitution, it is evident that health and vigor can scarcely be
expected to continue long without six hours’ sleep in the
four-and-twenty. Wesley adds that during his long life he never knew any
individual who retained vigorous health for a whole year, with a less
quantity of sleep than this.

It is said that women, in general, require more sleep than men. This is
doubtful: it is certain, at least, that women endure protracted
wakefulness better than men. The degree of muscular and mental exertion
to which the male is accustomed would seem to indicate that a longer
period of rest ought to be required by him to admit of the necessary
restoration of excitability. In infancy and youth, where the animal
functions are extremely active, the necessity for sleep is greatest; in
mature age, where time is more valued and cares are more numerous, it is
less indulged; whilst the aged may be affected in two opposite ways;
they may be either in a state of almost constant somnolency, or their
sleep may be short and light.

There are some remarkable cases on record of deviations from the
customary amount of sleep, making a “bed shorter than for an ordinary
man to stretch himself upon, and a covering narrower than he can wrap
himself in,” capacious enough for persons of very active habits in their
waking hours. Many persons have reached advanced age without ever having
had more than one or two hours’ sleep out of the twenty-four. There is
one case of a man who, throughout his whole life, never slept more than
fifteen minutes at one time. General Pichegru informed Sir Gilbert Blane
that, in the course of his active campaigns, he had for a whole year not
more than one hour of sleep in the twenty-four hours. Frederick of
Prussia and Napoleon, as a general thing, only devoted three or four
hours to sleep.

One can scarcely conceive a more horrible mode of torture than the
Chinese plan of condemning criminals to death by preventing sleep. The
victim is kept awake by guards alternately stationed for the purpose.
His sufferings last from twelve to twenty days, when death comes to his

The influence of habit in promoting or preventing sleep is remarkable.
Those accustomed to the tranquillity of rural districts are excessively
annoyed by the din of the carriages on the paved thoroughfares of a
large city. It is said, on the other hand, that those who live near the
cataracts of the Nile cannot sleep at a distance from them, owing to
their having become accustomed to the noise, the stimulus of which upon
the ear they lack. Some persons can only sleep in the dark; we knew a
woman who slept habitually with a candle burning in her bedroom, and who
invariably awoke if the light went out. Some of the soldiers of
Bonaparte’s army would sleep, after extreme fatigue and exhaustion, on
the ground by the side of a twenty-four pounder which was constantly
firing. Some boys slept from fatigue on board of Nelson’s ship, at the
battle of the Nile. We have heard of a boiler-maker who could go to
sleep in a boiler while the workmen were constantly hammering the

Sleep can persist with the exercise of certain muscles. Couriers on long
journeys nap on horseback; and coachmen, on their boxes. Among the
impressive incidents of Sir John Moore’s disastrous retreat to Corunna,
in Spain, not the least striking is the recorded fact that many of his
soldiers steadily pursued their march while fast asleep. Burdach,
however, affirms that this is not uncommon among soldiers. Franklin
slept nearly an hour swimming on his back. An acquaintance of Dr. D.,
travelling with a party in North Carolina, being greatly fatigued, was
observed to be sound asleep in his saddle. His horse, being a better
walker, went far in advance of the rest. On crossing a hill, they found
him on the ground, snoring gently. His horse had fallen, as was evident
from his bruised knees, and had thrown his rider on his head on a hard
surface, without waking him.

Animals of the lower orders obey peculiar laws in regard to sleep. Fish
are said to sleep soundly; and we are told by Aristotle that the tench
may be taken in this state, if approached cautiously. Many birds and
beasts of prey take their repose in the daytime. When kept in captivity,
this habit undergoes a change,—which makes us doubt whether it was not
the result of necessity, which demanded that they should take advantage
of the darkness, silence, and the unguarded state of their victims. In
the menagerie at Paris, even the hyena sleeps at night, and is awake by
day. They all, however, seek, as favoring the purpose, a certain degree
of seclusion and shade, with the exception of the lion, who, Burdach
informs us, sleeps at noonday, in the open plain; and the eagle and
condor will poise themselves on the most elevated pinnacle of rock, in
the clear blue atmosphere and dazzling sunlight. Birds, however, are
furnished with a winking membrane, generally, to shelter the eye from
light. Fish prefer to retire to sleep under the shadow of a rock or a
woody bank. Of domestic animals, the horse seems to require least sleep;
and that he usually takes in the erect posture.

Birds that roost in a sitting posture are furnished with a well-adapted
mechanism, which keeps them firmly supported without voluntary or
conscious action. The tendon of the claws is so arranged as to be
tightened by their weight when the thighs are bent, thus contracting
closely and grasping the bough or perch. In certain other animals which
sleep erect, the articulations of the foot and knee are described by
Dumeril as resembling the spring of a pocket-knife, which opens the
instrument and serves to keep the blade in a line with the handle.

The following calculation is interesting. Suppose one boy aged ten years
determines to rise at five o’clock all the year round. Another of the
same age, indolent and fond of ease, rises at eight, or an average of
eight, every morning. If they both live to be seventy years old, the one
will have gained over the other, during the intervening period of sixty
years, sixty-five thousand seven hundred and forty-five hours, which is
equal to two thousand seven hundred and thirty-nine and a third days, or
just seven and a half years. If a similar calculation were applied to
the whole country, how many millions of years of individual usefulness
would it prove to be lost to society!

         “God bless the man who first invented sleep!”
           So Sancho Panza said, and so say I!
         And bless him, also, that he didn’t keep
           His great discovery to himself, or try
         To make it—as the lucky fellow might—
         A close monopoly by “patent right!”

         Yes—bless the man who first invented sleep,
           (I really can’t avoid the iteration;)
         But blast the man, with curses loud and deep,
           Whate’er the rascal’s name, or age, or station,
         Who first invented, and went round advising,
         That artificial cut-off,—early rising!

         “Rise with the lark, and with the lark to bed,”
           Observes some solemn, sentimental owl:
         Maxims like these are very cheaply said;
           But ere you make yourself a fool or fowl,
         Pray just inquire about their rise—and fall,
         And whether larks have any beds at all!

         The “time for honest folks to be abed”
           Is in the morning, if I reason right:
         And he who cannot keep his precious head
           Upon his pillow till it’s fairly light,
         And so enjoy his forty morning winks,
         Is up—to knavery; or else—he drinks!

         Thomson, who sung about the “Seasons,” said
           It was a glorious thing to rise in season;
         But then he said it—lying—in his bed
           At ten o’clock A. M.,—the very reason
         He wrote so charmingly. The simple fact is,
         His preaching wasn’t sanctioned by his practice.

         ’Tis, doubtless, well to be sometimes awake,—
           Awake to duty and awake to truth;
         But when, alas! a nice review we take
           Of our best deeds and days, we find, in sooth,
         The hours that leave the slightest cause to weep
         Are those we passed in childhood, or—asleep!

         ’Tis beautiful to leave the world a while
           For the soft visions of the gentle night,
         And free, at last, from mortal care or guile,
           To live, as only in the angels’ sight,
         In sleep’s sweet realms so cosily shut in,
         Where, at the worst, we only _dream_ of sin!

         So let us sleep, and give the Maker praise.
           I like the lad who, when his father thought
         To clip his morning nap by hackneyed phrase
           Of vagrant worm by early songster caught,
         Cried, “Served him right!—it’s not at all surprising:
         The worm was punished, sir, for early rising!”

                      OPIUM AND EAST INDIAN HEMP.

           Children of Night! from Lethe’s bourn,
             Ye come to weave the oblivious veil,
           And on the wretched and forlorn
             To bid your sweet illusions steal.—_Fracastoro._

There is nothing in nature more curious and inexplicable than the
influence on the circulating fluids, and through these on the brain and
its functions, of various narcotic drugs. Among these, opium, and
_Cannabis Indica_, or East Indian hemp, occupy the most prominent place.
No reflective person can look into the writings of Coleridge, De
Quincey, or Bayard Taylor, each of whom has experienced the effects of
these drugs in his own person, and graphically described his sensations,
thoughts, feelings, and dreams while under their influence, without
being struck with awe and astonishment at the modifying and disturbing
influences which these substances exert upon that mysterious connection
which exists between the mind and the material medium through which it
manifests itself. Take the following, for example, from the _Confessions
of an English Opium-Eater_, which, not only for grandeur of description,
but for psychological interest, is unsurpassed by any thing in the
English language.

“The dream commenced with a music which now I often heard in dreams,—a
music of preparation and of awakening suspense; a music like the opening
of the Coronation Anthem, and which, like _that_, gave the feeling of a
vast march—of infinite cavalcades filing off, and the tread of
innumerable armies. The morning was come of a mighty day—a day of crisis
and of final hope for human nature, then suffering some mysterious
eclipse and laboring in some dread extremity. Somewhere, I knew not
where—somehow, I knew not how—by some beings, I knew not whom—a battle,
a strife, an agony, was conducting,—was evolving like a great drama, or
piece of music; with which my sympathy was the more insupportable from
my confusion as to its place, its cause, its nature, and its possible
issue. I, as is usual in dreams, (where, of necessity, we make ourselves
central to every movement,) had the power, and yet had not the power, to
decide it. I had the power, if I could raise myself, to will it; and yet
again had not the power, for the weight of twenty Atlantics was upon me,
or the oppression of inexpiable guilt.

“‘Deeper than ever plummet sounded,’ I lay inactive. Then, like a
chorus, the passion deepened. Some greater interest was at stake,—some
mightier cause than ever yet the sword had pleaded or trumpet had
proclaimed. Then came sudden alarms; hurryings to and fro; trepidations
of innumerable fugitives—I knew not whether from the good cause or the
bad; darkness and lights; tempest and human faces; and, at last, with
the sense that all was lost, female forms, and the features that were
worth all the world to me, and but a moment allowed—and clasped hands,
and heart-breaking partings, and then everlasting farewells! and, with a
sigh such as the caves of hell sighed when the incestuous mother uttered
the abhorred name of death, the sound was reverberated,—everlasting
farewells! and again, and yet again, reverberated,—everlasting
farewells! And I awoke in struggles, and cried aloud, ‘I will sleep no

De Quincey took laudanum for the first time to dispel pain, and he thus
describes the effect it had upon him:—“But I took it, and in an hour,
oh, heavens! what a revulsion! what an upheaving, from its lowest
depths, of the inner spirit! what an apocalypse of the world within me!
That my pains had vanished was now a trifle in my eyes. This _negative_
effect was swallowed up in the immensity of those positive effects which
had opened before me,—in the abyss of divine enjoyment thus suddenly
revealed. Here was a panacea,—a φαρμακον νεπενθες for all human woes.
Here was the secret of happiness, about which philosophers had disputed
for so many ages, at once discovered! Happiness might now be bought for
a penny and carried in the waistcoat-pocket; portable ecstasies might be
had corked up in a pint bottle; and peace of mind could be sent down in
gallons by the mail-coach.”

Dr. Madden describes more soberly his sensations when under the
influence of the drug in one of the coffee-houses at Constantinople. “I
commenced with one grain. In the course of an hour and a half it
produced no perceptible effect. The coffee-house keeper was very anxious
to give me an additional pill of two grains, but I was contented with
half a one; and in another half-hour, feeling nothing of the expected
revery, I took half a grain more, making in all two grains in the course
of two hours. After two hours and a half from the first dose, my spirits
became sensibly excited: the pleasure of the sensation seemed to depend
on a universal expansion of mind and matter. My faculties appeared
enlarged; every thing I looked at seemed increased in volume; I had no
longer the same pleasure when I closed my eyes which I had when they
were open; it appeared to me as if it was only external objects which
were acted on by the imagination and magnified into images of pleasure:
in short, it was the ‘faint, exquisite music of a dream’ in a waking
moment. I made my way home as fast as possible, dreading at every step
that I should commit some extravagance. In walking, I was hardly
sensible of my feet touching the ground: it seemed as if I slid along
the street impelled by some invisible agent, and that my blood was
composed of some ethereal fluid, which rendered my body lighter than
air. I got to bed the moment I reached home. The most extraordinary
visions of delight filled my brain all night. In the morning I rose pale
and dispirited; my head ached; my body was so debilitated that I was
obliged to remain on the sofa all day, dearly paying for my first essay
at opium-eating.”

These after-effects are the source of the misery of the opium-eater. The
exciting influence of the drug is almost invariably followed by a
corresponding depression. The susceptibility to external impressions and
the muscular energy are both lessened. A desire for repose ensues, and a
tendency to sleep. The mouth and throat also become dry; the thirst is
increased; hunger diminishes; and the bowels usually become torpid.

When large doses are taken, all the above effects are hastened and
heightened in proportion. The period of depression comes on sooner; the
prostration of energy increases to actual stupor, with or without
dreams; the pulse becomes feeble, the muscles exceedingly relaxed; and,
if enough has been taken, death ensues.

Of course, all these effects are modified by the constitution of the
individual, by the length of time he has accustomed himself to take it,
and by the circumstances in which he is placed. But upon all persons,
and in all circumstances, its final effects, like those of ardent
spirits taken in large and repeated doses, are equally melancholy and
degrading. “A total attenuation of body,” says Dr. Oppenheim, “a
withered, yellow countenance, a lame gait, a bending of the spine,
frequently to such a degree as to assume a circular form, and glassy,
deep-sunken eyes, betray the opium-eater at the first glance. The
digestive organs are in the highest degree disturbed: the sufferer eats
scarcely any thing, and has hardly one evacuation in a week. His mental
and bodily powers are destroyed: he is impotent.”

The influence upon the mental faculties of _Haschisch_, or East Indian
hemp, when taken in large doses, is no less extraordinary than that of

That accomplished traveller, Bayard Taylor, when in Damascus,
“prompted,” as he says, “by that insatiable curiosity which led him to
prefer the acquisition of all lawful knowledge through the channel of
his own experience,” was induced to make a trial of this drug. Not
knowing the strength of the preparation he employed, he found himself,
shortly after taking the second dose, more thoroughly and completely
under the influence of the drug than was either pleasant or safe.

Speaking of the effects of the stronger dose, he says, “The same fine
nervous thrill of which I have spoken suddenly shot through me. But this
time it was accompanied with a burning sensation at the pit of the
stomach; and, instead of growing upon me with the gradual pace of
healthy slumber, and resolving me, as before, into air, it came with the
intensity of a pang, and shot throbbing along the nerves to the
extremities of my body. The sense of limitation—the confinement of our
senses within the bounds of our own flesh and blood—instantly fell away.
The walls of my frame were burst outward, and tumbled into ruin; and,
without thinking what form I wore,—losing sight even of all idea of
form,—I felt that I existed throughout a vast extent of space. The blood
pulsed from my heart, sped through uncounted leagues before it reached
my extremities; the air drawn into my lungs expanded into seas of limpid
ether; and the arch of my skull was broader than the vault of heaven.
Within the concave that held my brain were the fathomless deeps of blue;
clouds floated there, and the winds of heaven rolled them together; and
there shone the orb of the sun. It was—though I thought not of that at
the time—_like a revelation of the mystery of Omnipresence_.”

                            EFFECTS OF FEAR.

It is a common practice, in many parts of India, to oblige persons
suspected of crimes to chew dry rice in presence of the officers of the
law. Curious as it may appear, such is the intense influence of fear on
the salivary glands, that, if they are actually guilty, there is no
secretion of saliva in the mouth, and chewing is impossible. Such
culprits generally confess without any further efforts. On the contrary,
a consciousness of innocence allows of a proper flow of fluid for
softening the rice.

Many of our readers are familiar with the case of the thief to whom, in
common with other suspected persons, a stick of a certain length was
given, with the assurance that the stick of the thief would grow by
supernatural power. The culprit, imagining that his stick had actually
increased in length, broke a piece off, and was thus detected. A similar
anecdote is told of a farmer who detected depredations on his corn-bin
by calling his men together and making them mix up a quantity of
feathers in a sieve, assuring them, at the same time, that the feathers
would infallibly stick to the hair of the thief. After a short time, one
of the men raised his hand repeatedly to his head, and thus betrayed

A Parisian physician, during his visits made in a hired fly, had
received a bottle of real Jamaica rum as a sample, but found, after
returning home, that he had left it in the carriage. He went to the
office, and informed the manager that he had left a virulent poison in
one of the carriages, and desired him to prevent any of the coachmen
from drinking it. Hardly had he got back when he was summoned in great
haste to three of these worthies, who were suffering from the most
horrible colic; and great was his difficulty in persuading them that
they had only stolen some most excellent rum.

One of the most singular examples on record of the effect of fear acting
through the imagination is given by Breschet, a French author of the
sixteenth century, who informs us that the physicians at Montpellier,
which was then a great school of medicine, had every year two criminals,
the one living, the other dead, delivered to them for dissection. On one
occasion they determined to try what effect the mere expectation of
death would produce upon a subject in perfect health; and in order to
carry out the experiment they told the gentleman (for such was his rank)
who was placed at their discretion, that, as the easiest mode of taking
away his life, they would employ the means which Seneca had chosen for
himself, and would therefore open his veins in warm water. Accordingly
they covered his face, pinched his feet, without lancing them, and set
them in a footbath, and then spoke to each other as if they saw that the
blood was flowing freely, and life departing with it. The man remained
motionless; and when, after a while, they uncovered his face, they found
him dead.

                           FACIAL EXPRESSION.

The facial nerve, which presides over the movements of the face, gives
to the physiognomy its different expressions so as to reflect the
passions and emotions of the soul. To prove this experimentally, Charles
Bell took the most cunning and impressionable monkey he could find in
the menagerie of Exeter Change, and divided its facial nerve on one
side. Excited by pain, the poor monkey made faces with tenfold energy,
but exactly and solely with one side of his face, while the other
remained perfectly impassible.

Of course, no one would repeat this experiment on man; but nature
sometimes takes the whim to make such a curiosity. All who saw the
unfortunate monkey were struck with the strange analogy which its
features presented with those of a comic actor then much in vogue in
London, who could reproduce all sorts of expressions and mirror every
passion with one side of his face, while he kept the other side in a
state of perfect immobility. The experiment of Charles Bell gave the key
to the enigma. The mimic was the victim of a facial hemiplegia, from
some accident to the facial nerve; and he had the shrewdness to make
people believe that voluntary which he could not prevent, and thus to
profit by an otherwise mortifying affliction.

                            A BROKEN HEART.

The following interesting case of a literally _broken heart_ was related
by a late distinguished medical professor of Philadelphia, to his class,
while lecturing upon the diseases of the heart. It will be seen, on
perusing it, that the expression “broken-hearted” is not merely

In the early part of his career, Dr. Mitchell accompanied, as surgeon, a
packet that sailed between Liverpool and one of our Southern ports. On
the return-voyage, soon after leaving Liverpool, while the doctor and
the captain of the vessel, a weather-beaten son of Neptune, but
possessed of uncommonly fine feelings and strong impulses, were
conversing in the latter’s state-room, the captain opened a large chest,
and carefully took out a number of articles of various descriptions,
which he arranged upon a table. Dr. M., surprised at the display of
costly jewels, ornaments, dresses, and all the varied paraphernalia of
which ladies are naturally fond, inquired of the captain his object in
having made so many valuable purchases. The sailor, in reply, said, that
for seven or eight years he had been devotedly attached to a lady, to
whom he had several times made proposals of marriage, but was as often
rejected; that her refusal to wed him, however, had only stimulated his
love to greater exertion; and that finally, upon renewing his offer,
declaring in the ardency of his passion that, without her society, life
was not worth living for, she consented to become his bride upon his
return from his next voyage. He was so overjoyed at the prospect of a
marriage from which, in the warmth of his feelings, he probably
anticipated more happiness than is usually allotted to mortals, that he
spent all his ready money, while in London, for bridal gifts. After
gazing at them fondly for some time, and remarking on them in turn, “I
think this will please Annie,” and “I am sure she will like that,” he
replaced them with the utmost care. This ceremony he repeated every day
during the voyage; and the doctor often observed a tear glisten in his
eye as he spoke of the pleasure he would have in presenting them to his
affianced bride. On reaching his destination, the captain arrayed
himself with more than his usual precision, and disembarked as soon as
possible, to hasten to his love. As he was about to step into the
carriage awaiting him, he was called aside by two gentlemen who desired
to make a communication, the purport of which was that the lady had
proved unfaithful to the trust reposed in her, and had married another,
with whom she had decamped shortly before. Instantly the captain was
observed to clap his hand to his breast and fall heavily to the ground.
He was taken up, and conveyed to his room on the vessel. Dr. M. was
immediately summoned; but, before he reached the poor captain, he was
dead. A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of his unfortunate
decease. His heart was found literally torn in twain! The tremendous
propulsion of the blood, consequent upon such a violent nervous shock,
forced the powerful muscular tissues asunder, and life was at an end.
The heart was broken.


While some physiologists are of opinion that death by beheading is
attended with less actual pain than any other manner of death, and is,
therefore, the most _humane_ mode of dis-embarrassing society of a
villain, others contend, and adduce an equally formidable array of facts
to show, that intense agony is experienced, after decollation, in both
the head and the body, and that death by the guillotine, so far from
being easier than hanging, is one of the most painful known. Whatever
may really be the sensations attendant upon the separation of the head
from the body, we have, at least, some curious facts, which throw a
little light on the subject.

It is related that a professor of physiology at Genoa, who has made this
interesting subject his particular study, states that, having exposed
two heads, a quarter of an hour after decollation, to a strong light,
the eyelids closed suddenly. The tongue, which protruded from the lips,
being pricked with a needle, was drawn back into the mouth, and the
countenance expressed sudden pain. The head of a criminal named Tillier
being submitted to examination after the guillotine, the eyes turned in
every direction from whence he was called by name.

Fontenelle declares that he has frequently seen the heads of guillotined
persons move their lips, as if they were uttering remonstrances against
their cruel treatment. If this be so, there is nothing very incredible
in the report, sometimes treated as fabulous, that when the executioner
gave a blow on the face of Charlotte Corday after the head was severed
from the body, _the countenance_ expressed violent indignation.

It is stated on credible authority that some galvanic experiments were
once tried on the body of a habitual snuff-taker, after he had undergone
the operation of being guillotined. On receiving the first shock, the
headless trunk joined its thumb and fore-finger, and deliberately raised
its right arm, as if in the act of taking its customary _pinch_, and
seemed much astonished and perplexed at finding _no nose_ to receive its
wonted tribute!

But the most marvellous tale is told of Sir Everard Digby, who was
beheaded in 1600 for being concerned in the famous Gunpowder Plot. After
the head was struck off, the executioner proceeded, according to the
barbarous usages of the day, to pluck the heart from his body; and when
he had done so, he held it up in full view of the numerous assemblage
gathered round the scaffold to witness the exhibition, and shouted, with
a loud voice, _This is the heart of a traitor!_ Upon which, the _head_,
which was quietly resting on the scaffold, at the distance of a few
feet, showed sundry signs of indignation, and, opening its mouth,
audibly exclaimed, “_That is a lie!_”

The reader will be reminded, by this case of the English knight, of the
conjurer in the Arabian Nights, who, in consequence of a failure in his
necromancy, was decapitated by the order and in the presence of the
Sultan. The head of the sorcerer, after separation from his body, sat
erect upon the floor, and, with a mysterious expression of countenance,
informed his highness that as he rather thought he should have no
further occasion for his books of magic, he would make a present of them
to him; and since he could not very well go to fetch them himself, if
his highness would take the trouble to send for them, he would instruct
him in their use. On being brought, he told the Sultan it was first
necessary for him to turn over every leaf in the books from the
beginning to the end. But he found it was impossible to do this, as they
stuck together, without often wetting his fingers at his mouth. This
infused into the monarch’s veins a subtle and virulent venom, as the
books were poisoned, in consequence of which he died very soon in
torture, overwhelmed with the taunts and curses of the decapitated head.

A case occurred some years ago at Ticonderoga, N. Y., which settles the
question of pain, so far as the body is concerned, and proves that no
sensations whatever can exist in the _body_ after its connection with
the brain is dissolved. It was reported at the time in the Boston
Medical and Surgical Journal, as follows:—

E. D., aged fifty, a man of hale constitution and robust, in making an
effort to scale a board fence, was suddenly precipitated backwards to
the ground, striking first upon the superior and anterior portion of the
head, which luxated the dentatus anteriorly on the third cervical
vertebra. He was at length discovered, and taken in (as the patient
said) after he had lain nearly an hour, in a condition perfectly bereft
of voluntary motion; but, being present, I did not suspect that the
power of sensation was also gone, until the patient (whose speech
remained almost, or quite, perfect, and who was uncommonly loquacious at
that time) said, did he not know to the contrary, he should think that
he had no body. His flesh was then punctured, and sometimes deeply, even
from the feet to the neck; but the patient gave no evidence of feeling,
and, when interrogated, answered that he felt nothing; and, added he, “I
never was more perfectly free from pain in my life;” but he remarked
that he could not live, and accordingly sent for his family, twelve
miles distant, and arranged all his various concerns in a perfectly sane

The head was thrown back in such a position as to prevent his seeing his
body. The pulse was much more sluggish than natural. Respiration and
speech, but slightly affected, were gradually failing; but he could
articulate distinctly until within a few minutes of his death. All the
senses of the head remained quite perfect to the last. He died
forty-eight hours after the fall.

Repeated attempts were made to reduce the dislocation, but the
transverse processes had become so interlocked that every effort proved
abortive. There was undoubtedly in this case a perfect compression of
the spinal marrow, which prevented the egress of nervous influence from
the brain, while the pneumogastric nerve remained unembarrassed.


Antipathies are as various as they are unaccountable, and often in
appearance ridiculous. Yet who can control them, or reason himself into
a conviction that they are absurd? They are, in truth, natural
infirmities or peculiarities, and not fantastical imaginings. In the
French “Ana” we find mention of a lady who would faint on seeing boiled
lobsters; and several persons are mentioned, among them Mary de Medicis,
who experienced the same inconvenience from the smell of roses, though
particularly partial to the odor of jonquils and hyacinths. Another is
recorded who invariably fell into convulsions at the sight of a carp.
Erasmus, although a native of Rotterdam, had such an aversion to fish of
any kind that the smell alone threw him into a fever. Ambrose Paré
mentions a patient of his who could never look at an eel without falling
into a fit. Joseph Scaliger and Peter Abono could neither of them drink
milk. Cardan was particularly disgusted at the sight of eggs. Ladislaus,
King of Poland, fell sick if he saw an apple; and if that fruit was
exhibited to Chesne, secretary to Francis I., a prodigious quantity of
blood would issue from his nose. Henry III. of France could not endure
to sit in a room with a cat, and the Duke of Schomberg ran out of any
chamber into which one entered. A gentleman in the court of the Emperor
Ferdinand would bleed at the nose even if he heard the mewing of the
obnoxious animal, no matter at how great a distance. M. de l’Ancre, in
his _Tableau de l’Inconstance de Toutes Choses_, gives an account of a
very sensible man, who was so terrified on seeing a hedgehog that for
two years he imagined his bowels were gnawed by such an animal. In the
same book we find an account of an officer of distinguished bravery who
never dared to face a mouse, it would so terrify him, unless he had his
sword in his hand. M. de l’Ancre says he knew the individual perfectly
well. There are some persons who cannot bear to see spiders, and others
who eat them as a luxury, as they do snails and frogs. M. Vangheim, a
celebrated huntsman in Hanover, would faint outright, or, if he had
sufficient time, would run away, at the sight of a roast pig. The
philosopher Chrysippus had such an aversion to external reverence, that,
if any one saluted him, he would involuntarily fall down. Valerius
Maximus says that this Chrysippus died of laughing at seeing an ass eat
figs out of a silver plate. John Rol, a gentleman of Alcantara, would
swoon on hearing the word _lana_ (wool) pronounced, although his cloak
was made of wool. Lord Bacon fainted at every eclipse of the moon. Tycho
Brahe shuddered at the sight of a fox; Ariosto, at the sight of a bath;
and Cæsar trembled at the crowing of a cock.

                     STRANGE INSTANCE OF SYMPATHY.

The Duke de Saint Simon mentions in his _Mémoires_ a singular instance
of constitutional sympathy existing between two brothers. These were
twins,—the President de Banquemore, and the Governor de Bergues, who
were surprisingly alike, not only in their persons, but in their
feelings. One morning, he tells us, when the President was at the royal
audience he was suddenly attacked by an intense pain in the thigh: at
the same instant, as it was discovered afterwards, his brother, who was
with the army, received a severe wound from a sword on the same leg, and
precisely the same part of the leg!

                          WALKING BLINDFOLDED.

The difficulty of walking to any given point blindfolded can only be
conceived by those who have made the experiment. After wandering about
in every possible direction, now east, now west, at one time forward, at
another time backward, working for a while at the zigzag, then shooting
out like an arrow from a bow, and not unfrequently describing a complete
circle like a miller’s horse, the party is generally a thousand times
more likely to end his travels at the spot from which he set out, than
at the spot to which he wished to go. The following achievement presents
as extraordinary an exception to the general experience on this head, as
perhaps ever occurred:—

Dennis Hendrick, a stone-mason, for a wager of ten guineas, walked from
the Exchange in Liverpool, along Deal Street, to the corner of Byrom
Street,—being a distance of three-quarters of a mile,—blindfolded, and
rolling a coach-wheel. On starting, there were two plasters of Burgundy
pitch put on his eyes, and a handkerchief tied over them, to prevent all
possibility of his seeing. He started precisely at half-past seven in
the morning, and completed his undertaking at twenty minutes past eight,
being in fifty minutes.

                             FELINE CLOCKS.

M. Huc, in his recent work on the Chinese Empire, tells us that “one
day, when we went to pay a visit to some families of Chinese Christian
peasants, we met, near a farm, a young lad, who was taking a buffalo to
graze along our path. We asked him carelessly, as we passed, whether it
was yet noon. The child raised his head to look at the sun; but it was
hidden behind thick clouds, and he could read no answer there. ‘The sky
is so cloudy,’ said he; ‘but wait a moment;’ and with these words he ran
towards the farm, and came back a few moments afterward with a cat in
his arms. ‘Look here,’ said he, ‘it is not noon yet;’ and he showed us
the cat’s eyes, by pushing up the lids with his hands. We looked at the
child with surprise, but he was evidently in earnest; and the cat,
though astonished, and not much pleased at the experiment made on her
eyes, behaved with the most exemplary complaisance. ‘Very well,’ said
we: ‘thank you;’ and he then let go the cat, who made her escape pretty
quickly, and we continued our route. To say the truth, we had not at all
understood the proceeding; but we did not wish to question the little
pagan, lest he should find out that we were Europeans by our ignorance.
As soon as we reached the farm, however, we made haste to ask our
Christians whether they could tell the clock by looking into a cat’s
eyes. They seemed surprised at the question; but, as there was no danger
in confessing to them our ignorance of the properties of the cat’s eyes,
we related what had just taken place. That was all that was necessary.
Our complaisant neophytes immediately gave chase to all the cats in the
neighborhood. They brought us three or four, and explained in what
manner they might be made use of for watches. They pointed out that the
pupil of their eyes went on constantly growing narrower until twelve
o’clock, when they became like a fine line, as thin as a hair, drawn
perpendicularly across the eye, and that after twelve the dilatation
recommenced. When we had attentively examined the eyes of all the cats
at our disposal, we came to the conclusion that it was past noon, as all
the eyes perfectly agreed upon the point.”

                        DEVONSHIRE SUPERSTITION.

The following case of gross superstition, which occurred lately in one
of the largest market-towns in the north of Devon, is related by an

A young woman living in the neighborhood of Holsworthy, having for some
time past been subject to periodical fits of illness, endeavored to
effect a cure by attending at the afternoon service at the parish
church, accompanied by thirty young men, her near neighbors. Service
over, she sat in the porch of the church, and each of the young men, as
they passed out in succession, dropped a penny into her lap; but the
last, instead of a penny, gave her half a crown, taking from her the
twenty-nine pennies which she had already received. With this half-crown
in her hand, she walked three times round the communion-table, and
afterwards had it made into a ring, by the wearing of which she believes
she will recover her health.

                       A SKULL THAT HAD A TONGUE.

When Dr. John Donne, the famous poet and divine of the reign of James
I., attained possession of his first living, he took a walk into the
churchyard, where the sexton was at the time digging a grave, and in the
course of his labor threw up a skull. This skull the doctor took in his
hands, and found a rusty headless nail sticking in the temple of it,
which he drew out secretly and wrapped in the corner of his
handkerchief. He then demanded of the grave-digger whether he knew whose
skull that was. He said it was a man’s who kept a brandy-shop,—an
honest, drunken fellow, who one night, having taken two quarts, was
found dead in his bed next morning. “Had he a wife?” “Yes.” “What
character does she bear?” “A very good one: only the neighbors reflect
on her because she married the day after her husband was buried.” This
was enough for the doctor, who, under the pretence of visiting his
parishioners, called on the woman: he asked her several questions, and,
among others, what sickness her husband died of. She gave him the same
account he had before received, whereupon he suddenly opened the
handkerchief, and cried, in an authoritative voice, “Woman, do you know
this nail?” She was struck with horror at the unexpected demand,
instantly owned the fact, and was brought to trial and executed. Truly
might one say, with even more point than Hamlet, that the skull had a
tongue in it.

                          ROMANTIC HIGHWAYMAN.

In a letter to Mr. Mead, preserved among that gentleman’s papers in the
British Museum, and dated February 3, 1625, is the following account of
a singular highwayman:—

Mr. Clavell, a gentleman, a knight’s eldest son, a great mail and
highway robber, was, together with a soldier, his companion, arraigned
and condemned on Monday last, at the King’s Bench bar: he pleaded for
himself that he never had struck or wounded any man, never taken any
thing from their bodies, as rings, &c., never cut their girths or
saddles, or done them, when he robbed, any corporeal violence. He was,
with his companion, reprieved; he sent the following verses to the king
for mercy, and hath obtained it:—

              I that have robbed so oft am now bid stand;
              Death and the law assault me, and demand
              My life and means: I never used men so,
              But, having ta’en their money, let them go.
              Yet, must I die? and is there no relief?
              The King of kings had mercy on a thief!
              So may our gracious king, too, if he please,
              Without his council grant me a release;
              God is his precedent, and men shall see
              His mercy go beyond severity.

                           Singular Customs.

                             MEMENTO MORI.

The ancient Egyptians, at their grand festivals and parties of pleasure,
always had a coffin placed on the table at meals, containing a mummy, or
a skeleton of painted wood, which, Herodotus tells us, was presented to
each of the guests with this admonition:—“Look upon this, and enjoy
yourself; for such will you become when divested of your mortal garb.”
This custom is frequently alluded to by Horace and Catullus; and
Petronius tells us that at the celebrated banquet of Trimalcion a silver
skeleton was placed on the table to awaken in the minds of the guests
the remembrance of death and of deceased friends.

                        BEAUTIFUL SUPERSTITION.

Among the superstitions of the Seneca Indians was one remarkable for its
singular beauty. When a maiden died, they imprisoned a young bird until
it first began to try its powers of song, and then, loading it with
messages and caresses, they loosed its bonds over her grave, in the
belief that it would not fold its wing nor close its eyes until it had
flown to the spirit-land and delivered its precious burden of affection
to the loved and lost.

                      STRANGE FONDNESS FOR BEAUTY.

In Carazan, a province to the northeast of Tartary, the inhabitants have
a custom, says Dr. Heylin, when a stranger of handsome shape and fine
features comes into their houses, of killing him in the night,—not out
of desire of spoil, or to eat his body, but that the soul of such a
comely person might remain among them.


There is a curious tradition both of St. Patrick in Ireland, and of St.
Columba in Iona, that when they attempted to found churches they were
impeded by an evil spirit, who threw down the walls as fast as they were
built, until a human victim was sacrificed and buried under the
foundation, which being done, they stood firm.

It is to be feared that there is too much truth in this story. Not, of
course, that such a thing was done by either a Christian Patrick or
Columba, but by the Druids, from whom the story was fathered upon the
former. Under each of the twelve pillars of one of the Druidical
circular temples in Iona a human body was found to have been buried.

                         ABYSSINIAN BEEFSTEAKS.

Mr. Bruce, the Abyssinian traveller, has frequently been ridiculed for
asserting that it is a practice in Abyssinia to cut slices from the
backs of their cattle while alive, and then drive them back to pasture;
but his statements have been confirmed by more recent travellers. Mr.
Salt says that a soldier belonging to the party to which he was attached
took one of the cows they were driving before them, cut off two pieces
of flesh from the glutæi muscles of the buttock, near the tail, and then
sewed up the wound, plastering it over with manure, after which the
party proceeded to cook the steaks.

                        OSTIAK REGARD FOR BEARS.

Tooke, in his work on Russia, tells us of a strange custom that prevails
among the Ostiaks,—a Finnish nation. The Ostiaks, says he, believe that
bears enjoy after death a happiness at least equal to that which they
expect for themselves. Whenever they kill one of these animals,
therefore, they sing songs over him, in which they ask his pardon, and
hang up his skin, to which they show many civilities and pay many fine
compliments, in order to induce him not to wreak his vengeance upon them
in the abode of spirits.

                             MAKING NOSES.

At Kat Kangra, a place visited by the traveller Vigne, at the base of
the Himalaya, there are native surgeons, celebrated for putting on new
noses. The maimed come a great distance for repairs. When it is
recollected that the rajahs cut off ears and noses without stint, it may
be readily supposed that these surgeons have plenty of patients. The
hope of a restoration of the nasal organ brings them from remote
distances. To all intents and purposes, it is done like the Taliacotian
operation in our hospitals,—by taking a flap of integument from the
forehead. With very simple instruments, and a little cotton wool
besmeared with pitch, to keep the parts together, the success is
sufficient to extend the reputation of the rude operators.

                     LION-CATCHING IN SOUTH AFRICA.

Mr. Lemue, who formerly resided at Motito, and is familiar with the
Kallibari country, assures us that the remarkable accounts sometimes
circulated as to the people of that part of Africa catching lions by the
tail—of which, one would naturally be incredulous—were perfectly true.
Lions would sometimes become extremely dangerous to the inhabitants.
Having become accustomed to human flesh, they would not willingly eat
any thing else. When a neighborhood became infested, the men would
determine on the measures to be adopted to rid themselves of the
nuisance; then, forming themselves into a band, they would proceed in
search of their royal foe, and beard the lion in his lair. Standing
close by one another, the lion would make his spring on some one of the
party,—every man, of course, hoping he might escape the attack,—when
instantly others would dash forward and seize his tail, lifting it up
close to the body with all their might; thus not only astonishing the
animal, and absolutely taking him off his guard, but rendering his
efforts powerless for the moment; while others closed in with their
spears, and at once stabbed the monster through and through.


We gain the following glimpse of the manners of the upper classes in
England, four hundred years ago, from the Journal of Elizabeth
Woodville, subsequently Lady Grey, and finally Queen of Edward IV.
Royalty _in petto_ seems to have taken, with a most refreshing
cordiality, to the avocations of baking and brewing, pig-tending,
poultry-feeding, and pony-catching.

  _Monday morning._—Rose at 4 o’clock, and helped Catharine to milk the
  cows. Rachel, the dairy-maid, having scalded her hand in so bad a
  manner the night before, made a poultice, and gave Robin a penny to
  get something from the apothecary.

  _6 o’clock._—The buttock of beef too much boiled, and beer a little
  stale; (mem. to talk to the cook about the first fault, and to mend
  the other myself by tapping a fresh barrel immediately.)

  _7 o’clock._—Went to walk with the lady my mother in the court-yard;
  fed twenty-five men and women; chid Roger severely for expressing some
  ill will at attending us with some broken meat.

  _8 o’clock._—Went into the paddock behind the house with my maid
  Dorothy; caught Thump, the little pony, myself; rode a matter of ten
  miles without saddle or bridle.

  _10 o’clock._—Went to dinner. John Grey, a most comely youth; but what
  is that to me? a virtuous maid should be entirely under the direction
  of her parents. John ate but little, and stole a great many tender
  glances at me. Said women could never be handsome in his eyes who were
  not good-tempered. I hope my temper is not intolerable: nobody finds
  fault with it but Roger, and he is the most disorderly youth in our
  house. John Grey likes white teeth: my teeth are a pretty good color.
  I think my hair is as black as jet,—though I say it; and John Grey, if
  I mistake not, is of the same opinion.

  _11 o’clock._—Rose from the table; the company all desirous of walking
  in the field. John Grey lifted me over every stile, and twice squeezed
  my hand with much vehemence. I cannot say I should have much
  objection, for he plays at prison-bar as well as any of the country
  gentlemen, is remarkably dutiful to his parents, my lord and lady, and
  never misses church on Sunday.

  _3 o’clock._—Poor Farmer Robinson’s house burned down by accidental
  fire. John Grey proposed a subscription among the company for the
  relief of the farmer, and gave no less than four pounds with this
  benevolent intent. (Mem. never saw him look so comely as at this

  _4 o’clock._—Went to prayers.

  _6 o’clock._—Fed hogs and poultry.

                             HAIR IN SEALS.

Stillingfleet, referring to a MS. author who wrote a chronicle of St.
Augustine, says:—

He observes one particular custom of the Normans, _that they were wont
to put some of the hair of their heads or beards into the wax of their
seals_: I suppose rather to be kept as monuments, than as adding any
strength or weight to their charters. So he observes that some of the
hair of William, Earl of Warren, was in his time kept in the Priory of

                          SCORNING THE CHURCH.

In North Durham, it is customary, in case that the banns of marriage are
thrice published, and the marriage does not take place, for the refusing
party, whether male or female, to pay forty shillings to the vicar as a
penalty for _scorning the church_.

                       MATRIMONIAL ADVERTISEMENT.

The following strange advertisement from an old newspaper exhibits one
of the customs of rural life in England more than a century ago:—

                           May no miscarriage
                           Prevent my marriage!

  Matthew Dowson, in Bothell, Cumberland, intends to be married at Holm
  Church, on the Thursday before Whitsuntide next, whenever that may
  happen—and to return to Bothell to dine.

  Mr. Reed gives a turkey to be roasted; William Elliot gives a hen to
  be roasted; Edward Clement gives a fat lamb to be roasted; Joseph
  Gibson gives a fat pig to be roasted; William Hughes gives a fat calf
  to be roasted.

  And in order that all this roast may be well basted—do you see?—Mary
  Pearson, Betty Hughes, Mary Bushby, Molly Fisher, Sarah Briscoe, and
  Betty Porthoust, give, each of them, a pound of butter. The advertiser
  will provide every thing else suitable for so festive an occasion: and
  he hereby gives notice to all young women desirous of changing their
  condition, that he is at present disengaged, and he advises them to
  consider that although there may be luck in leisure, yet, in this
  case, delays are dangerous; for with him, he is determined that it
  shall be—first come, first served.

           So come along, lasses who wish to be married—
           Mattie Dowson is vexed that so long he has tarried.



The Duke of Devonshire found it necessary to construct a door of sham
books for an entrance to the library of Chatsworth. He was tired of the
hackneyed _Plain Dealings_, _Essays on Wood_, _Perpetual Motion_,
_etc._, on such doors, and asked Thomas Hood to give him some new
titles. The following are selections from his amusing list:—

  McAdam’s Views in Rhodes.

  Pygmalion. By Lord Bacon.

  Dante’s Inferno; or, Descriptions of Van Demon’s Land.

  Tadpoles; or, Tales out of my Own Head.

  Designs for Friezes. By Sir John Franklin.

  Recollections of Bannister. By Lord Stair.

  Ye Devill on Two-Styx (Black Letter).

  Malthus’ Attack of Infantry.

  The Life of Zimmerman. By Himself.

  Boyle on Steam.

  Book-Keeping by Single Entry.

  Rules for Punctuation. By a thorough-bred Pointer.

  On the Site of Tully’s Offices.

  Cornaro on Longevity and the Construction of 74’s.

  Cursory Remarks on Swearing.

  Shelley’s Conchologist.

  On Sore Throat and the Migration of the Swallow. By Abernethy.

  The Scottish Boccaccio. By D. Cameron.

  Chronological Account of the Date Tree. Percy Vere. In 40 vols.

  In-i-go on Secret Entrances.

  Cook’s Specimens of the Sandwich Tongue.

  Peel on Bell’s System.

  Lamb’s Recollections of Suett.

  Blaine on Equestrian Burglary; or The Breaking-in of Horses.

  The Rape of the Lock, with Bramah’s Notes.

  Kosciusko on the Right of the Poles to stick up for themselves.

  Haughty-cultural Remarks on London Pride.

                        THE JESTS OF HIEROCLES.

§A young§ man, meeting an acquaintance, said, “I heard that you were
dead.” “But,” says the other, “you see me alive.” “I do not know how
that may be,” replied he: “you are a notorious liar; but my informant
was a person of credit.”

A man wrote to a friend in Greece, begging him to purchase books. From
negligence or avarice, he neglected to execute the commission; but,
fearing that his correspondent might be offended, he exclaimed, when
next they met, “My dear friend, I never got the letter you wrote to me
about the books.”

An irritable man went to visit a sick friend, and asked him concerning
his health. The patient was so ill that he could not reply; whereupon
the other, in a rage, said, “I hope that I may soon fall sick, and then
I will not answer you when you visit me.”

A speculative gentleman, wishing to teach his horse to live without
food, starved him to death. “I suffered a great loss,” said he, “for
just as he learned to live without eating, he died.”

A robust countryman, meeting a physician, ran to hide behind a wall:
being asked the cause, he replied, “It is so long since I have been
sick, that I am ashamed to look a physician in the face.”

A curious inquirer, desirous to know how he looked when asleep, sat with
closed eyes before a mirror.

A man, hearing that a raven would live two hundred years, bought one to

One of twin brothers died: a fellow, meeting the survivor, asked, “Which
is it that’s dead, you or your brother?”

A man who had to cross a river entered a boat on horseback: being asked
why, he replied, “I must ride, because I am in a hurry.”

A foolish fellow, having a house to sell, took a brick from the wall to
exhibit as a sample.

A man, meeting a friend, said, “I spoke to you last night in a dream.”
“Pardon me,” replied the other; “I did not hear you.”

A man that had nearly been drowned while bathing, declared that he would
never enter the water again till he had learned to swim.

A student in want of money sold his books, and wrote home, “Father,
rejoice; for I now derive my support from literature.”

During a storm, the passengers on board a vessel that appeared in danger
seized different implements to aid them in swimming; and one of the
number selected for this purpose the anchor.

A wittol, a barber, and a bald-headed man travelled together. Losing
their way, they were forced to sleep in the open air; and, to avert
danger, it was agreed to keep watch by turns. The lot fell first on the
barber, who, for amusement, shaved the fool’s head while he slept; he
then woke him, and the fool, raising his hand to scratch his head,
exclaimed, “Here’s a pretty mistake! Rascal, you have waked the
bald-headed man instead of me.”

A gentleman had a cask of fine wine, from which his servant stole a
large quantity. When the master perceived the deficiency, he diligently
inspected the top of the cask, but could find no traces of an opening.
“Look if there be not a hole in the bottom,” said a bystander.
“Blockhead,” he replied, “do you not see that the deficiency is at the
top, and not at the bottom?”


The London member of the house of Rothschild once wrote to his Paris
correspondent to ascertain if any alteration had occurred in the price
of certain stocks. The inquiry was only a simple

 The reply was equally brief: ———

Mr. McNair, a man of few words, wrote to his nephew at Pittsburg the
following laconic letter:—

  §Dear Nephew§,


To which the nephew replied, by return of mail,—

  §Dear Uncle§,


The long of this short was, that the uncle wrote to his nephew, _See my
coal on_, which a se-mi-col-on expressed; and the youngster informed his
uncle that the coal was shipped, by simply saying, _Col-on_.

When Lord Buckley married a rich and beautiful lady, whose hand had been
solicited at the same time by Lord Powis, in the height of his felicity
he wrote thus to the Duke of Dorset:—

_Dear Dorset_:—I am the happiest dog alive!



_Dear Buckley_:—Every dog has his day.


Louis XIV., who loved a concise style, one day met a priest on the road,
whom he asked, hastily,—

“Whence came you—where are you going—what do you want?”

The priest instantly replied,—

“From Bruges—to Paris—a benefice.”

“You shall have it,” replied the king.

A lady having occasion to call upon Abernethy, the great surgeon, and
knowing his repugnance to any thing like verbosity, forbore speaking
except simply in reply to his laconic inquiries. The consultation,
during three visits, was conducted in the following manner:—

_First Day._—(Lady enters and holds out her finger.) _Abernethy._—“Cut?”
_Lady._—“Bite.” _A._—“Dog?” _L._—“Parrot.” _A._—“Go home and poultice

_Second Day._—(Finger held out again.) _A._—“Better?” _L._—“Worse.”
_A._—“Go home and poultice it again.”

_Third Day._—(Finger held out as before.) _A._—“Better?” _L._—“Well.”
_A._—“You’re the most sensible woman I ever met with. Good-bye. Get

Since Cæsar’s famous “_veni, vidi, vici_,” (I came, I saw, I conquered,)
many military commanders have rendered their despatches memorable for
pith and conciseness; but Sir Sidney Smith bears the palm for both wit
and brevity in his announcement of the capture of Scinde:—“_Peccavi_” (I
have sinned). Gen. Havelock’s “We are in _Lucknow_” has already become a
matter of history.

The following _jeu d’esprit_, written in 1793, was occasioned by the
circumstance of Lord Howe returning from his pursuit of the French
fleet, after an absence of six weeks, during which he had only _seen_
the enemy, without having been able to overtake and bring them to

             When Cæsar triumphed o’er his Gallic foes,
             Three words concise his gallant acts disclose;
             But Howe, more brief, comprises his in _one_,
             And _vidi_ tells us all that he has done.

If brevity is the soul of wit, Talleyrand was the greatest of wits. A
single word was often sufficient for his keenest retort. When a
hypochondriac, who had notoriously led a profligate life, complained to
the diplomatist that he was enduring the torments of hell,—“Je sens les
tourmens de l’enfer,”—the answer was, “_Déjà?_” (Already?) To a lady who
had lost her husband Talleyrand once addressed a letter of condolence in
two words:—“O, Madame!” In less than a year the lady had married again;
and then his letter of congratulation was, “Ah, Madame!” Could any thing
be more wittily significant than the “O” and the “Ah” of this
sententious correspondence?

                         SAME JOKE DIVERSIFIED.

Prince Metternich once requested the autograph of Jules Janin. The witty
journalist sent him the following:—

“I acknowledge the receipt from M. de Metternich of twenty bottles of
Johannisberg, for which I return infinite thanks.

                                                        “§Jules Janin.§”

The prince, in return, doubled the quantity, and sent him forty bottles.

This is equal to the joke of Rochester on the occasion of Charles II.’s
crew of rakes writing pieces of poetry and handing them to Dryden, so
that he might decide which was the prettiest poet. Rochester finished
his piece in a few minutes; and Dryden decided that it was the best. On
reading it, the lines were found to be the following:—

“I promise to pay, to the order of John Dryden, twenty

The following hyperbolical compliment paid to Louis XIV., after his
numerous victories, is almost literally translated from the French of a
Gascon author of those days, and, extraordinary as it may seem, is said
to have obtained for the writer of it the premium alluded to in his

                  To him whose muse in lofty strains
                  Shall blazon Louis’ famed campaigns
                    And every great exploit,
                  Belongs the prize of twenty pounds:—
                  What! only twenty! Blood and wounds!
                    For each ’tis scarce a doit.[17]

Footnote 17:

  The following inscription on a medal of Louis XIV. illustrates the
  servile adulation of that period:—

            See in profile great Louis here designed!
            Both eyes portrayed would strike the gazer blind.

The Emperor Nicholas of Russia was thus “sold,” a few years ago. During
an interview which Martineff, the comedian and mimic, had succeeded in
obtaining with the Prince, (Volkhonsky, high s