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: Facts and fancies for the curious from the harvest-fields of literature - A melange of excerpta
Author: - To be updated
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Facts and fancies for the curious 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.


                           FACTS AND FANCIES
                            FOR THE CURIOUS
                                FROM THE
                      HARVEST-FIELDS OF LITERATURE

                         A MELANGE OF EXCERPTA
                              COLLATED BY

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

      “Facts are to the mind the same thing as food to the body”

          “So full of shapes is fancy
          That it alone is high-fantastical”
                                              _Twelfth Night_


                        PHILADELPHIA AND LONDON

                        J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY

                            COPYRIGHT, 1905
                      BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY

                        Published October, 1905

                      _Electrotyped and Printed by
            J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, U.S.A._



The electrotype plates of a compilation which maintained remarkable
popularity for more than thirty years, “Gleanings for the Curious from
the Harvest Fields of Literature,” having been destroyed in the fire
which wrecked the extensive plant of the J. B. Lippincott Company in
November, 1899, the publishers requested the compiler to prepare a
companion volume on similar lines. Like its predecessor, at once grave
and sportive, the present miscellany offers, as Butler says, “a running
banquet that hath much variety, but little of a sort.” It is a handy
book for the shady nook in summer, or the cosey fireside in winter; for
the traveller in a parlor-car, or on an ocean-steamer; for the military
post, or the wardroom of a war-ship; for the waiting-room of a doctor or
a dentist; for the stray half-hour whenever or wherever it may chance.
It is not for a class of readers, but for the multitude. Even the
scholar, who will find little in its pages with which he is unfamiliar,
will have ready reference to facts and fancies which are not always
within convenient reach. Even the captains of industry, in moments of
relaxation, may find in its manifold topics something more than what
Autolycus calls “unconsidered trifles.” It makes no pretension to
systematic completeness; it is at best, fragmentary, but as we are told
in “Guesses at Truth,” a dinner of fragments is often the best dinner,
and in the absence of a uniform web, patchwork may have a charm of its

Literature, as an English writer remarks, is “not a matter of paper and
ink, but a human voice speaking to human beings; a voice, or rather a
collection of voices, from generation to generation, speaking to men and
women of the present time.” To echo these voices the excursionist must
not only follow the trail over beaten tracks, but must ramble through
devious by-ways. He must be classed with those who endeavor, as Lord
Bacon puts it, “out of monuments, names, words, proverbs, traditions,
records, fragments of stories, passages of books, and the like, to save
and recover somewhat from the deluge of time.” The results of the
literary activity of this wonder-working age and the marvels and
miracles of the ever-widening field of science are, as Coleridge says,
“not in everybody’s reach, and though it is better to know them
thoroughly than to know them only here and there, yet it is a good work
to give a little to those who have neither time nor means to get more.”

For permission to select passages from copyrighted books, the grateful
acknowledgments of the compiler are due to Messrs. Harper & Brothers and
D. Appleton & Company, The Judge Company, publishers of _Leslie’s
Weekly_, Prof. R. B. Anderson of Wisconsin, and Hon. Hampton L. Carson,
of Philadelphia. Indebtedness is also acknowledged to writers and
publishers whose copyrights have expired by limitation.



                 AMERICANA                            9

                 OUR NATIONAL AIRS                   39

                 OUR HISTORIC CHARACTERS             47

                 OUR WONDERLANDS                     78

                 OUR LANGUAGE                        90

                 FIRST THINGS                       125

                 PROTOTYPES                         168

                 FORECASTS                          187

                 MISCELLANEA CURIOSA                197

                 FACETIÆ                            223

                 FLASHES OF REPARTEE                247


                 CLEVER HITS OF THE HUMORISTS       276

                 THE HITS OF THE SATIRISTS          298

                 EVASIONS OF AMBIGUITY              322

                 COMICAL BLUNDERS                   331

                 MISSING THE POINT OF THE JOKES     356

                 EVEN HOMER SOMETIMES NODS          362

                 THE STRETCHES OF POETIC LICENSE    375

                 MISQUOTATION                       380

                 FALSITIES AND FALLACIES            383

                 LEGENDARY LORE                     417

                 PARALLEL PASSAGES                  462

                 THE WIT OF THE EPIGRAMMATISTS      496

                 ENIGMAS                            514

                 VOICES FROM GOD’S ACRE             523


                 THE MAZES OF OBSCURITY             554

                 IDEAL PHYSICAL PROPORTIONS         560

                 FAMOUS BEAUTIES                    567

                 FEMALE POISONERS                   583

                 BREVITIES                          593

                 TOASTS AND MOTTOES                 596

                 FINIS CORONAT OPUS                 604

                           FACTS AND FANCIES
                            FOR THE CURIOUS


                         _The Norse Adventures_

“What parts of the American coasts that adventurous Icelander, Bjarne
Herjulfson, saw cannot be determined with certainty,” says that learned
antiquarian, Professor R. B. Anderson, “but from the circumstances of
the voyage, the course of the winds, the direction of the currents, and
the presumed distance between each sight of land, there is reason to
believe that the first land that Bjarne saw in the year 986 was the
present Nantucket; the second, Nova Scotia; and the third, Newfoundland.
Thus he was the first European whose eyes beheld any part of the
American continent.”

But Bjarne made no exploration of the shores, and could take back no
definite report of them. What little he had to say, however, stimulated
the curiosity of Leif Erikson, son of Erik the Red, and aroused a
determination to go in quest of the unknown lands. He bought Bjarne’s
ship and set sail, in the year 1000, with a crew of thirty-five men, far
away to the southwest of Greenland. They landed in Helluland
(Newfoundland), afterwards in Markland (Nova Scotia), and eventually
found their way to the shores of Massachusetts Bay, or Buzzard’s Bay, or
Narragansett Bay, the exact locality being disputed by local
antiquarians. The likelihood seems to favor Fall River. Finding
abundance of grapes, they called the place of their sojourn Vinland.
They remained there two years, and on their return to Greenland, another
expedition was fitted out by Leif’s brother Thorwald. But Leif is
entitled to the credit of being the first pale-faced man who planted his
feet on the American continent.

                         _The Icelandic Sagas_

The old Norse narrative writings are called “Sagas,” a word which, as
John Fiske remarks, we are in the habit of using in English as
equivalent to legendary or semi-mythical narratives. To cite a saga as
authority for a statement seems, therefore, to some people as
inadmissible as to cite a fairy-tale. In the class of Icelandic sagas to
which that of Erik the Red belongs, we have quiet and sober narrative,
not in the least like a fairy-tale, but often much like a ship’s log.
Whatever such narrative may be, it is not folk-lore. These sagas are
divisible into two well-marked classes. In the one class are the
mythical or romantic sagas, composed of legendary materials; they belong
essentially to the literature of folk-lore. In the other class are the
historical sagas, with their biographies and annals. These writings give
us history, and often very good history. They come down to us in a
narrative form which stamps them as accurate and trustworthy chronicles.


Strenuous efforts have been made in the interest of the Portuguese
descendants of Columbus to depreciate the importance of the Norse
discoveries of America. Not only has the Americanist Society—whose
members devote much of their time to the study of the pre-Columbian
history of the Western Continent—traced in genuine sagas full
particulars of the voyages and settlements of the Norsemen, from the
first expedition in 986 to the last in 1347, but they have shown that
Columbus, during a visit to Iceland in 1477, must have been informed of
the Norse discoveries, and must have profited by the knowledge thus

                         _Erikson and Columbus_

If we are bound by circumstances to put Columbus in the forefront, we
are not bound to ignore an early discovery for the reality of which
there is so much authentic evidence. Sceptical comments come from
critics who have not sufficient knowledge of Norse customs or of Norse
literature, and are consequently not in a position to judge fairly the
amount of credence to be put in Scandinavian tradition. Experience with
oral tradition as exhibited among the Aryans of India might have
suggested that the old Western mistrust of that method of transmitting
information was founded in ignorance alone. For we now know that it is
quite possible to hand down the longest statements through ages, without
loss or change. But in the present case the written word has come in aid
of oral tradition, and the oldest records of Leif Erikson’s discovery of
Vinland are so near the period of the event that the chain of testimony
may be regarded as practically complete. It is all but certain that Leif
Erikson landed on the main continent, whereas it is not at all certain,
but extremely problematical, whether Columbus ever saw, much less set
foot on, the continent of America. The probability is that he did not
get nearer than the Bahamas.

The result of modern investigation has been to reduce the glory of
Columbus considerably, and to raise questions and doubts concerning him
which, if they cannot be answered satisfactorily, must carry the
depreciating movement farther. The prior discovery of the Northmen has
been taken out of the realm of fable and established as an historical
fact. On the other hand, the visit of the Northmen did not lead to
permanent settlement. They may have colonized a little. They may have
had relations with some of the American Indians, and even have taught
the aborigines some of the Norse sagas. But they did not stay in the new
land. After a longer or shorter period they sailed away, and left it
finally, and no emigration from Iceland to Vinland was incited by the
tales they told on their return home.

The incident was ended so far as they were concerned, and it was not
reopened. Now, in the case of Columbus, it may be said that the first
step was quickly followed up, and that there was no solution of
continuity in the development of the new world. Certainty and perfectly
clear demonstration is not to be had in the matter, but Columbus has the
advantage of tradition, of familiarity, of the facility with which an at
least apparent connection is established between the man and what came
after him.

                              _The Cabots_

On the 24th of June, 1497, John Cabot, a Venetian merchant, living in
England, with his young son Sebastian, first saw, from the deck of a
British vessel, “the dismal cliffs of Labrador,” through the early
morning mist. This was nearly fourteen months before Columbus, on his
third voyage, came in sight of the mainland of South America.
Thenceforth the continent of North America belonged to England by right
of discovery. Sailing along the coast many leagues without the sight of
a human being, but observing that the country was inhabited, he landed
and planted a large cross with the standard of England, and by its side
the Venetian banner of St. Mark,—the one in loyalty to his king, Henry
VII., the other in affection for Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic. From
that hour the fortunes of this continent were to be swayed by the
Anglo-Saxon race. The name of Cabot’s vessel—the first to touch our
American shores—was Matteo (Matthew).

                           _The Name America_

Amalric was the name which compacted the old ideal of heroism and
leadership common to all Germanic tribes, the ideal that stands out most
clearly in the character of Beowulf—the Amal of Sweden, Denmark, and
Saxon England. It meant what the North European hero stories
described,—“The man who ruled because he labored for the benefit of

In Norman France this name was softened to Amaury. Thus, a certain
theologian who was born in the twelfth century at Bène, near Chartres,
is called indifferently Amalric of Bène or Amaury of Chartres. England
in the thirteenth century could show no more commanding figure than
Simon of Montfort l’Amaury, Earl of Leicester, to whom King Henry once
said, “If I fear the thunder, I fear you, Sir Earl, more than all the
thunder in the world.” A Norman Amalric was that Earl Simon, creator of
a new force, and in its outcome a democratic one, too, in English
politics. J. R. Green says, “It was the writ issued by Earl Simon that
first summoned the merchant and trader to sit beside the knight of the
shire, the baron, and the bishop in the parliament of the realm.” In
Italy, after the Gothic invasion, the northern name suffered
comparatively slight euphonic changes, which can be easily traced. As
borne by a bishop of Como in 865 it became Amelrico or Amelrigo. But the
juxtaposition of the two consonants “l” and “r” presented a difficulty
in pronunciation which the Italians avoided: they changed “lr,” first,
to double “r,” and then to a single “r.” Nevertheless, six hundred years
after Bishop Amelrigo died, the Florentine merchant, explorer, and
author—third son of Anastasio Vespucius, notary of Florence—usually
retained the double “r” in his own signature, writing “Amerrigo
Vespucci,” and, by the way, accenting his Gothic name on the penultimate
(Ameri´go, not Ame´rigo).

The orthography of Amelric was still in this transitional stage in Italy
at the end of the fifteenth century. In Spain the name must have been
rare, since it was often used alone to designate the Florentine during
his residence in that country, the audit books in the archives of
Seville containing entries in this form: “Ha de haber Amerigo.” There
was, apparently, no other Amerigo or Amerrigo in the Spanish public
service early in the sixteenth century.

We must look again toward the north for the scene of the next important
change, and among the men of a northern race for its author. Martin
Waldseemueller, a young German geographer at St. Dié, in the Vosgian
Mountains, whose imagination had been stirred by reading, as news of the
day, Amerigo’s account of his voyages to the New World, bestowed the
name America upon the continental regions brought to light by the
Florentine. It is not enough to say, with John Boyd Thacher (in his
“Columbus,” Volume III.; compare also Thacher’s valuable “Continent of
America”), that Waldseemueller “suggested” this designation. As editor
of the Latin work, the “Cosmographiæ Introductio” (May 5, 1507), he
stated most distinctly, with emphatic reiteration, his reasons for this
name-giving; placed conspicuously in the margin the perfect geographical
name, “America,” and at the end of the volume put Vespucci’s narrative.
Further, on a large map of the world, separately published, he drew that
fourth part of the earth “quarta orbis pars,” which was the
“Introductio’s” novel feature, and marked it firmly “America.”

The contention of Professor von der Hagen (in his letter to Humboldt,
published in 1835 in “Neues Jahrbuch der Berliner Gesellschaft für
Deutsche Sprache,” Heft 1, pp. 13–17), that Waldseemueller was
distinctly conscious of giving the new continent a name of Germanic
origin, may appeal to enthusiastic Germanists, but the original text
clearly opposes that conclusion. “Quia Americus invenit,” says the
Introductio, “Americi terra sive America nuncupare licet.” But the case
stands otherwise, when we ask why Europeans generally caught up the
word, as a name appropriate to the new Terra Firma of vaguely intimated
contours, but of defined and appalling difficulty—a vaster, untried
field for the exercise of proved Amal ability. Its association with so
many men before Vespucci certainly commended the name to northern taste.

We may be thankful that no one has succeeded in the various attempts
that have been made to call our part of the world by the relatively very
weak name Columbia, which signifies Land of the Dove. We may be thankful
that “America” means so much more than “Europe”—in respect to which
Meredith Townsend says, “The people of the ‘setting sun’—that seems to
be the most probable explanation of the word Europe.” The “setting sun”
is precisely the wrong thing. And if we wish to get somewhat nearer to
the time of the name-giving of the Old World Continents, we shall find
that Herodotus says, “Nor can I conjecture why, as the earth is one, it
has received three names, Asia, Europe, and Libya—the names of
women; ... nor can I learn who it was that established these artificial
distinctions, or whence were derived these appellations.”

We scarcely need to point out the appropriateness of a name which
exactly fits the Saxon, Teutonic, and Latin conditions here. It is also
clear that we need not ask whether Amerigo Vespucci was worthy to have
his name given to a hemisphere. His name, it has been shown plainly, was
but the cup that held the essence.

                   _What it Cost to Discover America_

As John Fiske remarks, “It is not easy to give an accurate account of
the cost of this most epoch-making voyage in all history. Conflicting
statements by different authorities combine with the fluctuating values
of different kinds of money to puzzle and mislead us.” Historians are
inclined to accept the statement of Las Casas with regard to the amount
of Queen Isabella’s contribution, whether it came from a pledge of the
crown jewels, or from the Castile treasury, but the amount of the loan
from Santangel, and of the levy upon the port of Palos, is open to
question. The researches of Harrisse have been considered authoritative,
but now comes the German investigator, Professor Ruge, whose estimates
involve a large reduction from calculations heretofore made. He says,—

“The cost of the armament of the first fleet of Columbus, consisting of
three small vessels, is given in all the documents as 1,140,000
maravedis. What this sum represents in our own money, however, is not so
easy to determine, as the opinions upon the value of a maravedi vary
greatly. The maravedi—the name is of Moorish origin—was a small coin
used at the end of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the
sixteenth century. All prices were expressed in maravedis, even if they
ran into the millions. It is, however, a fact well known that almost all
coins which continue to bear one name decrease in value in the course of
centuries. The Roman silver denarius sank finally to common copper
coins, known in France as ‘dermer,’ in England as ‘d’ and in Germany as
‘pfennig.’ The original gulden-gold, as the name indicates—has long
since become a silver piece which nowhere has the value of fifty cents.
So, also, the value of the maravedi became less and less, until a
century ago it was hardly equal to a pfennig (one-quarter of a cent).
One may also reason backward that it was much more valuable four
centuries ago.”

Ruge comes to the conclusion, after the examination of various decrees
of Ferdinand, that the value of a maravedi was about 2.56 pfennig, or
less than three-quarters of a cent in modern money. Therefore the
contribution of 1,140,000 maravedis made by Queen Isabella was, he says,
29,184 marks, or about $7296, without taking into consideration the
higher purchasing power of money in Columbus’s days. “The city of Palos
also,” adds the article, “had to furnish out of its own means two small
ships manned for twelve months. The cost to the State, therefore, of the
journey of discovery was not more than 30,000 marks ($7500). Of this sum
the admiral received an annual salary of 1280 marks ($320); the
captains, Martin, Juan, and Anton Perez, each 768 marks ($192); the
pilots, 542 to 614 marks each ($128 to $153), and a physician only 153
marks and 60 pfennigs ($38.50). The sailors received for the necessaries
of life, etc., each month 1 ducat, valued at 375 maravedis, about 9
marks and 60 pfennigs ($2.45).”

                         _The American Indians_

With reference to the ancestors of the native tribes, and their probable
origin, the following syllabus of Charles Hallock’s paper in the
_American Antiquarian_ is interesting:

The Indians, or Indigenes, of both North and South America, originated
from a civilization of high degree which occupied the subequatorial belt
some ten thousand years ago, while the glacial sheet was still on.
Population spread northward as the ice receded. Routes of exodus
diverging from the central point of departure are plainly marked by
ruins and lithic records. The subsequent settlements in Arizona, Mexico,
New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and California indicate the successive
stages of advance, as well as the persistent struggle to maintain the
ancient civilization against reversion and the catastrophes of nature.
The varying architecture of the valleys, cliffs, and mesas is an
intelligible expression of the exigencies which stimulated the builders.
The gradual distribution of population over the higher latitudes in
after years was supplemented by accretions from Europe and Northern Asia
centuries before the coming of Columbus. Wars and reprisals were the
natural and inevitable results of a mixed and degenerated population
with different dialects. The mounds which cover the midcontinental
areas, isolated and in groups, tell the story thereof. The Korean
immigration of the year 544, historically cited, which led to the
founding of the Mexican empire in 1325, was but an incidental
contribution to the growing population of North America. So also were
the very much earlier migrations from Central America by water across
the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and Arkansas.

                     _The Landing of the Pilgrims_

The actual authorities upon this subject are very few. But they have
been carefully collated by Mr. Gay, in his “Bryant’s History of the
United States,” and the story is there clearly told. Mr. Gay says that
the Pilgrims probably did not land first at Plymouth, and certainly not
on the 22d of December, a date erroneously perpetuated as Forefathers’
Day in celebration of the event. In summarizing the results of careful
investigation G. W. Curtis says it was on the 21st of November, 1621,
new style, that the “Mayflower” cast anchor in the bay which is now the
harbor of Provincetown, Cape Cod. The Pilgrims went ashore, but found no
water fit for drinking, and in a little shallop which the “Mayflower”
had brought, a party began to explore the coast to find a proper place
for a settlement, and on the 16th of December, N. S., they put off for a
more extended search. On Saturday, the 19th, they reached Clark’s
Island, in Plymouth Bay or Harbor, so called from Clark, the chief mate,
who first stepped ashore, and on Sunday, the 20th, they rested and
worshipped God. On Monday, the 21st, they crossed from the island to the
mainland, somewhere probably in Duxbury or Kingston, which was the
nearest point, and coasted along the shore, finding in some spots fields
cleared for maize by the Indians, and copious streams. They decided that
somewhere upon that shore it would be best to land and begin the
settlement, but precisely where they did not determine, and sailed away
again on the same day, the 21st, to rejoin the “Mayflower” at Cape Cod.

The next day, therefore, the 22d of December, the Plymouth shore and
waters relapsed into the customary solitude, and the little band of
Pilgrims were once more assembled upon the “Mayflower,” many miles away.
It was not until the 25th of December that the famous ship left Cape
Cod, and on the 26th she dropped anchor between Plymouth and Clark’s
Island. Not before the 30th was Plymouth finally selected as the spot
for settlement, and it was not until the 4th of January, 1621, that the
Pilgrims generally went ashore, and began to build the common house. But
it was not until the 31st of March that all the company left the ship.

                    _The First Legislative Assembly_

Jamestown, the first English settlement in the United States, was
founded in 1607. The story of the early colonists during the first
twelve years is a record of continuous misfortune; it is a story of
oppressive government, of severe hardships, of famine, and Indian
massacre. After languishing under such distressful conditions, the
colony was reinforced with emigrants and supplies, the despotic
governor, Argall, was displaced, and the mild and popular Sir George
Yeardley was made captain-general. He arrived in April, 1619, and under
the instructions he had received “for the better establishing of a
commonwealth,” he issued a proclamation “that those cruel laws, by which
the planters had so long been governed, were now abrogated, and that
they were to be governed by those free laws which his majesty’s subjects
lived under in England. That the planters might have a hand in the
governing of themselves, it was granted that a general assembly should
be held yearly, whereat were to be present the governor and council,
with two burgesses from each plantation, freely to be elected by the
inhabitants thereof, this assembly to have power to make and ordain
whatsoever laws and orders should by them be thought good and profitable
for their subsistence.”

In conformity with this “charter of rights and liberties,” summonses
were sent out to hold elections of burgesses, and on July 30, 1619,
delegates from each of the eleven plantations assembled at Jamestown.
Under this administrative change, this inauguration of legislative
power, salutary enactments were adopted, and the new representatives
proved their capacity and their readiness to meet their
responsibilities. It was the first legislative assembly in America, the
beginning of self-government in the English colonies.

                    _The Signing of the Declaration_

“July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence having been read was
agreed to as follows: [Here should appear the Declaration without any
signatures or authentication, as is the case with one of the manuscript

“_Ordered_, That the Declaration be authenticated and printed. That the
committee appointed to prepare the Declaration superintend and correct
the press, etc.

“July 19. _Resolved_, That the Declaration passed on the 4th be fairly
engrossed on parchment, with the title, etc., and that the same, when
engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress.

“Aug. 2. The Declaration agreed to on July 4, being engrossed and
compared at the table, was signed by the members, agreeably to the
resolution of July 19.

“Nov. 4. The Hon. Matthew Thornton, Esq., a delegate from New Hampshire,
attended and produced his credentials.

“_Ordered_, That Mr. Thornton be directed, agreeably to the resolve
passed July 19, to affix his signature to the engrossed copy of the
Declaration, _with the date of his subscription_.

“Jan. 18, 1777. _Ordered_, That an authentic copy of the Declaration of
Independence, with the names of the members of Congress subscribing the
same, be sent to each of the United States, and they be desired to have
the same put upon record.

“——, 1781. _Whereas_, It has been made to appear to this present
Congress that the Hon. Thomas McKean was a member of Congress from
Delaware in the year 1776, and that on July 4 of that year he was
present and voted for the Declaration of Independence, but being absent
with the army at the time of the general subscription of that instrument
on Aug. 2: therefore,

“_Resolved_, That the said Hon. Thomas McKean be allowed to affix his
signature to the aforesaid Declaration, he adding thereto the date of
such subscription.”

The engrossed copy of the Declaration reads: “In Congress, July 4, 1776.
The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America——”
and after the Declaration follow the signatures. To make the record
accurate and true to history, the signatures should have been preceded
by some such recital as this: “The foregoing Declaration having been
agreed to on July 4, by the delegates of the thirteen United Colonies,
in Congress assembled, and the same having been engrossed, is now
subscribed, agreeably to a resolution passed July 19, by the members of
Congress present this 2d day of August, 1776.”

                  _The Authorship of the Declaration_

In the inscription prepared by Thomas Jefferson for his tomb, he
preferred to be remembered as the “author of the Declaration of
Independence and of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom, and
Father of the University of Virginia.” With regard to the first of these
claims to originality two questions have been in controversy,—the first
upon the substance of the document, and the second concerning its
phraseology in connection with the Mecklenburg declaration of May, 1775.
The latter, Mr. Jefferson declared he had not seen at the time, and as
to the germ, it is obvious in the conclusions upon government of the
leading thinkers of the age in Europe and America. The assumption that
Jefferson unaided wrote the great state paper, unequalled as it is in
eloquence and dignity, is based upon weak evidence, and it is noteworthy
that he did not make a positive claim until after his eightieth year.

In the early days of the republic there were many who believed that he
did not write it; but for reasons which have been set forth, as follows,
the real author was unknown.

Six months before independence was declared, an anonymous pamphlet was
published, entitled “Common Sense.” Its success was unprecedented. The
copyright was assigned to the colonies by the author, and not until
several editions were issued was it accredited to Thomas Paine. In a
literary point of view it was one of the finest productions in the
English language. But the author was not an aspirant for literary fame;
his sole aim was the achievement of American independence.

Paine was the bosom friend of Franklin. They were both very secretive
men, and Franklin, who had induced Paine to come to America, knew that
he could trust him. Franklin was a member of the committee to draft a
declaration. The task was assigned to Jefferson, and in a very few days
it was completed.

Franklin handed to Jefferson a draft already prepared by Paine, and
assured him that he could trust the writer never to lay claim to its
authorship. What could Jefferson do but use it? It was far superior in
style to anything he could produce. So with a few verbal changes be
reported it, and it was adopted by the Congress, after striking out
several passages more eloquent than any that remain, as, for instance,
one about the slave trade.

The adoption of this declaration placed Jefferson in an embarrassing
position. Not daring to say outright that he was its author, he
studiously evaded that point whenever it became necessary to allude to
the subject. But at last, when Franklin had been dead thirty-three years
and Paine fourteen years, Jefferson ventured to claim what no one then
disputed. It would never have done for him to name the real author, and
who could be harmed, he doubtless thought, by taking the credit to
himself? But the science of criticism, like the spectrum analysis which
reveals the composition of the stars, points unerringly to Thomas Paine
as the only man who could indite that greatest of literary masterpieces,
the Declaration of American Independence.

                 _Eminent Domain—National Sovereignty_

It is well known to the students of our history that, though Maryland
was fully represented in the Continental Congress and took an active
part in all the deliberations of that body and answered every
requisition which was made upon her for money and troops, sending more
than 20,000 of her best sons to the army under Washington, whose courage
and conduct on every battle-field of the Revolution elicited the warm
commendation of their great commander, she did not sign, and for years
resolutely refused to sign, the Articles of Confederation, and did not
sign those articles until March 1, 1781, about eight months before the
surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, which marked the close of our
revolutionary struggle.

In a vague and general way the reason of that refusal was also known.
Intimations of it crop out occasionally in the pages of some of our
annalists. But the full meaning and the subsequent and most important
effect of that refusal and of that reason were not fully understood and
realized until they were explained and unfolded by the investigations of
two of the most accomplished scholars of our time. The late Herbert B.
Adams, professor of history, Johns Hopkins University, in a paper read
before the Maryland Historical Society April 9, 1877, entitled
“Maryland’s Influence upon the Land Cessions to the United States,” and
also published in the Johns Hopkins University studies, third series,
No. 1, in January, 1885, and the late Professor John Fiske, of Harvard
University, in his work entitled “The Critical Period of American
History,” published in 1888, for the first time fully investigated and
discussed this question of the public lands and the profound
significance of the action of Maryland in the Continental Congress in
regard to it.

Of the vastly important, but to his time little understood, effect of
this action on the part of Maryland, Professor Adams says, page 67 of
his paper: “The acquisition of a territorial commonwealth by these
States was the foundation of a permanent union; it was the first solid
arch upon which the framers of our Constitution could build. When we now
consider the practical results arising from Maryland’s prudence in
laying the keystone to the old confederation only after the land claims
of the larger States had been placed through her influence upon a
national basis, we may say with truth that it was a national
commonwealth which Maryland founded.” And again, on page 30 of the same
paper, Professor Adams observes: “The credit of suggesting and
successfully urging in Congress that policy which has made this country
a great national commonwealth, composed of free, convenient, and
independent governments, bound together by ties of permanent territorial
interests, the credit of originating this policy belongs to Maryland,
and to her alone. Absolutely nothing had been effected by Rhode Island,
New Jersey, and Delaware, before they ratified the articles, toward
breaking down the selfish claims of the larger States and placing the
confederation upon a national basis.... Maryland was left to fight out
the battle alone, and with what success we shall shortly see.”

The history of the struggle which Maryland made, single-handed and alone
in the Congress of the States, to compel the surrender of the Western
lands to the United States by the States which claimed them, namely
Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Carolina, and
Georgia, is graphically told in this interesting paper, and reflects the
highest credit on the courage, resolution, statesmanship, and patriotism
of the General Assembly of Maryland and her representatives in the
Congress. The struggle was a long and arduous one, but in the end
Maryland won. Her position was that, without regard to the titles more
or less doubtful and defective on which these claims were founded or
pretended to be founded, and which, by the way, she utterly denied, the
fact remained that when these lands were acquired from Great Britain, as
one of the results of the war we were waging, they would be won by the
common expenditure of the blood and treasure of the people of all the
States, and that therefore they should become the common property and
the inheritance of all the States, as a national domain to be governed
and controlled by the national sovereignty, and to be parcelled out
ultimately into “free, convenient, and independent States,” and to
become members of the federal Union, on an equality with the other
States, whenever their population and circumstances should justify.
Maryland thus formulated the elemental idea of territorial acquisition
and the purposes of that acquisition, namely, the creation out of such
territory, the common property of all the States, of new and independent
Commonwealths and coequal members of the federal Union, for that
purpose, and that purpose only, and the idea of a national sovereignty
as a logical consequence of such acquisition for that purpose.

The struggle was begun by Maryland by the passage, in her General
Assembly, of instructions to her delegates in Congress on December 15,
1778,—instructions which were read and submitted to that Congress on May
21, 1779. A declaration of the same tenor and effect as the instructions
had been previously adopted and transmitted to Congress by Maryland and
laid before that body without debate on January 6, 1779. Virginia
answered these instructions and declaration by a remonstrance from her
House of Burgesses, in which she alluded, with something of arrogance,
to these papers and protested against any attempt or design by the
Congress to diminish any of her territory, and reasserted all her
exorbitant and unfounded claims to the Western lands and her purpose to
relinquish none of them. She had even gone so far as to organize
Illinois and Kentucky into counties of Virginia.

The fight was now on. In the beginning Rhode Island, New Jersey, and
Delaware had supported Maryland, and with her had protested against
these pretensions of the larger States; but under influences which it is
now difficult to account for they soon fell from her side and left her
to make that fight alone. She encountered vehement opposition from the
landed States, as they grew to be denominated.

“But of these protesting States,” says Professor John Fiske, in the work
referred to, page 191, “it was only Maryland that fairly rose to the
occasion and suggested an idea, which seemed startling at first, but
from which mighty and unforeseen consequences were soon to follow.” A
motion had been made in the Congress to the effect that the United
States, in Congress assembled, shall have the sole and exclusive right
and power to ascertain and fix the western boundary of the States making
claim to the Mississippi, and lay out the land beyond the boundary so
ascertained into separate and independent States, from time to time, as
the numbers and circumstances of the people may require. This motion was
submitted by Maryland, and no State but Maryland voted for it.

Professor Fiske subsequently observes: “This acquisition of a common
territory speedily led to results not at all contemplated in the theory
of union upon which the Articles of Confederation were based. It led to
‘the exercise of national sovereignty in the sense of eminent domain,’
as shown in the ordinances of 1784 and 1787, and prepared men’s minds
for the work of the Federal Convention. Great credit is due to Maryland
for her resolute course in setting in motion this train of events. It
aroused fierce indignation at the time, as to many people it looked
unfriendly to the Union. Some hotheads were even heard to say that, if
Maryland should persist any longer in her refusal to join the
Confederation, she ought to be summarily divided up between the
neighboring States and her name erased from the map. (Maryland had heard
such threats before in her colonial period and had been unjustly
stripped of large parts of her territory, as laid down in her charter,
by both Virginia and Pennsylvania.) But the brave little State had
earned a better fate than Poland. When we have come to trace out the
result of her action we shall see that just as it was Massachusetts that
took the decisive step in bringing on the Revolutionary War, when she
threw the tea into the Boston harbor, so it was Maryland that, by
leading the way toward the creation of a national domain, laid the
corner-stone of our federal Union.”

Maryland, unawed by these threats, resolutely adhered to her
determination, as announced by her repeatedly in the General Assembly of
the State and through her representatives in the Congress, not to sign
the Articles of Confederation until this great wrong should be righted,
until these Western lands should be ceded to the United States for the
common benefit of all the States. Her resolution was rewarded. Maryland
finally won. The great States yielded, some cheerfully, some with
reluctance, and surrendered their Western lands to the United States,
New York leading the way, followed by Massachusetts, and finally by
Virginia and the other States. Maryland, having accomplished her great
purpose, instructed her two distinguished sons, then representatives in
the Congress, John Hanson and Daniel Carroll, to sign the Articles of
Confederation on her behalf, which they did on March 1, 1781, and thus
the Articles of Confederation were completed. The satisfaction which
this action of Maryland gave was very general, and Madison gives
expression to it in a letter to Thomas Jefferson when subsequently the
negotiations were begun between Maryland and Virginia which culminated
ultimately in the Federal Convention, the formation of our Constitution,
and the establishment of the government of the United States.

                          _Gun Flints Wanted_

On the 4th of July, 1776, the adoption of the Declaration of
Independence was not the only event of the day during the session of the
Continental Congress. Attention was given to other important matters,
among them the passage of the following resolution:

“That the Board of War be empowered to employ such a number of persons
as they shall find necessary to manufacture flints for the continent,
and for this purpose to apply to the respective Assemblies, Conventions,
and Councils or Committees of Safety of the United American States, or
committees of inspection of the counties and towns thereunto belonging,
for the names and places of abode of persons skilled in the manufacture
aforesaid, and of the places in their respective States where the best
flint-stones are to be obtained, with samples of the same.”

The flint-lock of the old-time muskets and pistols has long since been
superseded by the detonating or percussion cap. It passed out of use
when goose-quills gave way to metallic pens, sand boxes to blotters, and
red wafers to mucilage or paste in convenient jars.

                 _The Master Spirit of the Revolution_

In his “Historical View of the American Revolution,” George W. Greene
says: “When the colonists resolved upon resistance to British invasion,
the first question that presented itself, in the effort to organize the
independent militia of the different States for the general defence was,
who should command this motley army? As long as each colony provided for
its own men, it was difficult to infuse a spirit of unity into
discordant elements. There could be no strength without union, and of
union the only adequate representative was the Continental Congress. To
induce the Congress to adopt the army in the name of the United Colonies
was one of the objects toward which John Adams directed his attention.
With the question of adoption came the question of commander-in-chief;
and here personal ambition and sectional jealousies were manifest in
various ways.”

Washington’s was, of course, the first name that occurred to Northern
and Southern men alike; for it was the only name that had won a
continental reputation. But some New England men thought that they would
do better service under a New England commander, like General Ward, of
Massachusetts; and some Southern men were not prepared to see Washington
put so prominently forward. Then New England was divided against itself.
While Ward had warm advocates, John Hancock had aspirations for the high
place which were not always concealed from the keen eyes of his
colleagues. Among Washington’s opponents were some “of his own
household,” Pendleton of Virginia being the most persistent of them all.
At last John Adams moved to adopt the army, and appoint a general; and a
few days after, June 5—the interval having been actively used to win
over the little band of dissenters—Washington was chosen by a unanimous

In a memorable address, Edward Everett remarked: “The war was conducted
by Washington under every possible disadvantage. He engaged in it
without any personal experience in the handling of large bodies of men,
and this was equally the case with all his subordinates. The Continental
Congress, under whose authority the war was waged, was destitute of all
the attributes of an efficient government. It had no power of taxation,
and no right to compel the obedience of the individual. The country was
nearly as destitute of the _material_ of war as of the means of
procuring it; it had no foundries, no arsenals, no forts, no navy, no
means, no credit. The opposing power had all the prestige of an ancient
monarchy, of the legitimate authority of disciplined and veteran armies,
of a powerful navy, of the military possession of most of the large
towns, and the machinery of government for peace and war. It had also
the undoubted sympathy of a considerable portion of the people,
especially of the wealthy class. That Washington, carrying on the war
under these circumstances, met with frequent reverses, and that the
progress of the Revolution as conducted by him seemed often languid and
inert, is less wonderful than that he rose superior to such formidable
obstacles, and was able, with unexhausted patience and matchless skill,
to bring the contest eventually to an auspicious and honorable close.”

                    _The Constitutional Convention_

In his admirable memorial of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the
Constitution of the United States, Hampton L. Carson says: “During the
years of bankruptcy, anarchy, and civil paralysis, which preceded the
formation of a more lasting Union, Washington constantly urged the
establishment of a stronger national government. He saw the folly, the
weakness, and the insignificance of a government powerless to enforce
its decrees, dependent upon the discretion of thirteen different
Legislatures, swayed by conflicting interests, and therefore unable to
provide for the public safety, or for the honorable payment of the
national debt. He clearly saw the necessity for a government which could
command the obedience of individuals by operating directly upon them,
and not upon sovereign States. In his private as well as official
correspondence during an early period of the war, in his last words to
his officers at Newburgh, in his speech when resigning his commission at
Annapolis, and after his return to Mount Vernon, in his letters to
Hamilton, Jefferson, Mason, and Madison, he constantly and vigorously
urged the idea of a stronger Union, and a surrender of a portion of the
sovereignty of the States. When the Federal Convention was determined
on, it was natural as well as appropriate that he should be selected as
one of the delegates from Virginia, and, as a proof of the magnitude and
solemnity of the duty to be performed, he was placed at the head of the
State delegation. Upon his arrival in Philadelphia, in May, 1787, he
called upon the venerable Franklin, then eighty-one years of age, and
the great soldier and the great philosopher conferred together upon the
evils which had befallen their beloved country and threatened it with
dangers far greater than those of war. Upon the nomination of Robert
Morris, Washington was unanimously chosen president of the
Convention,—an honor for which he expressed his thanks in a few simple
words, reminding his colleagues of the novelty of the scene of business
in which he was to act, lamenting his want of better qualifications, and
claiming indulgence towards the involuntary errors which his
inexperience might occasion. In that body of fifty-five statesmen and
jurists—such men as Hamilton, Madison, Dickinson, Rutledge, Morris, and
Carroll—Washington did not shine as a debater. Of oratorical talents he
had none, but the breadth and sagacity of his views, his calmness of
judgment, his exalted character, and the vast grasp of his national
sympathy, exerted a powerful influence upon the labors of the
Convention. So far as the record shows, he seems to have broken silence
but twice,—once when he disapproved of the exclusive origination of
money-bills in the House of Representatives, a view which he abandoned
for the sake of harmony, and again when he wished the ratio of
representation reduced. The proceedings were held in secret, and not
until after four months of arduous and continuous toil did the people
know how great or how wonderful was the work of the men who builded
better than they knew. When the Constitution was before the people for
adoption, and the result was in doubt, Gouverneur Morris wrote to
Washington as follows:

“I have observed that your name to the Constitution has been of infinite
service. Indeed, I am convinced that if you had not attended the
Convention, and the same paper had been handed out to the world, it
would have met with a colder reception, with fewer and weaker advocates,
and with more and more strenuous opponents. As it is, should the idea
prevail that you will not accept the Presidency, it will prove fatal in
many parts. The truth is that your great and decided superiority leads
men willingly to put you in a place which will not add to your present
dignity, nor raise you higher than you already stand.”

In the interval neither the voice nor the pen of Washington was idle. In
many of his most interesting letters he constantly urged upon his
countrymen the necessity of adopting the work of the Convention as the
only remedy for the evils with which the country was afflicted. When the
new government went into operation he was unanimously chosen as the
first President, and was sworn into office in the city of New York,
April 30, 1789. In 1792, though anxious to retire, he was again chosen
to the executive chair by the unanimous vote of every electoral college;
and for a third time, in 1796, was earnestly entreated to consent to a
re-election, but firmly declined, thus establishing by the force of his
example a custom which has remained unbroken, and which has become a
part of the unwritten law of the Republic.

                  _Division of Legislative Authority_

The late Francis Lieber related the following story in a letter to a

“An incident of more than usual interest occurred to-day, just after the
class in constitutional law was dismissed, at the university. I had been
lecturing upon the advantages of the bicameral system, had dismissed the
class, and was about to leave the room, when a young man, whom I knew
had taken instructions under Laboulaye, in Paris, approached me, and
said that what I had urged in regard to the bicameral system reminded
him of a story which he had heard Laboulaye relate. I was interested, of
course, and, as the class gathered around, he proceeded with the
following: Laboulaye said, in one of his lectures, that Jefferson, who
had become so completely imbued with French ideas as even to admire the
uni-cameral system of legislation, one day visited Washington at Mount
Vernon, and, in the course of the conversation that ensued, the
comparative excellence of the two systems came up for consideration.
After considerable had been said on both sides, finally, at the
tea-table, Washington, turning sharply to Jefferson, said,—

“‘You, sir, have just demonstrated the superior excellence of the
bicameral system, by your own hand.’

“‘I! How is that?’ said Jefferson, not a little surprised.

“‘You have poured your tea from your cup out into the saucer to cool. We
want the bicameral system to cool things. A measure originates in one
house, and in heat is passed. The other house will serve as a wonderful
cooler; and, by the time it is debated and modified by various
amendments there, it is much more likely to become an equitable law. No,
we can’t get along without the saucer in our system.’

“Jefferson, of course, saw that a point had been made against his
argument; but whether he was frank enough to say so, the story-teller
did not relate.”

              _Progress toward Position as a World Power_

In the case of the North American colonies, connection with the main
stream of history may be said to have taken place in the latter half of
the eighteenth century, especially during the Seven Years’ War and the
war of Independence. Consequently, the earlier history of North America
would naturally be considered about the close of the reign of Louis XV.
and immediately before the French Revolution. But, although an intimate
relation between America and Europe was established during the period
1756–83, and although the outbreak of the French Revolution was partly
due to this connection, it was severed after the Peace of Versailles to
be renewed only occasionally during many years. For upwards of a century
from that date the United States remained in a sense an isolated
political entity, standing forth, indeed, as a primary example of a
successful and progressive federated republic, and, as such, exerting a
constant influence on the political thought of Europe, but not otherwise
affecting the course of European affairs, and little affected by them in
return. The United States seldom came into close political contact even
with Great Britain during the greater part of the nineteenth century,
and still more rarely with other Powers. It is only during the last
generation that an extraordinary industrial and commercial development
has brought the United States into immediate contact and rivalry with
European nations; and it is still more recently that, through the
acquisition of transmarine dependencies and the recognition of
far-reaching interests abroad, the American people have practically
abandoned the policy of isolation, and have definitely, because
inevitably, taken their place among the great Powers of the world.

                           OUR NATIONAL AIRS

                       _An Air of Twelve Nations_

The air of the German national hymn, “Heil Dir im Sieger Kranz,” was
appropriated by English loyalty to royalty for the stirring verses of
“God save the King.” When Samuel F. Smith wrote his patriotic song, “My
country, ’tis of thee,” in 1832, it was sung in Boston to the same tune
under the name “America.” Following England’s example of appropriation
and adverse possession, we have held on to our stolen air ever since,
although it is a never-ending reminder of God save the King, meaning the
king of Great Britain.

According to a French journal, the _Charivari_, Handel copied the tune
from a St. Cyr melody, the authorship of which is claimed for Luille.
The common account attributing it to Dr. Bull is so far discredited as
to make it unworthy of notice. Besides Germany, England, and the United
States, it figures among the patriotic or national airs of nine other
nations. In Bavaria it is “Heil! unserm König, Heil!” In Switzerland it
is “Rufst du, mein Vaterland.” It is in use to various sets of words in
Brunswick, Hanover, Wurtemberg, Prussia, Saxony, Weimar, and Norway.

The Rhode Island State Society of the Cincinnati, composed of
descendants of Continental officers of the Revolution, was so strongly
impressed with the incongruity of singing Smith’s national song to the
air of the British national anthem on the Fourth of July, the date of
the annual reunion, that a prize was offered for an original substitute.
In response to the circular inviting composers to compete, five hundred
and seventeen compositions were sent in and considered. The committee
awarded a gold medal to Mr. Arthur Edward Johnstone, of New York. While
the aim of the Society was to provide a tune for its own use on its
Fourth of July and other patriotic celebrations, it has no desire to
monopolize the air which was selected, but freely offers this stirring
and dignified strain to popular acceptance.

The statement that the air of the German national hymn was due to French
inspiration is confirmed in the “Memoirs of Madame de Gregny,” in which
we find the canticle that used to be sung by the young ladies of St. Cyr
whenever Louis XIV. entered their chapel to hear morning mass. The first
stanza was as follows:

                       Grand Dieu sauve le Roi!
                       Grand Dieu venge le Roi!
                                 Vive le Roi!
                       Que toujours glorieux,
                       Louis victorieux,
                       Voye ses enemies
                                 Toujours soumis.

The words were written by de Brenon, and the music, as stated, was by
Luille, who was a distinguished composer. German sensitiveness over this
French origin may find an offset in the allegation that neither the
words nor the music of the Marseillaise hymn were composed by the
Strasburg soldier Rouget de l’Isle. In the memoirs of Baron Bunsen it is
authoritatively stated that the melody, which is found among the
folk-songs of Germany, was written by a composer named Holzman, in 1776,
when de l’Isle was a mere child.

                            _Hail Columbia_

The music of Hail Columbia was written as a march, and went at first by
the name of “Washington’s March.” At a later period it was called “The
President’s March,” and was played in 1789, when Washington went to New
York to be inaugurated. A son of Professor Phyla, of Philadelphia, who
was one of the performers, says it was his father’s composition. It had
a martial ring that caught the ear of the multitude, and became very
popular. Mr. Custis, the adopted son of Washington, says it was composed
in 1789 by a German named Fayles, leader of the orchestra and musical
composer for the old John Street Theatre in New York, where he (Custis)
heard it played as a new piece on the occasion of General Washington’s
first visit to the theatre. The two names, Phyla and Fayles, are most
likely identical, and confused by mispronunciation, and the stories do
not materially contradict each other.

After Joseph Hopkinson wrote the national ode for adaptation to the tune
of the President’s March, it became known as Hail Columbia, and was
first sung at the Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, in 1798.

                       _The Star-Spangled Banner_

The stirring and popular air, originally a convivial song, applied to
Key’s immortal verses, is attributed, upon what appears to be good
authority, to a famous English composer, Samuel Arnold, who was born in
London in 1739. His compositions include forty-seven operas, which were
popular in his day, though they have not outlived that period, four
oratorios, and numerous sonatas, concertos, overtures, and minor pieces.
At the request of George III. he superintended the publication of the
works of Handel in thirty-six folio volumes. In 1783 he was made
organist and composer of the Royal Chapel, and, ten years later,
organist of Westminster Abbey, where he was buried when he died in 1802.

But this alleged authorship of the song and the music was disputed by
the Anacreontic Society of London. In the second half of the eighteenth
century, the jovial association known as “The Anacreontic” held its
festive and musical meetings at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the
Strand, a house of entertainment frequented by such men as Dr. Johnson,
Boswell, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Dr. Percy. At one time, the president
of the Anacreontic was Ralph Tomlinson, Esq., and it is claimed that he
wrote the words of the song adopted by the club, while John Stafford
Smith set them to music. The style of this merry club will be best
exemplified by the first and last stanzas of the song:

         “To Anacreon in Heaven, where he sat in full glee,
           A few sons of Harmony sent a petition
         That he their inspirer and patron would be,
           When this answer arrived from the jolly old Grecian—
               ‘Voice, fiddle, and flute,
               No longer be mute!
         I’ll lend you my name and inspire you to boot;
         And besides, I’ll instruct you like me to entwine
         The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s Vine.’”

This sets Jove and the gods in an uproar. They fear that the petitioners
will become too jovial. At length they relent. There are six stanzas,
and the last is as follows:

          “Ye sons of Anacreon, then join Hand in Hand,
            Preserve unanimity, friendship, and love;
          ’Tis yours to support what’s so happily planned;
            You’ve the sanction of gods and the fiat of Jove.
                    While thus we agree,
                    Our toast let it be,
            May our club flourish happy, united, and free;
            And long may the sons of Anacreon entwine
            The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s Vine.”

The last two lines of each stanza were repeated in chorus. In this
country, “To Anacreon in Heaven” was first adapted to a song written for
the Adams campaign by Robert Treat Paine. It was entitled “Adams and
Liberty,” and was first sung at the anniversary of the Massachusetts
Charitable Fire Society in 1798.

After the rout at Bladensburg and the capture of Washington by the
British forces, the invaders, under General Ross and Admiral Cockburn,
proceeded up the Chesapeake to attack Baltimore. Its brave and heroic
defenders were reinforced by volunteers from neighboring sections. Among
the recruits from Pennsylvania who hastened to offer their services was
a company from Dauphin County under the command of Captain Thomas
Walker. When Francis Scott Key, while detained as a prisoner on the
cartel ship in the Patapsco, saw “by the dawn’s early light” that “our
flag was still there,” he was inspired to write his splendid verses, and
on his release and return to Baltimore, one of the mess of Captain
Walker’s company, who had been fortunate enough to obtain a rude copy,
was so impressed with its inspiriting vigor that he read it aloud to his
comrades three times. Its effect was electric, and at once the
suggestion was made that a suitable air be found to which it could be
sung. A young man named George J. Heisely, then from Harrisburg, though
he had formerly lived in Frederick, and was well acquainted with Mr.
Key, was so devoted to music that he always carried his flute and his
note-book with him. Taking them out, he laid his flute on a camp barrel,
and turned over the leaves of his note-book until he came to Anacreon in
Heaven, when he was immediately struck with the adaptability of its
measure. A strolling actor, a member of the company from Lancaster,
named Ferdinand Durang, snatched the flute, and played the air, while
Heisely held up the note-book. On the following evening Durang sang the
Star-Spangled Banner for the first time on the stage of the Holliday
Street Theatre.

                       _The Red, White, and Blue_

It is stated that “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean,” or the “Red, White,
and Blue,” was written and composed in 1843 by David T. Shaw, a concert
singer at the Chinese Museum, Philadelphia. The statement is also made
that the authorship of the words and music was traced to Thomas A.
Becket, an English actor then playing at the Chestnut Street Theatre.
Whether the words were written by Shaw or for him, it is clear that the
Columbia, Gem of the Ocean of Shaw is a “dodged” version of the English
original “Britannia, the Pride of the Ocean,” which Shaw had the credit
of writing. An English commentator says that “the word Britannia fits
the metre, whereas Columbia is a lumbering word which cannot be
pronounced in less than four syllables; that while an island may
properly be styled a ‘gem of the ocean,’ the phrase would have been
absurd when applied to the United States of that day, and is even more
incorrect now when the vast mass of land comprised in its territory is
only partly surrounded by three oceans; and there are two Columbias, the
South American Columbia and British Columbia. The United States of
America was never known by such a title.”

                            _Yankee Doodle_

American philologists have endeavored to trace the term Yankee to an
Indian source. It is not Indian, however, but Dutch. If one might
characterize the relations between New England and the New Netherlands
in the early colonial period, he would say with Irving that “the Yankee
despised the Dutchman and the Dutchman abominated the Yankee.” The Dutch
verb “Yankee” means to snarl, wrangle, and the noun “Yanker,” howling
cur, is perhaps the most expressive term of contempt in the whole
language. Out of that acrimonious struggle between Connecticut and New
Amsterdam came the nickname which has stuck to the descendants of the
Puritans ever since.

The adoption of the air of Yankee Doodle has been credited to Dr.
Shackburg, a wit, musician, and surgeon, in 1755, when the colonial
troops united with the British regulars in the attack on the French
outposts at Niagara and Frontenac. It was aimed in derision of the
motley clothes, the antiquated equipments, and the lack of military
training of the militia from the Eastern provinces, all in broad
contrast with the neat and orderly appointments of the regulars. Be this
as it may, the tune was well known in the time of Charles II., under the
name “Lydia Fisher’s Jig.” Aside from the old doggerel verses,
commencing “Father and I went down to camp,” there is no song; the tune
in the United States is a march. It was well known in Holland, and was
in common use there as a harvest-song among farm-laborers, at a remote

A late number of the _Frankfurter Zeitung_ furnishes some interesting
information in a paragraph which is translated as follows by the United
States Consul at Mayence, Mr. Schumann:

“In the publication _Hessenland_ (No. 2, 1905) Johann Lewalter gives
expression to his opinion that Yankee Doodle was originally a
country-dance of a district of the former province of Kur-Hesse, called
the “Schwalm.” It is well known that the tune of Yankee Doodle was
derived from a military march played by the Hessian troops during the
war of the Revolution in America. In studying the dances of the Schwalm,
Lewalter was struck by the similarity in form and rhythm of Yankee
Doodle to the music of these dances. Recently, at the Kirmess of the
village of Wasenberg, when Yankee Doodle was played, the young men and
girls swung into a true Schwälmer dance, as though the music had been
composed for it. During the war of 1776 the chief recruiting office for
the enlistment of the Hessian hired soldiers was Ziegenhain, in
Kur-Hesse. It, therefore, seems probable that the Hessian recruits from
the Schwalm, who served in the pay of Great Britain in America during
the Revolutionary War, and whose military band instruments consisted of
bugles, drums, and fifes only, carried over with them the tune, known to
them from childhood, and played it as a march.”

                        OUR HISTORIC CHARACTERS


Washington was a vestryman of both Truro and Fairfax parishes. The place
of worship of the former was at Pohick, and of the latter at Alexandria.
Mount Vernon was within Truro parish, and in the affairs of the church
Washington took a lively interest. The old Pohick building became so
dilapidated that in 1764 it was resolved to build a new church. The
question as to location was discussed in the parish with considerable
excitement, some contending for retention of the old site and others
favoring a more central position. At a meeting for settling the
question, George Mason (the famous author of the Bill of Rights of
Virginia) made an ardent and eloquent plea to stand by the old landmarks
consecrated by the ashes of their ancestors, and sacred to all the
memories of life, marriage, birth, and death. In reply to this touching
appeal Washington produced a survey of the parish, drawn by himself with
his usual accuracy, on which every road was laid down, and the residence
of every householder marked. Spreading his map before the audience, he
showed that the new location which he advocated would be more
conveniently reached by every member of the parish, while to many of
them the old site was inaccessible. He expressed the hope that they
would not allow their judgment to be guided by their feelings. When the
vote was taken, a large majority favored removal to the proposed
locality. Thereupon George Mason put on his hat and stalked out of the
meeting, saying, in not smothered tones, “That’s what gentlemen get for
engaging in debate with a damned surveyor.” But, notwithstanding this
little tiff, the owners of Gunston Hall and of Mount Vernon had the
highest respect and warmest affection for each other.

One of the greatest blessings which a man can possess—especially if he
is a public man—is an imperturbable temper. It is a remarkable fact that
those who have most signally manifested this virtue have been men who
were constitutionally irritable. Such was the case with Washington,
whose habitual composure, the result of strenuous self-discipline, was
so great that it was supposed to be due to a cold and almost frigid
temperament. By nature a violently passionate man, he triumphed so
completely over his frailty as to be cheated of all credit for his
coolness and exasperating trials.

His biographers record very few instances of violent outbreak of anger,
even under excessive provocation. One of the few was in the well-known
disobedience of orders by General Charles Lee, at the battle of
Monmouth, and his ordering a retreat by which the day was nearly lost.
It was a betrayal of confidence which was subsequently explained by the
verdict of a court-martial convened to inquire into his misconduct. When
Washington, who was hurrying forward to his support, met the retreating
troops struggling and straggling in confusion, and realized the
situation, he rode at Lee as if he meant to ride him down. He was like a
raging lion. Demanding the meaning of the rout, he accompanied his
questions with imprecations whose crushing force was terrible.

Another instance of justifiable wrath following the libellous attacks of
Bache, Freeman, and the French Minister Genet, is noted as follows in
McMaster’s “History of the People of the United States,” which we copy
from that admirable book by permission of the publishers, D. Appleton &

“For a while Washington met this abuse with cold disdain. ‘The
publications,’ he wrote to Henry Lee, June 21, 1793, ‘in Freneau’s and
Bache’s papers are outrages on common decency. But I have a consolation
within that no earthly effort can deprive me of, and that is, that
neither ambition nor interested motives have influenced my conduct. The
arrows of malevolence, therefore, however barbed and well pointed, never
can reach the most vulnerable part of me, though, while I am up as a
mark, they will be continually aimed.’ But as time went on, the slanders
daily heaped upon him by the _National Gazette_ and the _General
Advertiser_ irritated him to such a degree that every allusion to them
provoked a testy answer or a show of rage. One of these outbursts took
place at a cabinet meeting held early in August, and has been described
with manifest delight by Jefferson. The matter discussed was the conduct
of Genet, and, in the course of some remarks, Knox spoke of the recent
libel on the President. In a moment the face of Washington put on an
expression which it was seldom given his friends to see. Says Jefferson,
‘He got into one of those passions when he cannot command himself, ran
on much on the personal abuse which had been bestowed on him, and defied
any man on earth to produce one single act of his since he had been in
the government which had not been done on the purest motives. He had
never repented but once having slipped the moment of resigning his
office, and that was every moment since; and, by heavens! he would
rather be in his grave than in his present situation. He would rather be
on his farm than be emperor of the world; and yet they were charging him
with wanting to be a king.’”

This reference to a dictatorship recalls the incident which shook to its
centre his evenly balanced and self-controlled nature. Discontent among
officers and soldiers over arrearages of pay, the neglect of Congress to
make provision for the claims of their suffering families, and
increasing distrust of the efficiency of the government and of
republican institutions, led to an organized movement for a
constitutional monarchy, and to make Washington its king. A paper
embodying the views of the malcontents was drawn up, and presented to
the Chief by a highly esteemed officer,—Colonel Nicola. Washington’s
scornful rebuke, dated Newburgh, May 22, 1782, expressed surprise and
indignation. Said he, “No occurrences in the course of the war have
given me more painful sensations than your information of the existence
of such ideas in the army, ideas which I view with abhorrence and
reprehend with severity. I am at a loss to conceive what part of my
conduct could have given encouragement to an address, which to me seems
big with the greatest mischiefs that can befall my country. If I am not
deceived in the knowledge of myself, you could not have found a person
to whom your schemes are more disagreeable. Let me conjure you, if you
have any regard for your country, concern for yourself or posterity, or
respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind, and never
communicate, from yourself or any one else, a sentiment of the like

While colonel of the Virginia troops in 1754, Washington was stationed
at Alexandria. At an election for members of the Assembly Colonel
Washington, in the heat of party excitement, used offensive language
toward a Mr. Payne. Thereupon that gentleman struck him a heavy blow and
knocked him down. Intelligence of the encounter aroused among his
soldiers a spirit of vengeance, which was quieted by an address from
him, showing his noble character. Next day, Mr. Payne received a note
from Washington, requesting his attendance at the tavern in Alexandria.
Mr. Payne anticipated a duel, but instead of pistols he found a table
set with wine and glasses, and was met with a friendly smile by his
antagonist. Colonel Washington felt that himself was the aggressor, and
determined to make reparation. He offered Mr. Payne his hand, and said:
“To err is human; to rectify error is right and proper. I believe I was
wrong yesterday; you have already had some satisfaction, and if you deem
that sufficient, here is my hand—let us be friends.” The _amende
honorable_ was promptly accepted.

Another case of offence, with prompt regret and reparation, occurred at
Cambridge, in 1775, when the army was destitute of powder. Washington
sent Colonel Glover to Marblehead for a supply of that article, which
was said to be there. At night the colonel returned and found Washington
in front of his head-quarters pacing up and down. The general, without
returning his salute, asked, roughly, “Have you got the powder?” “No,
sir.” Washington swore the terrible Saxon oath, with all its three
specifications. “Why did you come back, sir, without it?” “Sir, there is
not a kernel of powder in Marblehead.” Washington walked up and down a
minute or two in great agitation, and then said, “Colonel Glover, here
is my hand, if you will take it and forgive me. The greatness of our
danger made me forget what is due to you and myself.”

In his “Memories of a Hundred Years,” Edward Everett Hale says, “It is
with some hesitation that I add here what I am afraid is true, though I
never heard it said aloud until the year 1901. It belongs with the
discussion as to the third term for the Presidency. The statement now is
that Washington did not permit his name to be used for a third election
because he had become sure that he could not carry the State of Virginia
in the election. He would undoubtedly have been chosen by the votes of
the other States, but he would have felt badly the want of confidence
implied in the failure of his own ‘country,’ as he used to call it in
his earlier letters, to vote for him. It is quite certain, from the
correspondence of the time, that as late as September of the year 1796,
the year in which John Adams was chosen President, neither Adams nor
Washington knew whether Washington meant to serve a third time.”

In delineating the characteristics of Washington, Edward Everett says,
in his masterly way:

“If we claim for Washington solitary eminence among the great and good,
the question will naturally be asked in what the peculiar and
distinctive excellence of his character consisted; and to this fair
question I am tasked to find an answer that does full justice to my own
conceptions and feelings. It is easy to run over the heads of such a
contemplation; to enumerate the sterling qualities which he possessed
and the defects from which he was free; but when all is said in this way
that can be said, with whatever justice of honest eulogy, and whatever
sympathy of appreciation, we feel that there is a depth which we have
not sounded, a latent power we have not measured, a mysterious beauty of
character which you can no more describe in words than you can paint a
blush with a patch of red paint, or the glance of a sunbeam from a
ripple with a streak of white paint thrown upon the canvas; a moral
fascination, so to express it, which we all feel, but cannot analyze nor
trace to its elements. All the personal traditions of Washington assure
us that there was a serene dignity in his presence which charmed while
it awed the boldest who approached him.”


Benjamin Franklin is probably the best specimen that history affords of
what is called a self-made man. He certainly “never worshipped his
maker,” according to a stinging epigram, but was throughout his life,
though always self-respectful, never self-conceited. Perhaps the most
notable result of his self-education was the ease with which he accosted
all grades and classes of men on a level of equality. The printer’s boy
became, in his old age, one of the most popular men in the French Court,
not only among its statesmen, but among its frivolous nobles and their
wives. He ever estimated men at their true worth or worthlessness; but
as a diplomatist he was a marvel of sagacity. The same ease of manner
which recommended him to a Pennsylvania farmer was preserved in a
conference with a statesman or a king. He ever kept his end in view in
all his complaisances, and that end was always patriotic. When he
returned to his country he was among the most earnest to organize the
liberty he had done so much to achieve; and he also showed his hostility
to the system of negro slavery with which the United States was
burdened. At the ripe age of eighty-four he died, leaving behind him a
record of extraordinary faithfulness in the performance of all the
duties of life. His sagacity, when his whole career is surveyed, was of
the most exalted character, for it was uniformly devoted to the
accomplishment of great public ends of policy or beneficence.

During a part of his reign, George III. was in the habit of keeping a
note-book, in which he jotted down his observations of men and passing
events. In the volume dated 1778, among the names to which the king
attached illustrative quotations, was the name of Benjamin Franklin,
with the following passage from Shakespeare’s _Julius Cæsar_, ii. 1:

             O let us have him; for his silver hairs
             Will purchase us a good opinion,
             And buy men’s voices to commend our deeds:
             It shall be said his judgment ruled our hands;
             Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,
             But all be buried in his gravity.

With regard to the charge frequently made against him of scepticism and
infidel leanings, Franklin’s own refutation should suffice. In a letter
written in 1784 to his friend William Strahan, in England, he said,
referring to the successful outcome of the Revolutionary struggle,—

“I am too well acquainted with all the springs and levers of our machine
not to see that our human means were unequal to our understanding, and
that, if it had not been for the justice of our cause, and the
consequent interposition of Providence, in which we had faith, we must
have been ruined. If I had ever before been an atheist, I should now
have been convinced of the being and government of a Deity. It is He
that abases the proud and favors the humble. May we never forget His
goodness to us, and may our future conduct manifest our gratitude!”

In a letter to Whitefield, written shortly before his death, he said,—

“I am now in my eighty-fifth year and very infirm. Here is my creed: I
believe in one God, the Creator of the universe. That He governs by His
Providence. That He ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable
service we can render Him is by doing good to His other children. That
the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another
life respecting his conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental
points in all sound religion.”

Add to such testimony the closing lines of his famous self-written
epitaph: “The work itself shall not be lost, for it will (as he
believed) appear once more in a new and more beautiful edition,
corrected and amended by the Author.”


In discussing the qualities of the founders of our republic, Colonel T.
W. Higginson draws a good portraiture of Alexander Hamilton.[1]
Washington being President, Adams and Jay having also been assigned to
office, there naturally followed the two men who had contributed most in
their different ways to the intellectual construction of the nation.
Hamilton and Jefferson were brought together in the Cabinet,—the one as
Secretary of the Treasury, the other as Secretary of State,—not because
they agreed, but because they differed. Tried by all immediate and
temporary tests, it is impossible to deny to Hamilton the position of
leading intellect during the constitutional period; and his clear and
cogent ability contrasts strongly with the peculiar mental action,
always fresh and penetrating, but often lawless and confused, of his
great rival. Hamilton was more coherent, more truthful, more combative,
more generous, and more limited. His power was as an organizer and
advocate of measures, and this is a less secure passport to fame than
lies in the announcement of great principles. The difference between
Hamilton and Jefferson on questions of finance and State rights was only
the symbol of a deeper divergence. The contrast between them was not so
much in acts as in theories; not in what they did, but in what they
dreamed. Both had their visions, and held to them ardently, but the
spirit of the nation was fortunately stronger than either; it made
Hamilton support a republic against his will, and made Jefferson
acquiesce, in spite of himself, in a tolerably vigorous national

Footnote 1:

  From _Harper’s Magazine_. Copyright, 1884, by Harper & Brothers.

There is not a trace of evidence that Hamilton ever desired to bring
about a monarchy in America. He no doubt believed the British
constitution to be the most perfect model of government ever devised by
man, but it is also true that he saw the spirit of the American people
to be wholly republican; all his action was based on the opinion that
“the political principle of this country would endure nothing but
republican government.” He believed—very reasonably, so far as the
teachings of experience went—that a republic was an enormous risk to
run, and that this risk must be diminished by making the republic as
much like a monarchy as possible. If he could have had his way, only
holders of real estate would have had the right to vote for President
and Senators, and these would have held office for life, or at least
during good behavior; the President would have appointed all the
governors of States, and they would have had a veto on all State
legislation. All this he announced in Congress with the greatest
frankness, and having thus indicated his ideal government, he accepted
what he could get, and gave his great powers to carrying out a
constitution about which he had serious misgivings. On the other hand,
if Jefferson could have had his way, national organization would have
been a shadow. He accepted the constitution as a necessary evil.

“Hamilton and I,” wrote Jefferson, “were pitted against each other every
day in the Cabinet, like two fighting-cocks.” The first passage between
them was the only one in which Hamilton had clearly the advantage of his
less practised antagonist, making Jefferson, indeed, the instrument of
his own defeat. The transfer of the capital to the banks of the Potomac
was secured by the first of many compromises between the Northern and
Southern States, after a debate in which the formidable slavery question
showed itself often, as it had shown itself at the very formation of the
constitution. The removal of the capital was clearly the price paid by
Hamilton for Jefferson’s acquiescence in his first great financial
measure. This measure was the national assumption of the State debts to
an amount not to exceed twenty millions. It was met by vehement
opposition, partly because it bore very unequally on the States, but
mainly on the ground that the claims were in the hands of speculators,
and were greatly depreciated. Yet it was an essential part of that great
series of financial projects on which Hamilton’s fame must rest, even
more than on his papers in the _Federalist_—though these secured the
adoption of the Constitution. Three measures—the assumption of the State
debts, the funding act, and the national bank—were what changed the
bankruptcy of the new nation into solvency and credit. There may be
question as to the good or bad precedents established by these
enactments; but there can be no doubt as to their immediate success.

It is difficult to say what this accomplished man might have done as a
leader of the Federal opposition to the Democratic administrations of
Jefferson and Madison, had he not, in the maturity of his years, and in
the full vigor of his faculties, been murdered by Aaron Burr. Nothing
can better illustrate the folly of the practice of dueling than the fact
that, by a weak compliance with its maxims, the most eminent of American
statesmen died by the hand of the most infamous of American demagogues.


Among the voluminous writings of that great statesman, Thomas Jefferson,
none is of more universal interest than his “Rules of Life,” as embodied
in the following letter:


This letter will, to you, be as one from the dead. The writer will be in
the grave before you can weigh its counsels. Your affectionate and
excellent father has requested that I would address to you something
which might possibly have a favorable influence on the course of life
you have to run; and I, too, as a namesake, feel an interest in that
course. Few words will be necessary, with good dispositions on your
part. Adore God. Reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbor
as yourself, and your country more than yourself. Be just. Be true.
Murmur not at the ways of Providence. So shall the life into which you
have entered be the portal to one of eternal and ineffable bliss. And if
to the dead it is permitted to care for the things of this world, every
action of your life will be under my regard. Farewell.

MONTICELLO, February 21, 1825.

   _The Portrait of a good man by the most sublime of Poets, for your

 Lord, who’s the happy man that may to thy blest courts repair;
 Not stranger like to visit them, but to inhabit there?
 ’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 treasures to employ;
 Whom no rewards can ever bribe the guiltless to destroy.
 The man who, by this steady course, has happiness insured,
 When earth’s foundations shake, shall stand by Providence secured.

Footnote 2:

  Paraphrase of Psalm xv.

       _A Decalogue of Canons for Observation in Practical Life._

1. Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day.

2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.

3. Never spend your money before you have it.

4. Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear
to you.

5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.

6. We never repent of having eaten too little.

7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.

8. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.

9. Take things always by their smooth handle.

10. When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.


When John Marshall became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme
Court only six decisions had been rendered on Constitutional questions
by that tribunal. Not only were the Federal Constitution and the laws
enacted under it in their infancy, but an absolutely new question in
political science was presented,—the question whether it was possible to
carry out successfully a scheme contemplating the contemporaneous
sovereignty of two governments, State and federal, distinct and separate
in their action, yet commanding with equal authority the obedience of
the same people. Viewed against this sombre background of an untried and
difficult experiment, Marshall’s services assume heroic proportions. On
account of the lack of precedent an opposite decision might in many
cases have been given, which, as a matter of pure law, could have been
well supported. Much depended, therefore, on the spirit in which the
work should be approached. Marshall brought to the task a mind which had
been trained in forensic strife with the ablest bar that Virginia has
ever known. In the Virginia Legislature, in Congress, and in the
Constitutional Convention of Virginia he had become familiar with the
fundamental principles of government. The temper in which Marshall
assumed the responsibilities of his judicial station was exemplified in
his remarks during the trial of Aaron Burr: “That this Court dares not
usurp power is most true. That this Court does not shrink from its duty
is no less true. No man is desirous of placing himself in a disagreeable
situation. No man is desirous of becoming the peculiar subject of
calumny. No man, might he let the bitter cup pass from him without
reproach, would drain it to the bottom. But if he has no choice in the
case—if there be no alternative presented to him but a dereliction of
duty or the opprobrium of those who are denominated the world—he merits
the contempt as well as the indignation of his country; who can hesitate
which to embrace?”

There is no doubt that under Marshall the United States Supreme Court
acquired the energy, weight, and dignity which Jay had considered
indispensable for the effectual exercise of its functions. During the
thirty-four years that he presided over the court, twelve hundred and
fifteen cases were decided, the reports of which will fill thirty
volumes. In something more than one hundred cases no opinion was given,
or, if given, was reported as “by the Court,” _per curiam_. Of the
remainder, Marshall delivered the opinion of the court in five hundred
and nineteen. Of the sixty-two decisions during his time, on questions
of constitutional law, he wrote the opinion in thirty-six; in
twenty-three of the latter, comprising most of his greatest efforts,
there was no dissent.

Contemporaries and later students concur in the opinion that the
original bias of Marshall’s mind was toward general principles and
comprehensive views rather than to technical and recondite learning. His
argumentation was, as Mr. Phelps has said, “that simple, direct,
straightforward, honest reasoning that silences as a demonstration in
Euclid silences, because it convinces.” His reasoning was, for the most
part, simple, logical deduction, unaided by analogies, and unsupported
by precedent or authority. Marshall’s type of mind presented a strong
contrast to that of Justice Story, whose concurring opinion in the
Dartmouth College case bristled with authorities: “When I examine a
question,” said Story, “I go from headland to headland; from case to
case. Marshall has a compass, puts out to sea, and goes directly to his


After the sedate, passionless, orderly administrations of Monroe and
Adams, there was a popular demand for something piquant and amusing, and
this quality was always found in Old Hickory. Friends and foes alike
declare that Andrew Jackson was in many ways far above the imitators who
have posed in his image. True, he was narrow, ignorant, violent,
unreasonable; he punished his enemies and rewarded his friends. But he
was, on the other hand,—and his worst opponents did not deny it,—chaste,
honest, truthful, and sincere. For a time he was more bitterly hated
than any one who ever occupied his high office, and we may be sure that
these better qualities would have been discredited had it been possible.
It was constantly reiterated that his frequent and favorite oath was “By
the Eternal,” yet neither his nephew and secretary, Mr. Donelson, who
was associated with him for thirty years, nor Judge Brackenridge, of
Western Pennsylvania, who wrote most of his State papers, ever heard him
use such an expression. With long, narrow, firmly set features, and a
military stock encircling his neck, he had one advantage for the social
life of Washington which seemed difficult of explanation by anything in
his earlier career. He had at his command the most courteous and
agreeable manners. Even before the election of Adams, Daniel Webster had
written to his brother: “General Jackson’s manners are better than those
of any of the candidates. He is grave, mild, and reserved. My wife is
for him decidedly.” But whatever his personal attractions, he sacrificed
his social leadership at Washington by his quixotic attempt to force the
Cabinet ladies to admit into their circle the wife of Secretary Eaton, a
woman whose antecedents as Peggy O’Neill, an innkeeper’s daughter, made
her a _persona non grata_. For once, Jackson overestimated his powers.
He had conquered Indian tribes, and checked the army of Great Britain,
but the ladies of Washington society were too much for him. At the
dinner-table, or in the ball-room, every lady ignored the presence of
“Bellona,” as the newspapers called her.

The two acts with which the administration of President Jackson will be
longest identified are his dealings with South Carolina in respect to
nullification, and his long warfare with the United States Bank. The
first brought the New England States back to him and the second took
them away again. He perhaps won rather more applause than he merited by
the one act, and more condemnation than was just for the other.

Among the amusing anecdotes of Jackson, it is related that when he was
military commander in Florida during the administration of President
Monroe, he tried at a drumhead court-martial and hanged two Englishmen
who had incited, it is said, an insurrection among the Indians.
President Monroe feared that Great Britain would make trouble about
this, and summoned the general to Washington before the Cabinet. John
Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State, who had instructed Jackson to
govern with a firm hand in Florida, defended him, and read a long
argument in which he quoted international law as expounded by Grotius,
Vattel, and Puffendorff. Jackson listened in sullen silence, but in the
evening, when asked at a dinner party whether he was not comforted by
Mr. Adams’s citation of authorities, he exclaimed, “What do I care about
those old musty chaps? Blast Grotius, blast Vattel, and blast the
Puffenchap. This is a fight between Jim Monroe and me, and I propose to
fight it out.”


Senator George F. Hoar, in describing the personal appearance of Daniel
Webster in the prime of life, says, “He was physically the most splendid
specimen of noble manhood my eyes ever beheld. He was a trifle over five
feet nine inches high and weighed one hundred and fifty-four pounds. His
head was finely poised upon his shoulders. His beautiful black eyes
shone out through the caverns of his deep brows like lustrous jewels.
His teeth were white and regular, and his smile when he was in gracious
mood, especially when talking to women, had an irresistible charm.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson thus speaks of Mr. Webster’s appearance at the
dedication of the Bunker Hill monument, in 1843: “His countenance, his
figure, and his manners were all in so grand a style that he was,
without effort, as superior to his most eminent rivals as they were to
the humblest. He alone of all men did not disappoint the eye and the
ear, but was a fit figure in the landscape. There was the monument, and
there was Webster. He knew well that a little more or less of rhetoric
signified nothing; he was only to say plain and equal things—grand
things, if he had them; and if he had them not, only to abstain from
saying unfit things—and the whole occasion was answered by his

The masterly address on that June anniversary closed with these

“And when both we and our children shall have been consigned to the
house appointed for all living, may love of country and pride of country
glow with equal fervor among those to whom our names and our blood shall
have descended! And then, when honored and decrepit age shall lean
against the base of this monument, and troops of ingenuous youth shall
be gathered around it, and when the one shall speak to the other of its
objects, the purposes of its construction, and the great and glorious
events with which it is connected, there shall rise from every youthful
breast the ejaculation, ‘Thank God, I also am an American.’”

In reviewing Mr. Webster’s “Speeches and Forensic Arguments,” Edwin P.
Whipple says, “Believing that our national literature is to be found in
the records of our greatest minds, and is not confined to the poems,
novels, and essays which may be produced by Americans, we have been
surprised that the name of Daniel Webster is not placed high among
American authors. Men in every way inferior to him in mental power have
obtained a wide reputation for _writing_ works in every way inferior to
those _spoken_ by him. It cannot be that a generation like ours,
continually boasting that it is not misled by forms, should think that
thought changes its character when it is published from the mouth
instead of the press. Still, it is true that a man who has acquired fame
as an orator and statesman is rarely considered, even by his own
partisans, in the light of an author. He is responsible for no ‘book.’
The records of what he has said and done, though perhaps constantly
studied by contemporaries, are not generally regarded as part and parcel
of the national literature. The fame of the man of action overshadows
that of the author. We are so accustomed to consider him as a speaker,
that we are somewhat blind to the great literary merit of his speeches.
The celebrated argument in reply to Hayne, for instance, was intended by
the statesman as a defence of his political position, as an exposition
of constitutional law, and a vindication of what he deemed to be the
true policy of the country. The acquisition of merely literary
reputation had no part in the motives from which it sprung. Yet the
speech, even to those who take little interest in subjects like the
tariff, nullification, and the public lands, will ever be interesting
from its profound knowledge, its clear arrangement, the mastery it
exhibits of all the weapons of dialectics, the broad stamp of
nationality it bears, and the wit, sarcasm, and splendid and impassioned
eloquence which pervade and vivify, without interrupting, the close and
rapid march of the argument.”

Considered merely as literary productions, Webster’s speeches take the
highest rank among the best productions of the American intellect. They
are thoroughly national in their spirit and tone, and are full of
principles, arguments, and appeals, which come directly home to the
hearts and understandings of the great body of the people. They contain
the results of a long life of mental labor, employed in the service of
the country. They give evidence of a complete familiarity with the
spirit and workings of our institutions, and breathe the bracing air of
a healthy and invigorating patriotism. They are replete with that true
wisdom which is slowly gathered from the exercise of a strong and
comprehensive intellect on the complicated concerns of daily life and
duty. They display qualities of mind and style which would give them a
high place in any literature, even if the subjects discussed were less
interesting and important; and they show also a strength of personal
character, superior to irresolution and fear, capable of bearing up
against the most determined opposition, and uniting to boldness in
thought intrepidity in action. In all the characteristics of great
literary performances, they are fully equal to many works which have
stood the test of age, and baffled the skill of criticism.

                        _Lincoln at Gettysburg_

At the consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, November 9,
1863, Hon. Edward Everett was the orator of the day, and President
Lincoln made the dedicatory address. Concerning Mr. Lincoln’s appearance
on that memorable occasion, Mr. Edward McPherson, Clerk of the National
House of Representatives, in a newspaper report, said that Mr. Lincoln
never showed more ungainliness of figure, “slouchiness” of dress, and
angularity of gesture, all of which appeared in striking contrast with
the elegance and grace of person, speech, and manner that characterized
Mr. Everett. But although every one admired the rhetorical effects
produced by Everett during his oration of ninety minutes’ length, they
had not been “aroused to enthusiasm, nor melted to tenderness.” “But,”
says Mr. McPherson, “as Mr. Lincoln proceeded no face ever more
unmistakably mirrored a conviction than did Mr. Everett’s, that by these
few but weighty sentences, all memory of what he had said was erased. It
is part of the current mention of the times that Mr. Everett, in
congratulating Mr. Lincoln at the close of the exercises, laughingly,
but with a sense of its truth, remarked, ‘You have said all on this
occasion that will be remembered by posterity.’”

Hon. James Speed, formerly Attorney-General, under Lincoln, says that
Lincoln showed him a letter from Everett, eulogizing the Gettysburg
speech in the very highest terms, and that a year or two after the death
of Mr. Lincoln, there were present at his house in Washington, Senator
Sumner, Governor Clifford, of Massachusetts, and others, and Mr.
Lincoln’s Gettysburg speech became the subject of conversation. “Mr.
Sumner said, and others concurred in what he said, that it was the most
finished piece of oratory he had ever seen. Every word was
appropriate—none could be omitted and none added and none changed.”

He also says,—

“I recollect that soon after its delivery, at my house in Louisville,
Robert Dale Owen, who was present with others, took from his pocket a
speech which he had cut from a newspaper, and read it aloud saying it
would be translated into all languages in the world, being the very
finest oration of the kind that had ever been delivered. He said there
were utterances in it which would become familiar to all the people of
the world as household words. I recollect further that Judge S. S.
Nicholas, of Louisville, an accomplished man and a fine writer, upon
first seeing the speech, spoke of it in terms of the highest praise,
saying he did not believe a man of the education and culture of Mr.
Lincoln could have written it. He believed, until corrected by me, that
it had been written by another hand.”

One of the most remarkable tributes that has been paid was that of the
London _Quarterly Review_, which said, substantially, that the oration
surpassed every production of its class known in literature; that only
the oration of Pericles over the victories of the Peloponnesian war
could be compared to it, and that was put into his mouth by the
historian Thucydides.

A greatly admired personal tribute to Lincoln is that of James Russell
Lowell in the Harvard Commemoration Ode, July, 1865. It is especially
noteworthy for its broad significance, its tender pathos, its
discriminating appreciation, and its grand American sentiment, closing
as follows:

               Here was a type of the true elder race,
         And one of Plutarch’s men talked with us face to face.
               I praise him not; it were too late;
         And some innative weakness there must be
         In him who condescends to victory
         Such as the Present gives, and cannot wait
               Safe in himself as in a fate.
                 So always firmly he:
                 He knew to bide his time,
                 And can his fame abide,
         Still patient in his simple faith sublime
                   Till the wise years decide.
               Great Captains, with their guns and drums,
                 Disturb our judgment for the hour,
                   But at last silence comes;
             These are all gone, and, standing like a tower,
             Our children shall behold his fame.
             The kindly earnest, brave, foreseeing man,
         Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame,
           New birth of our new soil, the first American.

Governor Andrew, in an address to the Legislature of Massachusetts,
following the assassination of Lincoln, after describing him as the man
who had added “martyrdom itself to his other and scarcely less emphatic
claims to human veneration, gratitude and love,” continued thus: “I
desire on this grave occasion to record my sincere testimony to the
unaffected simplicity of his manly purpose, to the constancy with which
he devoted himself to his duty, to the grand fidelity with which he
subordinated himself to his country, to the clearness, robustness, and
sagacity of his understanding, to his sincere love of truth, his
undeviating progress in its faithful pursuit, and to the confidence
which he could not fail to inspire in the singular integrity of his
virtues, and the conspicuously judicial quality of his intellect.”

                         _Grant at Appomattox_

At the dedication of the Mausoleum erected at Riverside Park, New York,
in memory of General Grant, Colonel Charles Marshall, who had been Chief
of Staff to General Lee, the Confederate commander, was the orator. In
the course of his address he said,—

“When General Grant first opened the correspondence with General Lee
which led to the meeting at Appomattox, General Lee proposed to give a
wide scope to the subject to be treated of between him and General
Grant, and to discuss with the latter the terms of a general

“General Grant declined to consider anything except the surrender of
General Lee’s army, assigning as a reason for his refusal his want of
authority to deal with political matters, or any other than those
pertaining to his position as the commander of the army. The day after
the meeting at McLain’s house, at which the terms of surrender were
agreed upon, another interview took place between Grant and Lee, upon
the invitation of General Grant, and when General Lee returned from that
meeting he repeated, in the presence of several of his staff, the
substance of the conversation, in one part of which, you will see, as we
all did, the feeling that controlled the actions of General Grant at
that critical period.

“The conversation turned on the subject of a general peace, as to which
General Grant had already declared the want of power to treat, but, in
speaking of the means by which a general pacification might be effected,
General Grant said to General Lee, with great emphasis and strong
feeling: ‘General Lee, I want this war to end without the shedding of
another drop of American blood’—not Northern blood, not Southern blood,
but ‘American blood’—for in his eyes all the men around him, and those
who might be then confronting each other on other fields over the wide
area of war, were ‘Americans.’

“These words made a great impression upon all who heard them, as they
did upon General Lee, who told us, with no little emotion, that he took
occasion to express to General Grant his appreciation of the noble and
generous sentiments uttered by him, and assured him that he would render
all the assistance in his power to bring about the restoration of peace
and good-will without shedding another drop of ‘American blood.’ This
‘American blood,’ sacred in the eyes of both these great American
soldiers, flows in the veins of all of us, and let it be sacred in our
eyes also, henceforth and forever, ready to be poured without stint as a
libation upon the altar of our common country, never to be shed again in
fratricidal war.

“It is in the light of this noble thought of General Grant that I have
always considered the course pursued by him at the moment of his supreme
triumph at Appomattox, and, seen in that light, nothing could be
grander, nobler, more magnanimous, nor more patriotic than his conduct
on that occasion.

“Look at the state of affairs on the morning of the 9th of April, 1865.
The bleeding and half-starved remnant of that great army which for four
years had baffled all the efforts of the Federal government to reach the
Confederate capital, and had twice borne the flag of the Confederacy
beyond the Potomac, confronted with undaunted resolution, but without
hope save the hope of an honorable death on the battle-field, the
overwhelming forces under General Grant.

“At the head of that remnant of a great army was a great soldier, whose
name was a name of fear, whose name is recorded in a high place on the
roll of great soldiers of history. That remnant of a great army of
Northern Virginia, with its great commander at its head, after the long
siege at Richmond and Petersburg, had been forced to retreat, and on the
9th of April, 1865, was brought to bay at Appomattox, surrounded by the
host of its great enemy.

“There was no reasonable doubt that the destruction of that army would
seal the fate of the Confederacy and put an end to further organized
resistance to the Federal arms, and no doubt that if that remnant were
driven to desperation by the exactness of terms of surrender against
which its honor and its valor would revolt, that resistance would have
been made, and that General Grant and his army might have been left in
the possession of a solitude that they might have called peace, but
which would have been the peace of Poland, the peace of Ireland. Under
such circumstances, had General Grant been governed by the mere selfish
desire of the rewards of military success, had he been content to gather
the fruits that grew nearest the earth on the tree of victory, the
fruits that Napoleon and all selfish conquerors of his time have
gathered, the fruits that our Washington put away from him, what a
triumph lay before him!

“What Roman triumph would have approached the triumph of General Grant
had he led the remnant of the Army of Northern Virginia, with its great
commander in chains, up Pennsylvania Avenue, thenceforth to be known as
the ‘Way of Triumph!’

“But so simple, so patriotic was the mind of General Grant that the
thought of self seems never to have affected his conduct.

“He was no more tempted at Appomattox to forego the true interests of
his country for his own advantage than Washington was tempted when the
time came for him to lay down his commission at Annapolis. I doubt if
the self-abnegation of Washington at Annapolis was greater than that of
Grant at Appomattox, and it is the glory of America that her
institutions breed men who are equal to the greatest strain that can be
put upon their courage and their patriotism.

“On that eventful morning of April 9, 1865, General Grant was called
upon to decide the most momentous question that any American soldier or
statesman has ever been required to decide. The great question was, How
shall the war end? What shall be the relations between the victors and

“Upon the decision of that question depended the future of American
institutions. If the extreme rights of military success had been
insisted upon, and had the vanquished been required to pass under the
yoke of defeat and bitter humiliation, the war would have ended as a
successful war of conquest—the Southern States would have been conquered
States, and the Southern people would have been a conquered people, in
whose hearts would have been sown all the enmity and ill-will of the
conquered to the conquerors, to be transmitted from sire to son.

“With such an ending of the war there would have been United States
without a united people. The power of the Union would then have reposed
upon the strength of Grant’s battalions and the thunder of Grant’s
artillery. Its bonds would have stood upon the security of its military
power, and not upon the honor and good faith and good-will of its
people. The federal government would have been compelled to adopt a
coercive policy toward the disaffected people of the South, which would
soon have established between the government and those States the
relations between England and Ireland, and some Northern Gladstone would
be demanding for the Southern people the natural right that the English
Gladstone claimed for the Irish against their haughty conquerors.

“Does any man desire to exchange the present relations between the
people of the Northern and Southern States for the relations of
conqueror and conquered? Does any wish to have a union of the States
without a union of the people?

“General Grant was called upon to decide this great question on the
morning of April 9, 1865. The Southern military power was exhausted. He
was in a position to exact the supreme rights of a conqueror, and the
unconditional submission of his adversary, unless that adversary should
elect to risk all on the event of a desperate battle, in which much
‘American blood’ would certainly be shed.

“The question was gravely considered in Confederate councils whether we
should not accept the extreme risk, and cut our way through the hosts of
General Grant, or perish in the attempt. This plan had many advocates,
but General Lee was not one of them, as will be seen by his farewell
order to his army.

“Under these circumstances General Lee and General Grant met to discuss
the terms of surrender of General Lee’s army, and, at the request of
General Lee, General Grant wrote the terms of surrender he proposed to
offer to the Confederate general. They were liberal and honorable, alike
to the victor and the vanquished, and General Lee at once accepted them.

“Any one who reads General Grant’s proposal cannot fail to see how
careful he is to avoid any unnecessary humiliation to his adversary. As
far as it was possible, General Grant took away the sting of defeat from
the Confederate army. He triumphed, but he triumphed without exultation,
and with a noble respect to his enemy.

“There was never a nobler knight than Grant of Appomattox—no knight more
magnanimous or more generous. No statesman ever decided a vital question
more wisely—more in the interest of his country and of all mankind—than
General Grant decided the great question presented to him when he and
General Lee met that morning of April 9, 1865, to consider the terms of
the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. The words of his
magnanimous proposal to his enemy were carried by the Confederate
soldiers to the furthest borders of the South. They reached ears and
hearts that had never quailed at the sound of war. They disarmed and
reconciled those who knew not fear, and the noble words of General
Grant’s offer of peace brought peace without humiliation, peace with

                              _Last Words_

Iconoclasts overshadow with their doubts and questionings the alleged
dying words of eminent men, but the following appear to be authentic.
George Washington, “It is well.” John Adams, “Independence forever.”
Benjamin Franklin, in severe suffering, “A dying man can do nothing
easy.” Thomas Jefferson, “I resign my spirit to God, my daughter to my
country.” John Quincy Adams, “It is the last of earth; I am content.”
John C. Calhoun, “The South! the South! God knows what will become of
her.” William H. Harrison, “I wish you to understand the true principles
of government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more.” Daniel
Webster, “I still live.” James Buchanan, “O, Lord Almighty, as Thou
wilt.” William McKinley, “It is God’s way. His will be done, not ours.”
Henry Ward Beecher, “Now comes the great mystery.”

                            OUR WONDERLANDS

In repeated statements in the consular reports concerning the large
extent of tourist travel in Switzerland, we are told that the
“money-making asset” of that little republic, the greater portion of
whose area is covered with mountains, is “scenery.” We go to Europe to
see the accumulated treasures of centuries, to review the lessons of the
past in historic localities, to observe social and industrial
conditions, to enjoy musical and dramatic art, to study the development
of the fine arts, to note the later acquisition of scientific research.
But, as our consuls at Geneva and Lucerne and Berne and Zurich tell us,
we go to Switzerland for “scenery.”

Switzerland is two hundred and ten miles in length. The Grand Canyon of
the Colorado River in northern Arizona is two hundred and nineteen miles
long, twelve to thirteen miles wide, and over a mile deep. If the main
ranges of the Helvetian Alps, between the centre and the southern
frontiers, running from the Bernese Oberland to the Grisons, could be
lifted up and dumped into the colossal chasm of Arizona, there would
still be left room in which to bury the Jura of the western border.
Thousands of American tourists gaze with awe upon the panoramic displays
from the view-points of the passes of the Simplon, the Furca, the St.
Gotthard, and the Splügen, and from the ascent of the Rigi, Pilatus,
Jungfrau, or Matterhorn. Many of our adventurous fellow-citizens contest
the palm for hardihood and endurance with experienced Alpine climbers;
but how few there are who are ambitious enough and venturesome enough to
incur the hardships and to risk the dangers of scanning at close range,
or from points of vantage, the towers, the temples, the terraces, the
ramparts, the pyramids, the domes, the pillars, the buttresses, the
buttes, the palisades, the white marble walls, the red sandstone steps,
the green serpentine cliffs of the Grand Canyon.

Excursion parties go by way of the Williams branch of the Santa Fé to
the rim of the Bright Angel trail because of its accessibility and hotel
accommodation, and content themselves with descent of the zigzags to the
deeply embedded river, or a drive of a few miles along the brink. But
the earnest and determined explorers who follow the hazardous footsteps
of the early pioneers, or of the later topographical engineers, are few
and far between. There is nothing on earth that even remotely approaches
this stupendous chasm in startling surprises, in grandeur and sublimity,
yet our tourists ignore its indescribable wonders and go to the Alps for
scenery that suffers by comparison.

When it comes to the question of orographic magnitude, our own physical
geography gives a decisive answer. The great curve of the Alpine chain
stretches from the shores of the Mediterranean to the plains of the
Danube—a little more than six hundred miles in length. The narrowest
width of the Rocky Mountains, from base to base, is three hundred miles,
whereas, at their greatest width, between Cape Mendocino and Denver, the
space enclosed by the two outer scarps of the plateau is nearly one
thousand miles in breadth. If in measuring the area of the Rocky
Mountains we include the long Coast Range, the Sierra Nevada and its
northern continuation, the Cascade Range, according to the extent of
surface they cover, we have a million square miles as the result, more
than one-fourth of the territory of the republic.

With such immense differences in view, the vastly greater capabilities
of the Rockies for scenic display are apparent. In the endless
succession of views from the heights of Pike’s Peak, or Mt. Shasta, or
Mt. Lowe, one can forget his most inspiring and exciting experiences in
the Alps. Professor J. D. Whitney declares that no such views as those
from Pike’s Peak, either for reach or magnificence, can be obtained in
Switzerland. Even with the ever-increasing facilities of
transcontinental travel, we but dimly realize the majestic proportions
of the Rocky Mountain system, which, with its towering snow-capped
peaks, its precipitous rock walls, its volcanic vestiges, its abysmal
glens and canyons, and its splendid waterfalls, glorifies every
landscape, and solves problems, as nowhere else, in chemical, physical,
and dynamical geology.

As to comparative altitudes, it may be noted that Mount St. Elias, of
the Alaska Coast Range, is three thousand five hundred feet higher than
Mont Blanc, “the monarch of mountains,” as Byron calls it, while its
namesake, the Sierra Blanca, the monarch of the Rockies, is nearly as
lofty with its triple peak. The Rock of Gibraltar towers to the height
of twelve hundred feet; its massive counterpart in the Yosemite, El
Capitan, is three times as high as Gibraltar, while the great cliff
known as Cloud’s Rest, admittedly the finest panoramic stand-point on
earth, is more than six thousand feet high and ten thousand above sea
level. As to glaciers, while it is worth a trip across the Atlantic to
see the ice masses of the Rhone glacier from the Furca Pass, or the
motionless billows of the Mer de Glace at Montanvert, they are
overmatched in Alaska by the Muir, the Guyot, the Tyndall, and the

As to lakes, every school child knows that Lake Superior is the largest
body of fresh water in the world. It is large enough to bury the whole
of Scotland in its translucent depths. The area of the Lake of Geneva is
greater than that of the Yellowstone Lake; but while the former is only
twelve hundred feet above the sea, the latter is seven thousand seven
hundred and forty feet—nearly a mile and a half—above the level of the
sea. As to salt lakes, the Caspian Sea is not as salt as the ocean,
while our American Dead Sea, the Salt Lake of Utah, has six times the
saline strength of the waters of the ocean.

There is a lake in Italy—Castiglione—whose turquoise hues, paler than
those of the Blue Grotto of Capri, command merited admiration. Yet the
prismatic lakes in the Yellowstone Park are numerous, particularly in
the Midway Geyser Basin, where they reflect with remarkable brilliancy
different colors of the spectrum, prominently among them emerald green,
peacock blue, and golden yellow. The most beautiful mirror lakes are in
the Sierra Nevada region, and the gem of all mirrors is that of the
Yosemite Valley, of which Mr. Hutchings, the historian and geographer of
the valley, says,—

“There is one spot of earth known to man, where one mountain four
thousand two hundred feet high, Mt. Watkins; another over six thousand
feet, Cloud’s Rest; and another five thousand feet, the Half Dome, are
all perfectly reflected upon one small lakelet. Here, moreover, the sun
can be seen to rise many times on a single morning.”

In the lake district of the north of England there are sixteen lakes,
with many attractive features, but largely centres of pilgrimage as the
homes of Southey, Wordsworth, Coleridge, De Quincey, and Harriet
Martineau. Our Canadian neighbors, in the highlands of Ontario, can
point to eight hundred lakes in the Muskoka region, with five hundred
islands studded with beautiful villas and summer hotels. Two of the
Swiss waterfalls, the Falls of the Rhine at Neuhausen, with a plunge of
eighty feet in three leaps, and the falls of the Aar at Handeck, with a
broken plunge of two hundred feet, are said to be the largest in Europe.
The former is surpassed in picturesque beauty by the Virginia Cascade of
the Gibbon River in the Yellowstone Park, and the latter is not worth
naming in the same week with the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River,
as, with a magnificent sweep of three hundred and ten feet, the heavy
downpour, with its clouds of snowy spray, enters the canyon which is the
culmination of all the bewildering “formations” of the great national

The cascades of the Reuss, near Andermatt, are justly famous for their
tumultuous rush, but the rapids of the Gardiner River in the
Yellowstone, and the Merced in the Yosemite, are more boisterous and
more beautiful. The much vaunted Giessbach in the Bernese Oberland has a
total fall of one thousand one hundred and forty-eight feet, but it is
broken into seven sections. Of the various falls in the Yosemite Valley,
the highest has a descent of two thousand six hundred feet, with only
two interruptions, the upper division having a clear plunge of one
thousand six hundred feet. Among great cataracts, as every one knows,
Niagara holds the supremacy. In the majesty and sublimity reflected in
the overwhelming torrents that are hurled over its precipice, in the
resistless energy of its roaring rapids and its turbulent whirlpools, it
sets its own standard, and “bears no brother near the throne.”

Caves and grottoes, calcareous and basaltic, are widely spread
throughout Europe, but, numerous as they are, if they were all grouped
together they could be packed in the heights and depths of the Mammoth
Cave of Kentucky. Of that stupendous cavern, with a main avenue of six
miles and branches of more than a hundred miles in extent, Bayard Taylor

“No description can do justice to its sublimity, or present a fair
picture of its manifold wonders. It is the greatest natural curiosity I
have ever visited, and he whose expectations are not satisfied by its
marvellous avenues, domes, and sparry grottoes, must be either a fool or
a demigod.”

The historic caves of Europe abound with the remains of ancient
cave-dwellers which are of great interest to archæologists, but the
lofty and almost inaccessible abodes of the cliff-dwellers in Colorado,
New Mexico, and Arizona present a wider range of curious inquiry to the
student of remote antiquity. Scientists propose to make more extended
and comprehensive investigation of these hewn-out homes of the
cliff-dwellers in the far West than has yet been made by neglectful
explorers. In the ruins of the habitations of a long extinct race in
Mancos Canyon, Colorado, they will find abundant material for
anthropological research. Perched on narrow ledges seven hundred feet
above the valley are numerous ancient dwellings, with well built
sandstone walls, with rooms in a good state of preservation, and with
scattered specimens of fine pottery and fragments of implements of war
and peace. Here and there are watch-towers commanding views of the whole

In the Chaco Canyon are ruins of pueblos still more extensive, once the
homes of thousands of people who lived thousands of years ago, and,
according to Hayden, in the Geological Survey for 1866, “pre-eminently
the finest examples of the works of the unknown builders to be found
north of the seat of ancient Aztec empire in Mexico.” A few miles
southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, are more of these retreats far up on
rocky crags, and within a similar radius northward are many cave
dwellings, but they only stimulate conjecture; they have left behind
neither history nor tradition.

The pride of Vernayaz in the Rhone Valley is the Gorge du Trient. Very
pretty, and very interesting, what there is of it, but a comparison with
Watkins Glen reminds one of Hamlet’s “no more like my father than I to
Hercules.” In the splendid description of Watkins by Porte Crayon it
appears that that enthusiast was so fascinated by its wonderful
succession of attractions, especially those between Glen Alpha and the
Cathedral Cascade, that he prolonged his stay, climbing its ladders and
descending its stairways again and again. Half an hour would have
sufficed for a visit to the Trient.

The boast of the Splügen is the gorge of the Heinzenberg range, through
which the four-mile Via Mala runs, and which is the outlet of the Hinter
Rhine. Yet this narrow defile between ridges twelve to fifteen hundred
feet in height is completely overshadowed in the length and height and
ruggedness of the rock walls of the Arkansas, Eagle, and Grand River
Canyons, through which the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad passes in
Colorado. Our natural bridges have no transatlantic rivals. They are
distinctly our own, without duplications abroad. For any favorable
comparison with the majestic arch over Cedar Creek, in Virginia, two
hundred feet from the summit of its wonderful span to the surface of the
stream below, we must look to its resemblances in Walker County,
Alabama, and Christian County, Kentucky. California abounds with rock
bridges, notably those over Lost River, Trinity River, and Coyote Creek,
while the arches at Santa Cruz are well known to all visitors.

Travellers over the St. Gotthard Railway, between Goschenen and Altorf,
are apt to regard the forward and backward turns of its loops with
wonder at the constructive genius which so boldly and skilfully
triumphed over formidable natural obstacles. Yet its loops cut a small
figure and look tame enough when placed in contrast with the coils and
spirals and sharp curves and bends in the dizzy alignment of the
Marshall Pass, the Veta Pass, the Ophir Loop, and the Toltec Gorge.
Stupendous and awe-inspiring beyond description are these supreme
achievements of modern engineering.

The woodlands of England, and prominently among them Sherwood Forest,
boast of very old and very large oaks, elms, and yews. Visitors to Stoke
Pogis church-yard, the scene of Gray’s Elegy, will remember the Burnham
Beeches, near Slough. The Methuselah of the forests is the Greendale Oak
of Welbeck, through which, a hundred and fifty years ago, an arch was
cut ten feet high and six feet wide. The largest tree, the Swilcar Oak
of Needwood Forest, is twenty-one feet in girth. But in age and
dimensions they shrink before the giant growths of California. Of the
surprises of the far West, few, if any, are as profoundly impressive as
the Sequoias of the Mariposa, Calaveras, and South Park groves, more
than eighteen hundred in number. Even the stately redwoods of Vera Cruz,
of the _sempervirens_ family, on the Coast Range, though inferior in
diameter and height to the _gigantea_, or “big tree” group, amaze all
beholders. The “Wawona” in the Mariposa Grove, twenty-seven feet in
diameter, has been tunnelled to admit the passage of stage coaches. The
age of the “Grizzly Giant” is estimated at 4680 years. Still older is
the prostrate monarch of the Calaveras Grove, known as the “Father of
the Forest,” with a circumference of a hundred and ten feet, and a
height when standing of four hundred and thirty-five feet. Hundreds of
these time-defying veterans had attained a considerable growth before
the siege of Troy.

Next to the big trees in point of popular and scientific interest are
the fossil forests, especially those in the northeastern part of the
Yellowstone Park. The geological agencies through which the trees were
petrified must have extended through periods of many thousand years. It
was a tedious process, the percolation of silicious waters until the
arboreal vegetation was turned to stone by the substitution of agate and
amethyst and jasper and chalcedony. Some of the petrifactions are
perfect. The rings of annual growth indicate for the large trees an age
of not less than five hundred years.

The monoliths, which in the form of castellated rocks, chimney rocks,
and cathedral spires, serve as landmarks of nature’s handiwork, are very
imposing. The sugarloaf columns among the fantastic sandstone erosions
of Monument Park, and the Tower Rock, prominent in the Garden of the
Gods at Manitou, are frequently visited. Not less interesting are the
Witches’ Rocks in Weber Canyon, Utah, the Monument Rock in Echo Canyon,
the Buttes of Green River, and the Dial Rock and Red Buttes, Wyoming.
One pinnacle, in Kanab Canyon, just north of the Arizona line, is eight
hundred feet in height.

Among the noteworthy creations of the artist-gardeners of Europe, who
have not learned “the art to conceal art,” are the Palmgarten at
Frankfort, the Boboli Gardens at Florence, the Pallavicini at Genoa, and
the Parterre at Fontainebleau. Their redundant embellishment and
sharp-cut box hedges, their long perspective of vistas and alleys, the
mathematical precision of their terraces, their ponds and fountains and
grottoes and stone carvings become wearisome by familiarity. For
landscape gardening that never tires we turn to the floral wealth in the
grounds of the Hotel del Monte on the bay of Monterey, a hundred and
twenty-six acres of fairy-land. Between the prodigal liberality of
nature and the prodigal expenditure of cultivated taste, and in view of
its alluring surroundings of ocean, mountain, and forest scenery, it is
justly regarded as the loveliest and most favored spot in existence.

The Yellowstone National Park is the crowning wonder of our wonderlands.
Within an area of 3312 square miles, exclusive of the additional tract
known as the Forest Reserve, it includes several ranges of high
mountains, three large rivers with their tributaries, thirty-six lakes,
and twenty-five waterfalls. The ancient volcanic energy whose
subterranean outpourings disappeared in remote ages, leaving the scars
and cones behind, has been replaced by eruptive geysers, or water
volcanoes, in frequently described groups or basins, together with
thousands of non-eruptive hot springs, and the calcareous terraces with
their exquisite incrustations. Champlin says that the geysers at the
headwaters of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers are the most wonderful
on the globe, those in Iceland and New Zealand sinking into
insignificance when compared with them. The usual tour of a week or ten
days terminates in a visit to the climax of scenic grandeur, the canyon
of the Yellowstone River, with its walls of gorgeous coloring, “all the
colors of the land, sea, and sky,” as Talmage said.

No description of this canyon, however complete in its details, no
effort of the photographer or the landscape artist, however painstaking
and elaborate, can give an adequate idea of its marvellous beauty and
impressiveness. Twenty years ago one of the leading landscape painters
of Germany went to the Yellowstone Park to sketch the views of the
canyon from Point Lookout, below the Falls, and Inspiration Point,
three-quarters of a mile beyond. In the fascination of the scene he
remained for hours, silenced and bewildered, and finally gave up all
attempt to delineate it on canvas. He returned again and again, several
summers in succession, but was never able to “screw his courage to the
sticking-point.” The artist Moran, with injudicious boldness, attempted
what his superior had found beyond his reach, and, as was to be
expected, with resultant failure and disappointment.

So with the indescribable beauties of the Yosemite Valley and the
wonders of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. No stereoscopic
reflex, no moving panorama, no vitagraph can even faintly approach the
point of adequate representation. The only way to realize such sublimity
is to stand in its presence, awed and abashed by creations whose
stupendous character has no rival in the world. “None but itself can be
its parallel.”

In the midst of a desolate alkali plain, in the Bad Lands of Arizona, is
a formation of rock about an acre in extent, from fissures in which
emanate melodious sounds, as though unseen hands were playing upon an
instrument underneath, or the wind were sweeping among organ-like
stalactites in a subterranean cavern. But while such “shallows murmur,
the deeps are dumb.” In the presence of the might and majesty of the
marvels and miracles of creation, silence is more eloquent than speech.
The still, small voice of nature’s teachings, “from all around, earth
and her waters and the depths of air,” speaks to us beyond the power of

As to our mineral springs, they are like the stars for multitude,
presenting every variety. Some of our thermal springs, for example the
hot, vaporous sulphur caves of Glenwood, Colorado, are constantly
demonstrating their restorative efficiency. There is no need of resort
to the hot waters of Carlsbad or the cold waters of Marienbad, to Aix la
Chapelle or Kissingen.

As to ideal retreats for campers and fishers, limitless fields for
hunters, and favoring chances for seekers of precious metals, the
boundless continent is theirs; they are welcome guests of Lady

                              OUR LANGUAGE

                           _Lingua Anglicana_

            Apelles, striving to paint Venus’ face,
            Before him ranged the Virgins of the place.
            Whate’er of good or fair in each was seen,
            He thence transferred to make the Paphian Queen;
            His work, a paragon we well might call,
            Derived from many, but surpassing all.
            Such as that Venus, in whose form was found
            The gathered graces of the Virgins round,
            The English language shows the magic force
            Of blended beauties cull’d from every source.

                             _The Alphabet_

“The Egyptian Origin of our Alphabet” was the subject of a paper read
before the New York Academy of Sciences by Dr. Charles E. Moldeuke, the
Egyptologist. Two large charts on the wall showed in forty parallel
columns the evolution of the various letters of the alphabet from the
Egyptian hieroglyph through the Phœnician, Hebrew, and Greek to the
Latin forms.

The common opinion, said the lecturer, that the Phœnicians invented the
alphabet, is entirely unfounded; they merely adopted twenty-two letters
from the Egyptians in 600 B.C. and then spread them as their own
alphabet through Greece and Italy. The letters we use now go back to
Egypt before the time of Moses and have represented practically the
sounds in the same order for six thousand years.

                           _Phonetic Changes_

No nation keeps the sound of its language unaltered through many
centuries; sounds change as well as grammatical forms, though they may
endure longer, so that the symbols do not retain their proper values;
often, too, several different sounds come to be denoted by the same
symbol; and in strictness the alphabet should be changed to correspond
to all these changes. But little inconvenience is practically caused by
the tacit acceptance of the old symbol to express the new sound; indeed,
the change in language is so gradual that the variations in the values
of the symbols is imperceptible. It is only when we attempt to reproduce
the exact sounds of the English language of less than three centuries
ago that we realize the fact that if Shakespeare could now stand on our
stage he would seem to us to speak in an unknown tongue; though one of
his plays, when written, is as perfectly intelligible now as then.

Professor W. D. Whitney remarks that the intent of the alphabet is to
furnish a sign for every articulate sound of the spoken language,
whether vowel or consonant; and its ideal is realized when there are
practically just as many written characters as sounds, and each has its
own unvarying value, so that the written language is an accurate and
unambiguous reflection of the spoken. This state of things is not wont
to prevail continuously in any given language; for, in the history of a
literary language, the words change their mode of utterance, or their
spoken form, while their mode of spelling, or their written form,
remains unaltered; so that the spelling comes to be historical instead
of phonetic, or to represent former instead of present pronunciation.
Such is, to a certain extent, the character of our English spelling, but
very incompletely and irregularly, and with intermixture of
arbitrariness and even blunders of every kind; it is an evil that is
tolerated, and by many even clung to and extolled, because it is
familiar, and a reform would be attended with great difficulties, and
productive for a time of yet greater inconvenience.


Richard Grant White classifies so-called Americanisms as follows:

1. Words and phrases of American origin.

2. Perverted English words.

3. Obsolete English words commonly used in America.

4. English words American by inflection or modification.

5. Sayings of American origin.

6. Vulgarisms, cant, and slang.

7. Words brought by colonists from the continent of Europe.

8. Names of American things.

9. Individualisms.

10. Doubtful and miscellaneous.

All words and phrases that could by the largest and most liberal use of
the term be called Americanisms may be properly ranked in one of these

                          _Spelling Exercises_

The following short sentence was dictated by the late Lord Palmerston to
eleven Cabinet ministers, not one of whom, it is said, spelled it

“It is disagreeable to witness the embarrassment of a harassed pedler
gauging the symmetry of a peeled potato.”

Lord Cecil, in the House of Commons, quoted the following lines, which
he said were given as a dictation exercise by an assistant commissioner
to the children of a school in Ipswich:

 “While hewing yew Hugh lost his ewe, and put it in the _Hue and Cry_.
 To name its face’s dusky hues
 Was all the effort he could use.
 You brought the ewe back, by-and-bye,
 And only begged the hewer’s ewer,
 Your hands to wash in water pure,
 Lest nice-nosed ladies, not a few,
 Should cry, on coming near you, ‘Ugh!’”

The absurdity of that Indian grunt in our language, “ugh,” is shown in
the following:

H_ugh_ Go_ugh_, of Boro_ugh_bridge, was a ro_ugh_ soldier on furlo_ugh_,
but a man of do_ugh_ty deeds in war, tho_ugh_ before he fo_ugh_t for
this country he was a thoro_ugh_ do_ugh_-faced plo_ugh_man. His horse
having been ho_ugh_ed in an engagement with the enemy, H_ugh_ was taken
prisoner, and, I o_ugh_t to add, was kept on a short eno_ugh_ clo_ugh_
of food, and suffered from dro_ugh_t as well as from hunger. Having, on
his return home, drank too large a dra_ugh_t of usqueba_ugh_, he became
intoxicated, and was la_ugh_ing, co_ugh_ing, and hicco_ugh_ing by a
tro_ugh_, against which he so_ugh_t to steady himself. There he was
accosted by another ro_ugh_, who showed him a cho_ugh_ which he had
ca_ugh_t on a clo_ugh_ near, also the slo_ugh_ of a snake, which he held
at the end of a to_ugh_ bo_ugh_ of e_ugh_-tree, and which his shaggy
sho_ugh_ had found and had bro_ugh_t to him from the entrance to a
so_ugh_ which ran thro_ugh_ and drained a slo_ugh_ that was close to a
lo_ugh_ in the ne_igh_borhood.

                          _A Spelling Lesson_

The most skilful gauger we ever knew was a maligned cobbler, armed with
a poniard, who drove a pedler’s wagon, using a mullein-stalk as an
instrument of coercion, to tyrannize over his pony shod with calks. He
was a Galilean Sadducee, and he had a phthisicky catarrh, diphtheria,
and the bilious intermittent erysipelas. A certain Sibyl, with the
sobriquet of “Gypsy,” went into ecstasies of cachinnation at seeing him
measure a bushel of peas; and separate saccharine tomatoes from a heap
of peeled potatoes, without dyeing or singeing the ignitible queue which
he wore, or becoming paralyzed with a hemorrhage. Lifting her eyes to
the ceiling of the cupola of the Capitol to conceal her unparalleled
embarrassment, making a rough courtesy, and not harassing him with
mystifying, rarefying, and stupefying innuendoes, she gave him a couch,
a bouquet of lilies, mignonette, and fuchsias, a treatise on mnemonics,
a copy of the Apocrypha in hieroglyphics, daguerreotypes of Mendelssohn
and Kosciusko, a kaleidoscope, a dramphial of ipecacuanha, a teaspoonful
of naphtha, for deleble purposes, a ferrule, a clarionet, some licorice,
a surcingle, a carnelian of symmetrical proportions, a chronometer with
a movable balance-wheel, a box of dominoes, and a catechism. The gauger,
who was also a trafficking rectifier and a parishioner of a
distinguished ecclesiastic, preferring a woollen surtout (his choice was
referable to a vacillating occasionally occurring idiosyncrasy), wofully
uttered this apothegm: “Life is checkered; but schism, apostasy, heresy,
and villany shall be punished.” The Sibyl apologizingly answered, “There
is a ratable and allegeable difference between a conferrable ellipsis
and a trisyllabic diæresis.” We replied in trochees, not impugning her

                       _Dream of a Spelling-Bee_

           Menageries where sleuth-hounds caracole,
             Where jaguar phalanx and phlegmatic gnu
           Fright ptarmigan and kestrels cheek by jowl,
             With peewit and precocious cockatoo.

           Gaunt seneschals, in crotchety cockades,
             With seine net trawl for porpoise in lagoons;
           While scullions gauge erratic escapades
             Of madrepores in water-logged galloons.

           Flamboyant triptychs groined with gherkins green,
             In reckless fracas with coquettish bream,
           Ecstatic gargoyles, with grotesque chagrin,
             Garnish the gruesome nightmare of my dream!

                          _The Longest Words_

The following sentence won a prize offered in England for the longest
twelve-word telegram: “Administrator-General’s counter-revolutionary
intercommunications uncircumstantiated. Quartermaster-General’s
disproportionableness characteristically contra-distinguished
unconstitutionalist’s incomprehensibilities.” It is said that the
telegraph authorities accepted it as a despatch of twelve words.

The statement, upon the publication of a new English dictionary,
that the longest word in the language is “disproportionableness”
was met by pointing to a still longer word employed by the
Parnellites at the time of the disestablishment of the Irish
Church, in 1S71,—“disestablishmentarianism,” which found its way
into the House of Commons, and another, quoted from a theological
work,—“anthropomorphologically.” These are likely to hold the
record, at least outside of the names of chemical compounds and
their derivatives, such as trioxymethylanthraquinonic, or
dichlorhydroquinonedisulphonic, which outstrip all reckoning.

There is an old farce called “Cryptochonchoidsyphonostomata” which was
revived by Mr. Charles Collette, a London actor, several years ago, and
was extensively advertised in the London press, to the dismay of the
compositors and proof-readers.

One of the funniest long words is
necrobioneopaleonthydrockthonanthropopithekology. That, of course, is
not an English word, though it is in an English book,—Kingsley’s “Water
Babies.” It means the science of life and death of man and monkeys in
by-gone times, as well as one can make it out. It is a word invented by

The clown Costard, in _Love’s Labour’s Lost_, addressing the
schoolmaster, says, “Thou art not so long by the head as

In Beaumont and Fletcher’s _Mad Lover_, the Fool says,—

                   “The iron age returned to Erebus,
           And Honorificabilitudinitatibus
           Thrust out the kingdom by the head and shoulders.”

Referring to Shakespeare’s appropriation of this ponderous word, which
first appeared in a volume entitled “The Complaynt of Scotland,”
published at St. Andrew’s in 1548, a commentator says,—

“The splendid procession-word _honorificabilitudinitatibus_ has been
pressed into the service of the Baconian theory as containing the cipher
_initiohi ludi Fr. Bacona_, or some other silly trash. The word was no
doubt a stock example of the longest Latin word, as the Aristophanic
compound ὀρθοφοιτοσυχοφαντοδιχοταλαιπωροι is of the longest Greek word,
and was very probably a reminiscence of Shakespeare’s school-days, as
the distich

                   Conturbabantur Constantinopolitani
                   Innumerabilibus sollicitudinibus

is of our own.”


A smart girl in Vassar claims that Phtholognyrrh should be pronounced
Turner, and gives this little table to explain her theory:

                   First—Pbth (as in phthisis) is  T
                   Second—olo (as in colonel) is  UR
                   Third—gn (as in gnat) is        N
                   Fourth—yrrh (as in myrrh) is   ER

An ignorant Yorkshireman, having occasion to go to France, was surprised
on his arrival to hear the men speaking French, the women speaking
French, and the children jabbering away in the same tongue. In the
height of the perplexity which this occasioned he retired to his hotel,
and was awakened in the morning by the cock crowing, whereupon he burst
into a wild exclamation of astonishment and delight, crying, “Thank
goodness, there’s English at last!”

An Irish gentleman writes to _Truth_ to say that he has never found a
Frenchman who can pronounce this: “Thimblerig Thristlethwaite thievishly
thought to thrive through thick and thin by throwing his thimbles about,
but he was thwarted and thwacked and thumped and thrashed with
thirty-three thousand thistles and thorns for thievishly thinking to
thrive through thick and through thin by throwing the thimbles about.”

Scene at Continental kursaal: English party at card table—“Hello, we are
two to two.” English party at opposite table—“We are two to two, to.”
German spectator, who “speaks English,” to companion who is acquiring
the language—“Vell, now you see how dis is. Off you want to gife
expression to yourself in English all you have to do is to blay mit der
French horn!”

                          _A Perplexing Word_

In the “Reminiscences of Holland House” is the following anecdote of
Voltaire: “While learning the English language (which he did not love),
finding that the word _plague_, with six letters, was monosyllabic, and
_ague_, with only the last four letters of _plague_, dissyllabic, he
expressed a wish that the _plague_ might take one-half of the English
language, and the _ague_ the other.”

                           _Verbal Conceits_

“Bob,” said Tom, “which is the most dangerous word to pronounce in the
English language?”

“Don’t know,” said Bob, “unless it’s a swearing word.”

“Pooh!” said Tom, “it’s _stumbled_, because you are sure to get a tumble
between the first and last letter.”

“Ha! ha!” said Bob. “Now I’ve one for you. I found it one day in the
paper. Which is the longest word in the English language?”

“Valetudinarianism,” said Tom, promptly.

“No, sir; it’s _smiles_, because there’s a whole mile between the first
and the last letter.”

“Ho! ho!” cried Tom, “that’s nothing. I know a word that has over
_three_ miles between its beginning and ending.”

“What’s that?” asked Bob, faintly.

“Be_league_red,” said Tom.

                      _Philological Contrarieties_

A gentleman, having an appointment with another who was habitually
unpunctual, to his great surprise found him waiting. He thus addressed
him: “Why, I see you are here first at last. You were always behind
before, but I am glad to see you have become early of late.”

                             _The Aspirate_

When Mr. Justice Hawkins of the English Queen’s Bench was a leader at
the bar, he appeared in a shipping case before the late Baron Channel,
who was a little shaky with his aspirates. The name of the vessel about
which the dispute had arisen was Hannah; but Hawkins’s “junior,” in
utter desperation, said to him, “Is the ship the Anna or the Hannah, for
his lordship says one thing and every one else says another?” “The
ship,” said Hawkins, in reply, “was named the Hannah, but the H has been
lost in the chops of the Channel!”

In “Much Ado About Nothing,” where _Beatrice_ is touched with her first
love longing for _Benedict_, occurs this passage:

“_Beat._ ’Tis almost five o’clock, cousin. ’Tis time you were ready. By
my troth I am exceeding ill; heigh ho!

_Margaret._ For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?

_Beat._ For the letter that begins them all, _h_.”

This is supposed to be a poor pun on _ache_, but be that as it may, it
seems clear that _Margaret_ must have been supposed to sound the
aspirate clearly in each of the words she used. Had she said, “For an
’awk, an ’orse, or an ’usband,” _Beatrice’s_ joke about the letter _h_,
which in that case would not have been used at all, would have been
absurd. On this single illustration one might build quite an argument to
show that Shakespeare did not drop his _h’s_.

                  _Alliterative Tribute to Swinburne_

           Lord of the lyre! of languaged lightning lord!
               Master of matchless melting melody!
               Philosopher of Freedom! foe of falsity!
           Smiter of sin with song’s swift sleepless sword!—
           Lo, tyrants tremble as they turn toward
             Thee, pearled and panoplied in poesy,
             Winged for the warfield, waiting wistfully
           Thy ripe Republic of all rights restored.


                    “Lo! from Lemnos limping lamely
                    Lags the lowly lord of fire.”

 Roared the fire before the bellows; glowed the forge’s dazzling crater;
 Rang the hammers on the anvils, both the lesser and the greater;
 Fell the sparks around the smithy, keeping rhythm to the clamor,
 To the ponderous blows and clanging of each unrelenting hammer,
 While the diamonds of labor, from the curse of Adam borrowed,
 Glittered like a crown of honor on each iron-beater’s forehead.

                       _Compressing the Alphabet_

When the following sentence of forty-eight letters first appeared, it
was regarded as the shortest in the English language capable of
containing all the letters of the alphabet:—

“John P. Brady gave me a black walnut box of quite a small size.”

But this was improved upon by a sentence of thirty-three letters
containing the twenty-six letters of the alphabet:

“A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

Another sentence of thirty-three letters is the following:

“J. Gray—Pack with my box five dozen quills.”

With a change in construction this is reduced by one letter, making

“Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.”

                         _Alphabetical Fancies_

A gentleman travelling in a railway carriage was endeavoring, with
considerable earnestness, to impress some argument upon a
fellow-passenger who was seated opposite to him, and who appeared rather
dull of apprehension. At length, being slightly irritated, he exclaimed,
in a louder tone, “Why, sir, it’s as plain as A B C!” “That may be,”
quietly replied the other, “but I am D E F!”

This alphabetical rhyme on “Naughty Janie” appeared in _Longman’s

             Anger, baseness, craft, disdain,
                 Every fault { God hates  } is Janie’s;
                             { girls have }
             Kind language moves not—only pain
             Quite rightly serves—these uppish vain
               Worthless Xantippes, yawning zanies.

             If an S and an I and an O and a U,
               With an X at the end, spell Su;
             And an E and a Y and an E spell I,
               Pray, what is a speller to do?
             Then, if also an S and an I and a G
               And an H E D spell cide,
             There’s nothing much left for a speller to do
               But to go and commit siouxeyesighed.

A laughable incident once took place upon a trial in Lancashire, where
the Rev. Mr. Wood was examined as a witness. Upon giving his name,
Ottiwell Wood, the judge, addressing the reverend parson, said, “Pray,
Mr. Wood, how do you spell your name?” The old gentleman replied, “O
double T, I double U, E double L, double U, double O, D.” Upon which the
astonished lawyer laid down his pen, saying it was the most
extraordinary name he had ever met in his life, and after two or three
attempts, declared he was unable to record it. The court was convulsed
with laughter.

A saloon-keeper, having started business in a place where trunks had
been made, asked a friend what he had better do with the old sign,
“Trunk Factory.”

“Oh,” said the friend, “just change the T to D, and it will suit you


A palindrome is a word, sentence, or verse that reads the same, forward
and backward, from left to right, or from right to left. The Latin
language abounds with palindromes, but there are few good ones in
English. The following will serve as specimens.

              Madam, I’m Adam. (_Adam to Eve._)
              Able was I ere I saw Elba. (_Napoleon loq._)
              Name no one man.
              Red root put up to order.
              Draw pupil’s lip upward.
              No, it is opposition.

The last has been extended to: “No, it is opposed; art sees trade’s
opposition.” In Yreka, California, is a baker’s sign which maybe called
a natural palindrome: “Yreka Bakery.”

                   _Words Wrong, Pronunciation Right_

The following is an illustration of pronunciation and spelling in the
use of wrong words which have the same pronunciation as the right words,
and which, properly read, would sound right. A rite suite little buoy,
the sun of a grate kernal, with a rough about his neck, flue up the rode
swift as eh dear. After a thyme he stopped at a gnu house and wrang the
belle. His tow hurt hymn, and he kneaded wrest. He was two tired to raze
his fare pail face. A feint mown of pane rows from his lips. The made
who herd the belle was about to pair a pare, but she through it down and
ran with all her mite, for fear her guessed would not weight. Butt, when
she saw the little won, tiers stood in her eyes at the site. “Ewe poor
dear! Why, due yew lye hear! Are yew dyeing?” “Know,” he said, “I am
feint two thee corps.” She boar him inn her arms, as she aught, too a
room where he mite bee quiet, gave him bred and meet, held cent under
his knows, tied his choler, rapped him warmly, gave him some suite
drachm from a viol, till at last he went fourth hail as a young hoarse.
His eyes shown, his cheek was as read as a flour, and he gambled a hole

                       _The Power of Short Words_

Secretary Stanton, while in charge of the War Department during our
sectional conflict, had a curt way of doing things and a desire to
attain his ends by the shortest possible roads. Hence his fondness for
monosyllables. Ex-Governor Letcher, of Virginia, was taken prisoner
during the war and confined in prison in Washington. After the lapse of
two months and a half, he managed to get released on parole, and this
was Stanton’s characteristic order and the whole of it,—

  WASHINGTON, D. C., July 25, 1863.—John Letcher is hereby paroled. He
  will go home by the same road he came here, and will stay there and
  keep quiet.

                                                       EDWIN M. STANTON.

Twenty-one words in all, besides the proper names and date, and eighteen
of them monosyllables.

During the life of John Bright the _Pall Mall Gazette_ said, “An admirer
of Mr. Bright writes to a Manchester paper that he discovered the secret
of the power this great speaker possessed of riveting the attention of
his audience. This he believes to lie in the fact that he used
monosyllables very largely. The grand passage in Mr. Bright’s speech on
the Burials bill describing a Quaker funeral begins, ‘I will take the
case of my own sect,’ and on counting the words of that remarkable
oration it will be found that out of one hundred and ninety words one
hundred and forty-nine, more than seventy-five per cent., were
monosyllables. On this it is urged that those in charge of youth should
teach them the use of monosyllables. An American journal lately
mentioned a school where such pains had been taken to instruct the boys
in the art of public speaking that if they had learned nothing else they
had acquired the greatest contempt for all the devices of stump oratory.
The prescribed course of study leaves much to the imagination, but
doubtless includes the translation into monosyllables of the ponderous
verbiage which passes current in most political assemblies as genuine
eloquence. It would, however, be cruel to insist on the introduction of
such teaching into any of the ‘standards.’ Many are obliged to speak who
have less to say than Mr. Bright, and to them the _sesquipedalia verba_
are indispensable.”

                           _Legal Verbosity_

An old Missouri deed for forty acres of land is a good illustration of
legal verbiage. It conveys “all and singular—appurtenances, appendages,
advowsons, benefits, commons, curtilages, cow-houses, corncribs,
dairies, dovecotes, easements, emoluments, freeholds, features,
furniture, fixtures, gardens, homestalls, improvements, immunities,
limekilns, meadows, marshes, mines, minerals, orchards, parks, pleasure
grounds, pigeon houses, pigstyes, quarries, remainders, reversions,
rents, rights, ways, water courses, windmills, together with every other
necessary right, immunity, privilege and advantage of whatsoever name,
nature or description.”

               _Prayers Constructed with Elaborate Skill_

Dean Goulburn points out that the words employed in the Collects in the
Book of Common Prayer are the purest and best English known,
“representing to us our language when it was in full vigor and just
about reaching its prime;” and that in the arrangement of the words, the
balancing of clauses, and the giving unity to the whole composition, the
composers and translators have been as happy as in their choice of
words. “Let any one,” he adds, “try to write (say) an epitaph with as
much unity of design, as much point, as much elegance, and as much
brevity as the Collects are written with, and in proportion to the
difficulty which he finds in achieving such a task will the elaborate
skill with which these prayers have been constructed rise in his
estimation.” Dean Goulburn has not exaggerated the rhythmical movement
and the singular felicity of expression which mark the Collects; indeed,
one has only to compare them with the prayers published on special
occasions by modern archbishops, or with any modern forms of prayer, to
see their superiority, not only in choice of language, but in
compression of thought.


The word ITS, the possessive case of the neuter pronoun _it_, originally
written _his_, appears neither in Cruden’s nor in Young’s Concordance.
It was not known to the translators of King James’ version of the Bible,
who had to resort to circumlocution for want of that little pronoun. It
has been assumed, therefore, that it is not to be found in the Sacred
Scriptures. Nevertheless, it occurs in the fifth verse of the
twenty-fifth chapter of Leviticus, as follows:

“That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not


Dickens, in “All the Year Round,” objects to the “softening of ruffian
into _rough_, which has lately become popular.” Yet the use of the noun
rough as applied to a coarse, violent, riotous fellow, a bully, instead
of being a recent creation, dates back to the Elizabethan period. In
Motley’s “History of the United Netherlands” in the description of the
death of Queen Elizabeth (iv. 183), we are told:

“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.”

                          _Either and Neither_

Richard Grant White, in his “Words and Their Uses,” says, “The
pronunciation of _either_ and _neither_ has been much disputed, but, it
would seem, needlessly. The best usage is even more controlling in
pronunciation than in other departments of language; but usage itself is
guided, although not constrained, by analogy. The analogically correct
pronunciation of these words is what is called the Irish one, _ayther_
and _nayther_; the diphthong having the sound it has in a large family
of words in which the diphthong _ei_ is the emphasized vowel
sound—_weight_, _freight_, _deign_, _vein_, _obeisance_, etc. This
sound, too, has come down from Anglo-Saxon times, the word in that
language being _aegper_; and there can be no doubt that in this, as in
some other respects, the language of the educated Irish Englishman is
analogically correct, and in conformity to ancient custom. His
pronunciation of certain syllables in _ei_ which have acquired in
English usage the sound of _e_ long, as, for example, _conceit_,
_receive_, and which he pronounces _consayt_, _resayve_, is analogically
and historically correct. _E_ had of old the sound of _a_ long and _i_
the sound of _e_, particularly in words which came to us from or through
the Norman French. But _ayther_ and _nayther_, being antiquated and
Irish, analogy and the best usage require the common pronunciation
_eether_ and _neether_. For the pronunciation _i-ther_ and _ni-ther_,
with the i long, which is sometimes heard, there is no authority either
of analogy or of the best speakers. It is an affectation, and in this
country, a copy of a second-rate British affectation. Persons of the
best education and the highest social position in England generally say
_eether_ and _neether_.”


When Philip of Macedon wrote to the Spartan ephors, “If I enter Laconia
I will level Lacedæmon to the ground,” he received for answer the single
but significant “If.” This is, perhaps, the finest example of laconic
utterance on record, and was, indeed, worthy of the people who gave not
only a local habitation but name to pithy and sententious speech.

                   _Words that will not be put Down_

Allusions to the introductions and changes of words meet us constantly
in our reading. Thus “banter,” “mob,” “bully,” “bubble,” “sham,”
“shuffling,” and “palming” were new words in the _Tatler’s_ day, who
writes: “I have done my utmost for some years past to stop the progress
of ‘mob’ and ‘banter,’ but have been plainly borne down by numbers, and
betrayed by those who promised to assist me.” _Reconnoitre_, and other
French terms of war, are ridiculed as innovations in the _Spectator_.
_Skate_ was a new word in Swift’s day. “_To skate_, if you know what
that means,” he writes to Stella. “There is a new word coined within a
few months,” says Fuller, “called _fanatics_.” Locke was accused of
affectation in using _idea_ instead of notion. “We have been obliged,”
says the _World_, “to adopt the word _police_ from the French.” We read
in another number, “I assisted at the birth of that most significant
word _flirtation_, which dropped from the most beautiful mouth in the
world, and which has since received the sanction of our most accurate
Laureate in one of his comedies.” _Ignore_ was once sacred to grand
juries. “In the _interest_ of” has been quoted in our time as a slang
phrase just coming into meaning. _Bore_ has wormed itself into polite
use within the memory of man. _Wrinkle_ is quietly growing into use in
its secondary slang sense. _Muff_ may be read from the pen of a grave
lady, writing on a grave subject, to express her serious scorn.

                       _Changes in Pronunciation_

Tea was pronounced _tay_. In Pope’s “Rape of the Lock,” we have:

        “And thou, great Anna, whom three realms obey,
        Dost sometimes counsel take and sometimes tea” (_tay_).

Also, in the same poem:

           “Soft yielding minds to water glide away,
           And sip, with myths, their elemental tea (_tay_);”

a rhyme which cannot be accounted for by negligence in Pope, for Pope
was never negligent in his rhymes.

A hundred and fifty years ago, _are_ was pronounced _air_. Note, for
example, the following couplet of George Withers:

                  “Shall my cheeks grow wan with care
                  ’Cause another’s rosy are?” (_air_).

                    _Pronunciation of Proper Names_

The Mexican Indians pronounce the name of their country with the accent
on the second syllable (the penult), Mex-i´co. The Dakotas pronounce
their name Dak´o-ta. The accent on Wy-o´ming is on the second syllable,
though Campbell places it on the first:

                “On Susquehanna’s side, fair Wy´oming.”

Goldsmith, in _The Traveller_, accents the penult in Niagara:

             “Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around,
             And Niaga´ra stuns with thundering sound.”

Moore, in “The Fudge Family,” conforms to the modern pronunciation:

             “Taking instead of rope, pistol, or dagger, a
             Desperate dash down the Falls of Niagara.”

In Braham’s song, “The Death of Nelson,” the second syllable is

                        “’Twas in Trafalgar Bay
                        We saw the foemen lay.”

But Byron, in “Childe Harold,” lays stress on the last syllable:

          “Alike the Armada’s pride and spoils of Trafalgar.”

Repeated in “Don Juan,” i. 4; also in the Prologue to Scott’s _Marmion_.

In the “Lay of the Last Minstrel,” Carlisle is accented on the first

                 “The sun shines far on Carlisle wall.”

Pope, in his translation of the “Iliad,” says,—

             “Then called by thee, the monster Titan came,
             Whom gods Briar´eus, men Ægeon name.”

Shakespeare employs the name as a dissyllable:

                “He is a gouty Briareus; many hands,
                And of no use.”—_Troilus and Cressida._

Lady M. Wortley Montagu following Spenser’s “Then came hot Ju´ly boiling
like to fire,” accented July on the first syllable:

                  “The day when hungry friar wishes
                  He might eat other food than fishes,
                  Or to explain the date more fully,
                  The twenty-second instant July.”

                    _Bryant’s Index Expurgatorious_

During William C. Bryant’s editorial management of the New York _Evening
Post_, he attached to the walls of the rooms of the sub-editors and
reporters a list of prohibited words. It would be a substantial benefit
to “English undefiled” if a similar list were adopted and insisted upon
by every American newspaper. For our newspapers have a manifest
influence in determining the growth and character of our language, and
it behooves them to do their best to preserve its purity. But this is a
far less easy thing to do than most persons would imagine; and, if
forbidden words do occasionally slip into the columns of the newspaper,
it must be a blemish such as, in some shape and degree, is supposed to
be inseparable from all human productions. Most of the writing on the
modern daily newspaper is necessarily the work of that enterprising,
wide-a-wake class known as reporters. They “shoot on the wing,” look
more to present effect than to classic correctness in their writing, and
are, none of them, purists in literary style.

The English language has never had any well defined and universally
recognized laws of its own. In its literature it began with the time
when every writer was a law unto himself, and it has never fully
outgrown that condition. Nor can all the Trenches and Goulds and Grant
Whites in existence mould it into any arbitrarily correct shape. It is a
mixture of various tongues, and is drawing to itself, every year, a
considerable number of additional words from the most diverse and
curious sources, and especially from the other leading languages. It may
in time—who knows?—become the universal language, the one which is to be
the lingual Moses to lead the world out of the wilderness of the curse
of Babel, and give to all people a common vehicle of communication. In
this view of the case, the liberties taken by the ingenious and
inventive newspaper reporter may be regarded as important and useful.
The dictionaries wait upon the newspapers, and slowly accept and take to
themselves, as English words, the intruders which a year or two before
looked so strange in the newspapers, but which custom has rendered not
only familiar, but seemingly necessary.

Here is Mr. Bryant’s list of forbidden words:

 “Being” done, built, etc.
 Bagging, for “capturing.”
 Balance, for “remainder.”
 Banquet, for “dinner.”
 Commenced, for “begun.”
 Couple, for “two.”
 Donate and donation.
 Indorse, for “approve.”
 Gents, for “gentlemen.”
 Inaugurated, for “begun.”
 Initiated, for “begun.”
 In our midst.
 Juvenile, for “boy.”
 Jubilant, for “rejoicing.”
 Lady, for “wife.”
 Loan or loaned, for “lend” or “lent.”
 Measurable, for “in a measure.”
 Obituary, for “death.”
 Parties, for “persons.”
 Posted for “informed.”
 Portion, for “part.”
 Pants, for “pantaloons.”
 Quite, prefixed to “good,” “large,” etc.
 Raid, for “attack.”
 Realized, for “obtained.”
 Reliable for “trustworthy.”
 Repudiate, for “reject” or “disown.”
 Retire, for “withdraw.”
 Rôle, for “part.”
 A success, for “successful.”
 States, for “says.”
 Transpire, for “occur.”
 To progress.
 The deceased.
 Vicinity, for “neighborhood.”
 Wall Street slang generally: “Bulls, bears, long, short, flat, corner,
    tight, etc.”

To this list might be added _without_ as the synonym of unless,—_e. g._,
“I would not proceed without he agreed;” _directly_ for as soon as,—_e.
g._, “I gave him the letter directly I saw him;” _apprehend_ for think,
fancy, believe, imagine; _from hence_, _from thence_, _from whence_;
_mutual_ applied to persons (“our mutual friend”) instead of limiting it
to actions, sentiments, affections; _try and_ for try to; _but
that_,—_e. g._, “he never doubts but that he knows their intentions;”
_widow-lady_ or _widow-woman_, though those who use these expressions
never say widower-gentleman or widower-man. To the phrase in Mr.
Bryant’s list _in our midst_, which is no better than _in our middle_,
and very different from “in the midst of,” etc., may be added the never
ending, still beginning _in this connection_, instead of “in connection
with the foregoing,” etc. Even more careless and more thoughtless on the
part of our best writers and speakers—not the vulgarians who use _like_
in place of as—is the constant misuse of the phrase _of all others_. As
Mr. Gould remarks, “How one thing can be _of other_ things, is the
question. One thing can be _above_ other things, but it cannot be _of_
them. A thing can be _of all things, the most_; or of all things, the
richest, etc., or, of a class, the best; but the introduction of
‘others’ into the phrases in question excludes from the ‘class’ or from
the ‘all,’ the very thing named.” A common blunder is the use of the
past for the present tense when the writer or speaker wishes to express
an _existing_ fact,—_e. g._, “the truth _was_ that A struck the first
blow,” instead of the truth _is_. What is the more remarkable is the use
of a verb in the past tense with an infinitive in the past tense, which
is frequently met with in English literature. For example, Dr. Johnson
says, “Had this been the fate of Tasso, he _would have been able to have
celebrated_ the condescension of your majesty in noble language.” Alison
says, “It was expected that his first act _would have been to have sent_
for Lords Grey and Grenville.” How much more simple as well as more
correct to say _to celebrate_ and _to send_.

                    _Stilted Scientific Phraseology_

The “big words” of science are often necessary and useful, expressing
what cannot be made clear to the student in any other way, but they are
sometimes mere verbiage and mean no more than their common equivalents.
It goes without saying that in this latter case the true scholar uses
the short, plain word. He who writes in six-syllabled words for the mere
pleasure of astounding the multitude is not apt to have very much solid
thought to express. Some good advice on this subject, which is worthy
the serious attention of other scientific men than students of medicine,
was given to the students of the Chicago Medical College by Dr. Edmund
Andrews, in an introductory address, from which the following paragraphs
are taken:

It is amusing and yet vexatious to see a worthy medical gentleman, whose
ordinary conversation is in a simple and good style, suddenly swell up
when he writes a medical article. He changes his whole dialect and fills
his pages with a jangle of harsh technical terms, not one-third of which
are necessary to express his meaning. He tries to be solemn and
imposing. For instance, a physician recently devised a new instrument,
and wrote it up for a medical journal under the title, “A New Apparatus
for the Armamentarium of the Clinician,” by which heading he doubtless
hopes to make the fame of his invention “go thundering down the ages,”
as Guiteau said.

Another writer wanted to say that cancer is an unnatural growth of
epithelium. He took a big breath and spouted the following: “Carcinoma
arises from any subepithelial proliferation by which epithelial cells
are isolated and made to grow abnormally.” Now, then, you know all about

A writer on insanity illuminates the subject as follows: “The prodromic
delirium is a quasi-paranoiac psychosis in a degenerate subject. A
psychosis of exhaustion being practically a condition of syncope.”

The following is an effort to say that certain microbes produce the
poison of erysipelas: “The streptococcus erysipelatosus proliferating in
the interspaces of the connective tissue is the etiologic factor in the
secretion of the erysipelatous toxins.”

A large cancer of the liver was found at a postmortem examination and
reported about as follows: “A colossal carcinomatous degeneration of the
hepatic mechanism.”

Still, the man of big swelling words is not always up in the clouds. If
called to a case of accident, he examines the injury, and may inform the
family in quite a simple and dignified manner that their father was
thrown sidewise from his carriage breaking his leg and putting his ankle
out of joint, but if he writes out the case for his medical journal, he
gets up straightway on his stilts and says, “The patient was projected
transversely from his vehicle, fracturing the tibia and fibula and
luxating the tibio-tarsal articulation.”

Your man of solemn speech is peculiar. He does not keep a set of
instruments—not he—he has an armamentarium. His catheters never have a
hole or an eye in them, but always a fenestrum. In gunshot injuries a
bullet never makes a hole in his patient, but only a perforation. He
does not disinfect his armamentarium by boiling, but by submerging it in
water elevated to the temperature of ebullition. He never distinguishes
one disease from another, but always differentiates or diagnosticates
it. His patient’s mouth is an oral cavity. His jaw is a maxilla. His
brain is a cerebrum, his hip-joint is a coxo-femoral articulation. If
his eyelids are adherent, it is a case of ankylosymblepharon. If he
discovers wrinkles on the skin, they are corrugations or else
rugosities. He never sees any bleeding, but only hemorrhage or
sanguineous effusion. He does not examine a limb by touch or by
handling—he palpates or manipulates it. If he finds it hopelessly
diseased he does not cut it off—that is undignified. He gets out his
armamentarium and amputates it.

                        _Metaphorical Conceits_

A Chicago critic addicted to figurative fancies was very much affected
by the play of _Arrah na Pogue_. “There are passages in it,” he writes,
“which thunder at the heart like the booming of the Atlantic tide, and
drown it in floods of bitter tears.” This idea of being drowned in
floods of tears, by the way, has been always very popular with
struggling muses who long to launch into bolder strains. Lee describes a
young lady with an exuberance of tears:

         “I found her on the floor
         In all the storm of grief, yet beautiful;
         Pouring forth tears at such a lavish rate
         That, were the world on fire, they might have drowned
         The wrath of heaven, and quenched the mighty ruin.”

Cowley makes a sighing lover sigh in an excessively gusty manner:

            “By every wind that comes this way,
              Send me at least a sigh or two,
            Such and so many I’ll repay
              As shall themselves make winds to get to you.”

But Shakespeare, who always surpasses, unites the tears and sighs, and
makes a perfect rain tempest:

           “Aumerle, thou weepest, my tender-hearted cousin!
           We’ll make foul-weather with despised tears;
           Our sighs and they shall lodge the summer corn,
           And make a dearth in this revolting land.”

The play mentioned by a Chicago critic could hardly have been as
affecting as the oratory of a preacher who is described by an admiring
editor. “I have,” he says, “repeatedly heard the most famous men in
America, but there are times when the flame of his pathos licks the
everlasting hills with a roar that moves your soul to depths fathomed by
few other men.” Evidently this preacher should go to Congress; he is
imbued with the spirit of oratory, and would be an antidote, on the
principle of “_similia similibus curantur_,” for a politician who, in
announcing himself a candidate for Congress, remarked in his card: “I am
an orator, and yearn to roar in the capitol, and clap my wings like
Shakespeare’s rooster, or the eagle on his celestial cliff, gazing at
the prey my arrows did slay.”

An excellent specimen of hyperbole is mentioned by a Houston (Maine)
paper, which says, on the question of a new town-hall, that one
gentleman urged the measure in order, as he expressed it, “that the
young men of our town may have a suitable place to assemble, and be so
imbued with the spirit of liberty and patriotism that every hair of
their head will be a liberty-pole with the star-spangled banner floating
from it.”

A Leavenworth paper thus confusedly mixed things animate and inanimate:
“The fall of corruption has been dispelled, and the wheels of the State
government will no longer be trammelled by sharks that have beset the
public prosperity like locusts.” And a Nebraska paper, in a fervent
article upon the report of a legislative committee, said, “The apple of
discord is now fairly in our midst, and if not nipped in the bud it will
burst forth in a conflagration which will deluge society in an
earthquake of bloody apprehension.”

In the words of an English poet is this rather too exaggerated

          “Those overwhelming armies whose command
          Said to one empire, ‘Fall,’ another, ‘Stand,’
          Whose rear lay wrapped in night while breaking dawn
          Roused the broad front and called the battle on.”

But these metaphorical rhapsodies were eclipsed soon after our Civil War
by _The Crescent Monthly_ in an article on Lee’s surrender. The writer
thus laughs to scorn all competitors:

“The supreme hour has now come when, from across Fame’s burning
ecliptic, where it had traced in flaming sheen its luminous path of
glory, the proud Aldebaran of Southern hope, in all the splendors of its
express, Hyades brightness, should sink to rest behind lurid war-clouds,
in the fateful western heaven, there to bring out on death’s dark canopy
the immortal lights of immortal deeds, and spirits great and glorious
shining forever down upon a cause in darkness, like the glittering hosts
upon a world in night.”

This gushing sentence comes from a novel called “Heart or Head:”

“And she, leaning on his strong mind, and giving up her whole soul to
him, was so happy in this spoiling of herself, so glad to be thus
robbed, offering him the rich milk of love in a full udder of trust, and
lowing for him to come and take it!”

A grotesque simile is sometimes very expressive. We may mention those of
Daniel Webster, who likened the word “would,” in Rufus Choate’s
handwriting, to a small gridiron struck by lightning; of a sailor, who
likened a gentleman whose face was covered with whiskers up to his very
eyes, to a rat peeping out of a bunch of oakum; of a Western reporter
who, in a weather item on a cold day, said that the sun’s rays in the
effort to thaw the ice were as futile as the dull reflex of a painted
yellow dog; and of a conductor who, in a discussion as to speed, said
that the last time he ran his engine from Syracuse the telegraph poles
on the side looked like a fine-tooth comb.

Similes of a like character are often heard among the common people, and
are supposed to be the peculiar property of Western orators. Instances:
As sharp as the little end of nothing; big as all out-doors; it strikes
me like a thousand of bricks; slick as grease, or as greased lightning;
melancholy as a Quaker meeting by moonlight; flat as a flounder; quick
as a wink; not enough to make gruel for a sick grasshopper; not clothes
enough to wad a gun; as limp and limber as an india-rubber stove-pipe;
uneasy as a cat in a strange garret; not strong enough to haul a broiled
codfish off a gridiron; after you like a rat-terrier after a chipmunk
squirrel; useless as whistling psalms to a dead horse; no more than a
grasshopper wants knee-buckles; no more than a frog wants an apron;
don’t make the difference of the shake of a frog’s tail; soul bobbing up
and down in the bosom like a crazy porpoise in a pond of red-hot grease;
enthusiasm boils over like a bottle of ginger-pop; as impossible to
penetrate his head as to bore through Mont Blanc with a boiled carrot;
as impossible as to ladle the ocean dry with a clam-shell, or suck the
Gulf of Mexico through a goose-quill; or to stuff butter in a wild-cat
with a hot awl; or for a shad to swim up a shad-pole with a fresh
mackerel under each arm; or for a cat to run up a stove-pipe with a
teasel tied to his tail; or for a man to lift himself over a fence by
the strap of his boots. A simile resembling these was used by Lady
Montague when, getting impatient in a discussion with Fox, she told him
she did not care three skips of a louse for him, to which he replied in
a few minutes with the following:

        “Lady Montague told me, and in her own house,
        ‘I do not care for you three skips of a louse.’
        I forgive her, for women, however well-bred,
        Will still talk of that which runs most in their head.”

There is another class of similes scarcely as pertinent, as, for
instance: straight as a ram’s horn; it will melt in your mouth like a
red-hot brickbat; talk to him like a Dutch uncle; smiling as a basket of
chips; odd as Dick’s hatband; happy as a clam at high water; quicker
than you can say Jack Robinson; like all possessed; like fury; like
blazes; like all natur’; like all sixty; as quick as anything; mad as
hops; mad as Halifax; sleep like a top; run like thunder; deader than a
door-nail. Thunder is a very accommodating word. A person may be told to
go to thunder, or may be thundering proud, or thundering sensible, or
thundering good-looking, or thundering smart, or thundering mean, or
thundering anything; and anything may be likened to thunder. The epitaph
quoted from a tombstone in Vermont over a man’s two wives was quite
proper, but was rendered ludicrous by this common use of the word:

                   “This double call is loud to all,
                     Let none surprise or wonder;
                   But to the youth it speaks a truth
                     In accents loud as thunder.”

“Dead as a door-nail” would not seem to be very expressive, and yet it
has long been used. In “Henry IV.” we read the following dialogue:

                “_Falstaff._—What! is the old king dead?

                _Pistol._—As nail in door.”

Dickens, in his “Christmas Carol,” wonders why Scrooge should be dead as
a door-nail rather than any other kind of nail. Probably the explanation
is in the fact that proverbs are often pointed by alliteration, and that
door-nail gratifies this conceit while any other nail would not.


The word guess, popularly supposed to be a Yankeeism, is as old as the
English language, not only in its true and specified sense, but in use
for “think” or “believe.” Wycliffe, in his translation of the Bible,
says, “To whom shall I gesse this generacion lyk?” Chaucer frequently
uses it in the modern sense, as, for example, in describing Emelie in
“The Knighte’s Tale:”

               “Hire yelwe here was broided in a tresse
               Behind hire back, a yerde long, I gesse.”

Spenser uses it in a similar way in the “Fairie Queene.” Bishop Jewell,
Bishop Hale, John Locke, and other sixteenth century writers, left well
known passages in which it occurs. Shakespeare, as every student of the
great dramatist knows, used it repeatedly. Examples of such use may also
be found in some modern English novels.

                        _A Message from England_

                 Beyond the vague Atlantic deep,
                 Far as the farthest prairies sweep,
                 Where mountain wastes the sense appal,
                 Where burns the radiant Western Fall,
                 One duty lies on old and young—
                 With filial piety to guard,
                 As on its greenest native sward,
                 The glory of the English tongue!

                 That ample speech, that subtle speech,
                 Apt for the needs of all and each,
                 Strong to endure, yet prompt to bend,
                 Wherever human feelings tend,
                 Preserve its force, expand its powers,
                 And through the maze of civil life,
                 In letters, commerce, e’en in strife,
                 Remember, it is yours and ours!
                           —RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES.

                              FIRST THINGS

               _First Marriage in the American Colonies_

In 1609, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first Christian marriage ceremony
was performed, according to English rites, when Anne Burras became Mrs.
John Leyden. This was eleven years before Mary Chilton—as Mr. Winthrop
relates—was the first person to set foot on Plymouth Rock.

                    _First Blood of the Revolution_

The “First Blood of the Revolution” has been commonly supposed to have
been shed at Lexington, April 19, 1775, but Westminster, Vermont, files
a prior claim in favor of one William French, who, it is asserted, was
killed on the night of March 13, 1775, at the king’s court-house, in
what is now Westminster. At that time Vermont was a part of New York,
and the king’s court officers, together with a body of troops, were sent
on to Westminster to hold the usual session of the court. The people,
however, were exasperated, and assembled in the court-house to resist. A
little before midnight the troops of George III. advanced and fired
indiscriminately upon the crowd, instantly killing William French, whose
head was pierced by a musket ball. He was buried in the church-yard, and
a stone was erected to his memory, with this quaint inscription:

“In Memory of William French Who Was Shot at Westminster March ye 12th,
1775, by the hand of the Cruel Ministeral tools of Georg ye 3rd at the
Courthouse at a 11 o’clock at Night in the 22d year of his age.”

                   _The Oldest Buildings in America_

An adobe structure is pointed out in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is said
to have sheltered Coronado in 1540.

The United States barracks at St. Augustine, Florida, are composed in
part of an ancient Franciscan monastery, under the name of the Convent
of St. Francis, which was completed in the latter part of the sixteenth

                   _First Duel Fought in New England_

The following account of the first duel in New England, and probably in
this country, which occurred at Plymouth, June 18, 1621, is here given
_verbatim et literatim_:

“The Second offence is the first Duel fought in New England, upon a
Challenge at Single Combat with Sword and Dagger between Edward Dotey
and Edward Leister, Servants of Mr. Hopkins: Both being wounded, the one
in the Hand, the other in the Thigh; they are adjudg’d by the whole
Company to have their Head and Feet tied together, and for to lie for 24
Hours, without Meat or Drink; which is begun to be inflicted, but within
an Hour, because of their great Pains, at their own and their Master’s
humble request, upon Promise of better Carriage, they are Released by
the Governor.”

                   _First Person Cremated in America_

The first person cremated in the United States, according to wishes and
desires expressed by himself, was Colonel Henry Laurens, one of the
Revolutionary patriots. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, in
the year, 1724, and died on his plantation near that place on December
8, 1792. His will, which he had requested to be opened and read the next
day after his death, was supplemented with the following:

“I solemnly enjoin it upon my son, as an indispensable duty, that, as
soon as he conveniently can after my decease, he cause my body to be
wrapped in twelve yards of tow cloth, and burned until it be entirely

The request was carried out to the letter, and was the beginning of
cremation in America.

                         _Old-Time Journalism_

Curious reading at the present day is the editorial in the first issue
of _The Universal Instructor in all Arts and Sciences and Pennsylvania
Gazette_, published by Keimer, in 1729:

“We have little News of Consequence at present, the English _Prints_
being generally stufft with Robberies, Cheats, Fires, Murders,
Bankrupcies, Promotion of some, and Hanging of others; nor can we expect
much better till Vessels arrive in the Spring when we hope to inform our
Readers what has been doing in the Court and Cabinet, in the
Parliament-House as well as the Sessions-House, so that we wish, in our
_American_ World, it may be said, as Dr. _Wild_ wittily express’d it of
the _European_, viz.,

          ‘_We all are seiz’d with the_ Athenian Itch
          News _and_ New Things _do the whole world bewitch_.’

“In the mean Time we hope our Readers will be Content for the present,
with what we can give ’em, which if it does ’em no Good, shall do ’em no
Hurt. ’Tis the best we have, and so take it.”

                       _The First American Book_

The first book printed in the Anglo-American colonies was the Bay Psalm
Book. It was printed at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1640. It is a thin
volume, about the size of an ordinary 12mo of the present day. So rare
is it that the compiler of a catalogue of scarce books remarks in a note
that any comments on its importance “would be sheer impertinence.” The
acquisition of a copy must always be “the crowning triumph to which
every American collector aspires.” Another copy of the same work,
printed several years later, supposed to be the second edition, and the
only known copy of that date, went for $435.

                         _The Pioneer Furrier_

In a New York paper printed on the 10th of January, 1789, may be found
the first piano-forte advertisement ever published in that city. It

“John Jacob Astor, at No. 81 Queen st., next door but one to the
Friends’ Meeting House, has for sale an assortment of Piano Fortes of
the newest construction, made by the best makers in London, which he
will sell on reasonable terms. He gives cash for all kinds of Furs, and
has for sale a quantity of Canada Beaver, and Beaver Coating, Raccoon
Skins, and Raccoon Blankets, Muskrat Skins, etc., etc.”

                            _College Papers_

The first college paper, says the _Harvard Crimson_, was not established
by the oldest university, but by one of her younger sisters, Dartmouth.
There appeared in 1800 at that institution a paper called the _Gazette_,
which is chiefly famous for the reason that among its contributors was
Dartmouth’s most distinguished son, Daniel Webster. A few years later
Yale followed with the _Literary Cabinet_, which, however, did not live
to celebrate its birthday. It was not until 1810 that Harvard made her
first venture in journalism, and then Edward Everett, with seven
associates, issued the _Harvard Lyceum_.


A St. Louis newspaper, relieved to find that it can say “tinker’s dam”
without being guilty of profanity, shows its gratitude by proving the
same innocence for the “continental dam.” At the close of the
Revolutionary War, it says, the government called in all the continental
money. With it were found a large number of counterfeits, on each of
which, as received, was stamped the word “Dam,” a contraction of the
Latin _damnatus_ (condemned). Hence the force of the expression, “not
worth a continental dam,” for if a genuine continental note was worth
but little, a continental “dam,” or counterfeit note, must have been
utterly worthless.

                       _A Virginia Abolitionist_

Richard Randolph, brother of John Randolph, of Roanoke, died in 1790,
leaving a will by which he left four hundred acres to his slaves, whom
he freed. The will gave the reason for his act as follows:

“In the first place, to make restitution, as far as I am able to an
unfortunate race of bondmen, over whom my ancestors have usurped and
exercised the most lawless and monstrous tyranny, and in whom my
countrymen by their iniquitous laws, in contradiction of rights, and in
violation of every sacred law of Nature, of the inherent, inalienable,
and imprescriptible rights of man, and of every principle of moral and
political honesty, have vested me with absolute property. To express my
abhorrence of theory, as well as infamous practice, of usurping the
rights of our fellow-creatures, equally entitled with ourselves to the
enjoyment of liberty and happiness. For the aforesaid purposes, and with
an indignation too great for utterance at the tyrants of earth, from the
throned despot of a whole nation to the more despicable, but not less
petty tormentor of a single wretched slave whose torture constitutes his
wealth and enjoyment, I do hereby declare that it is my will and desire,
nay, most anxious wish, that my negroes, all of them, be liberated,”
etc., etc.

                          _Suspension Bridge_

The first American suspension bridge was erected in 1801, by James
Finley, across Jacob’s Creek, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. It had
a span of seventy feet, and cost six thousand dollars. In 1809 a
suspension bridge was built over the Merrimac River. It had a span of
two hundred and forty-four feet, and cost twenty thousand dollars.

                         _Millions for Defence_

On one occasion in Charleston, South Carolina, Thomas S. Grimke,
addressing himself to General C. Cotesworth Pinckney, asked permission
to put a question to him. The old General replied, “Certainly, sir.”

“General,” said Grimke, “we would like to know if the French Directory
ever actually proposed anything like tribute from the United States to
you, when Minister?”

“They did, sir,” he answered; “the question was, What will the United
States pay for certain political purposes, etc.?”

“What was your answer, General?” asked Grimke.

“Not a sixpence, sir,” answered General Pinckney.

“Did you say nothing else, General?”

“Not a word, sir.”

“Was there nothing about millions for defence, but not a cent for

General Pinckney: “I never used any such expression, sir. Mr. Robert
Goodloe Harper did at a public meeting. I never did.”

“Did you ever correct the report of Mr. Harper’s speech, General?”

“No, sir. The nation adopted the expression, and I always thought there
would have been more ostentation in denying than in submitting to the
report. The nation adopted it.”

                           _Machine Politics_

The term “machine politics” has been traced to Nathaniel Hawthorne, who
said, in one of his notebooks, “One thing, if no more, I have gained by
my custom-house experience—to know a politician. It is a knowledge which
no previous thought or power of sympathy could have taught me; because
the animal, or the _machine_ rather, is not in nature.”


Dr. Marion Sims summarized as follows the successive steps leading up to
practical demonstration:

1. That since 1800 the inhalation of nitrous oxide gas produced a
peculiar intoxication, and even allayed headache and other minor pains.

2. That Sir Humphrey Davy proposed it as an anæsthetic in surgical

3. That for more than fifty years the inhalation of sulphuric ether has
been practised by the students in our New England Colleges as an
excitant, and that its exhilarating properties are similar to those of
nitrous oxide gas.

4. That the inhalation of sulphuric ether, as an excitant, was common in
some parts of Georgia forty-five years ago, though not practised in the

5. That Wilhite was the first man to produce profound anæsthesia, which
was done accidentally with sulphuric ether in 1839.

6. That Long was the first man to intentionally produce anæsthesia for
surgical operations, and that this was done with sulphuric ether in

7. That Long did not by accident hit upon it, but that he reasoned it
out in a philosophic and logical manner.

8. That Wells, without any knowledge of Long’s labors, demonstrated in
the same philosophic way the great principle of anæsthesia by the use of
nitrous oxide gas (1844).

9. That Morton intended to follow Wells in using the gas as an
anæsthetic in dentistry, and for this purpose asked Wells to show him
how to make the gas (1846).

10. That Wells referred Morton to Jackson for this purpose, as Jackson
was known to be a scientific man and an able chemist.

11. That Morton called on Jackson for information on the subject, and
that Jackson told Morton to use sulphuric ether instead of nitrous oxide
gas, as it was known to possess the same properties, was as safe, and
easier to get.

12. That Morton, acting upon Jackson’s off-hand suggestion, used the
ether successfully in the extraction of teeth (1846).

13. That Warren and Hayward and Bigelow performed important surgical
operations in the Massachusetts General Hospital (October, 1846) on
patients etherized by Morton, and that this introduced and popularized
the practice throughout the world.

                           _Anthracite Coal_

Anthracite coal was first experimentally burned, and its value as a fuel
and marketable commodity tested, in the old Fell House, Wilkesbarre,
Pennsylvania, in February, 1808. The experiment was conducted in a very
primitive sort of grate built for the purpose by Judge Jesse Fell, then
one of the leading men in the community. He had written in letters to
relatives describing the achievement, and for some time had contended
that if properly ignited the “stone coal,” as it was then called, would
burn, but his friends laughed at him. Nevertheless he studied the
problem until he decided that it was necessary to have a draft to keep
it burning. He then had the grate built of ten-inch bars, forming the
front and bottom of a box that he set in brick, and in this he placed
the stone coal, lighting it from below by means of splinters of wood and
keeping up such a draft with a bellows that the coal soon glowed red
hot. He found, too, that when red hot it quickly ignited other coal
placed upon it, and, proud of his success, he told his neighbors. They
would not believe him until they had, as he wrote, “ocular demonstration
of the fact.” Day after day the old room in the tavern was crowded with
the people of the little village and the travellers who passed through,
and soon to all parts of the region where outcroppings of coal had been
discovered the news was borne.


In the _Massachusetts Magazine_, published in 1789, occurs the following
reference to the existence of oil-springs in Pennsylvania:

“In the northern part of Pennsylvania there is a creek called Oil Creek,
which empties into the Allegheny River. It issues from a spring, on the
top of which floats an oil, similar to that called Barbadoes tar, and
from which one may gather several gallons a day. The troops sent to
guard the western posts halted at the same spring, collected some of the
oil, and bathed their joints with it. This gave them great relief from
the rheumatism with which they were afflicted. The water, of which the
troops drank freely, operated as a gentle purge.”

The curious book of Peter Kahm, entitled “Travels in North America,” and
published in 1772, gives a map in which is set down the exact location
of the oil-springs.

But there is still earlier reference to the oil supply in a letter
written by a French missionary, Joseph de la Roche d’Allion, who had
crossed the Niagara River into what is now New York State. In this
letter, written in 1629, nearly a century and a half before Kahm’s book
appeared, he mentions the oil-springs, and gives the Indian name of the
place, which he explained to mean, “There is plenty there.” The letter
was printed in Sagard’s “Historie du Canada,” in 1632.


M. Niepce, of Chalon-on-the-Saône, was the first to enjoy the
satisfaction of producing permanent pictures by the influence of solar
radiations. This was accomplished in 1815; and the name chosen to
designate his process was heliography. Niepce afterwards learned that
Daguerre had been conducting experiments of a similar character, and
they formed a partnership. The former, however, died in 1833, and a new
deed of partnership was signed between his son Isidore and M. Daguerre,
which resulted in the publication, in July, 1839, of the process known
as the daguerrotype. But this was not done until the French government
had passed a bill securing to M. Daguerre a pension of six thousand
francs, and to Isidore Niepce a pension of four thousand francs, both
for life, and one-half in reversion to their widows. This action of the
French government was based upon the argument that “the invention did
not admit of being secured by patent, since, as soon as published, all
might avail themselves of its advantages; it therefore chose to enjoy
the glory of endowing the world of science and of art with one of the
most surprising discoveries that honor their native land.”

Visitors to the exhibit of the University of the City of New York at the
World’s Fair in Chicago will remember the faded daguerrotype of Miss
Elizabeth Catherine Draper, a fair young woman in a huge poke bonnet,
the inside of which was filled with roses.

Its history was thus given, at the time, by Chancellor MacCracken of the

“The daguerrotype is a picture of Miss Elizabeth Draper, and was taken
by her brother, John Draper, in 1840, when he was a professor in our
university. Previous to that time Daguerre had made experiments in
photography, or sun pictures, as they were then called; but he never got
beyond landscapes and pictures of still life.

“When Professor Draper first tried to photograph a person, his idea was
that the face should be covered with flour, that the outlines might be
more distinct. After many failures he decided to try one without
anything on the face, and this picture of his sister was successful at
the first trial. Delighted with his victory, Professor Draper sent the
picture to Sir William Herschel, the great English scientist, that his
achievement might be known on the other side of the water. Sir William
acknowledged the gift and sent congratulations in a letter, which was
fortunately preserved in Professor Draper’s family.”

                             _Old Hickory_

How General Andrew Jackson got this title is told by Captain William
Allen, who was a near neighbor of the general, and who messed with him
during the Creek War. During the campaign the soldiers were moving
rapidly to surprise the Indians, and were without tents. A cold March
rain came on, mingled with sleet, which lasted for several days. General
Jackson got a severe cold, but did not complain, as he tried to sleep in
a muddy bottom among his half-frozen soldiers. Captain Allen and his
brother John cut down a stout hickory-tree, peeled off the bark, and
made a covering for the general, who was with difficulty persuaded to
crawl into it. The next morning a drunken citizen entered the camp, and,
seeing the tent, kicked it over. As Jackson crawled from the ruins, the
toper cried, “Hello, Old Hickory! come out of your bark, and jine us in
a drink.”

                        _Eagle, the Emblematic_

The Etruscans were the first who adopted the eagle as the symbol of
royal power, and bore its image as a standard at the head of their
armies. From the time of Marius it was the principal emblem of the Roman
Republic, and the only standard of the legions. It was represented with
outspread wings, and was usually of silver, till the time of Hadrian,
who made it of gold. The double-headed eagle was in use among the
Byzantine emperors, to indicate, it is said, their claim to the empire
both of the East and West. It was adopted in the fourteenth century by
the German emperors, and afterwards appeared on the arms of Russia. The
arms of Prussia are distinguished by the black eagle, and those of
Poland bore the white. The white-headed eagle is the emblematic device
of the United States of America, is the badge of the order of the
Cincinnati, and is figured on coins. Napoleon adopted the eagle for the
emblem of imperial France; it was not, however, represented in heraldic
style, but in its natural form, with the thunderbolts of Jupiter. It was
disused under the Bourbons, but was restored, by a decree of Louis
Napoleon, January 1, 1852.

                              _John Bull_

Mrs. Markham, in her “History of England,” says, “I am told this name
cannot be traced beyond Queen Anne’s time, when an ingenious satire,
entitled the ‘History of John Bull,’ was written by the celebrated Dr.
Arbuthnot, the friend of Swift. The object of this satire was to throw
ridicule on the politics of the Spanish succession. John Bull is the
Englishman, the frog is the Dutchman, and Charles II. of Spain and Louis
XIV. are called Lord Strut and Louis Baboon.”

                           _The First Riddle_

The first recorded riddle was that propounded by Samson to the thirty
companions who came to the marriage feast of his wife,—afterwards burned
to death with her father by the Philistines,—and for the answer to which
he promised to give them thirty sheets, and thirty changes of garments.
“Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth
sweetness.” For the outcome, see the Book of Judges, xiv. 12–20.


Captain Boycott was the agent of an estate in Ireland, and the tenants
having become dissatisfied with his management asked the landlord to
remove him. This he declined to do, and thereupon the tenants and their
friends refused to work for Boycott, and made an agreement among
themselves that none of them, their friends, or relatives should assist
or work under him at harvest. His crops were thus endangered; but
assistance arriving from Ulster, the harvest was gathered under the
protection of troops. The tenantry then decided to still further extend
their system of tabooing by including all persons who had any dealings
with Boycott. All such were not only to be ignored and treated as total
strangers, but no one was to sell to them or to buy of them.


Although cutting operations on living animals for the purpose of
acquiring physiological knowledge were practised to a small extent as
far back as the time of the Alexandrian school of medicine, William
Harvey was the first to make any great and conclusive discoveries as the
results of experiments on living animals. Harvey had a favorite dog
named Lycisca, whose experience in vivisection was made the subject of a
poem by a sympathizer, which is thus referred to by a recent English

“This discovery of the circulation of the blood, in 1620, is
attributable to our countryman Harvey, ascertained by experiments on a
dog, whose name, Lycisca, and whose sufferings and whose usefulness to
mankind, have been immortalized and handed down to posterity in some
beautiful touching lines.”

                              _Auld Kirk_

If anyone will turn to the author of “Our Ain Folk,” he will learn why
Scotch whiskey is called “Auld Kirk.” An old Glenesk minister used to
speak of claret as puir washy stuff, fit for English Episcopawlians and
the like; of brandy as het and fiery, like thae Methodists; sma’ beer
was thin and meeserable, like thae Baptists; and so on through the whole
gamut of drinks and sects; but invariably he would finish up by
producing the whiskey bottle, and patting it would exclaim, “Ah, the
rael Auld Kirk o’ Scotland, sir! There’s naething beats it.”


A recently published German work on the chemistry of beer, by M.
Reischauer, states that the use of beer dates from very early times.
Tacitus says, in his book on the manners of the ancient Germans, “Potus
humor ex hordeo aut frumento, in quandam similitudinem vini corruptus;”
and also that these Germans were indeed simple and moderate in their
food, but less so in the use of this drink from barley or wheat.
Diodorus Siculus (30 B.C.) affirms that Osiris even (1960 B.C.)
introduced a beer made from malted grain into Egypt. Archilochus (720
B.C.) and Æschylus and Sophocles (400 B.C.) refer to a barley wine
(vinum hordeaceum), and Herodotus (450 B.C.) relates that the Egyptians
made wine from barley. The Spaniards knew beer, Pliny reports, as
“celia” or “ceria;” the Gauls under the name “cerevisia.” In England and
Flanders beer was commonly in use at the time of the birth of Christ;
while old books represent Gambrinus, King of Brabant (A.D. 1200), as the
inventor of beer. It is certain that beer was known to the Chinese from
very early times. In the Middle Ages there was a celebrated brewery at
Pelusium, a town on one of the mouths of the Nile.


The word “honeymoon” is derived from the ancient Teutons, and means
drinking for thirty days after marriage of metheglin, mead, or hydromel,
a kind of wine made from honey. Attila, a celebrated king of the Huns,
who boasted of the appellation, “The Scourge of God,” is said to have
died on his nuptial night from an uncommon effusion of blood, brought on
by indulging too freely in hydromel at his wedding-feast.

The term “honeymoon” now signifies the first month after marriage, or so
much of it as is spent from home. John Tobin, in “The Honeymoon,” thus
refers to it:

              “This truth is manifest—a gentle wife
              Is still the sterling comfort of man’s life;
              To fools a torment, but a lasting boon
              To those who wisely keep their honeymoon.”


When the American army invaded Mexico a favorite song in the camps was
Burns’s “Green grow the rushes, O.” The Mexicans heard it repeated over
and over, and finally began to call the Americans by the first two
words, which they pronounced “grin go.” Hence “Gringo.”


One of the earliest references to the use of india-rubber for the
removal of pencil marks occurs in a note to the introduction of a
treatise on perspective by Dr. Priestley, published in 1770. The author
remarks, at the conclusion of the preface, “Since this work was printed
off I have seen 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 practise 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 3s., and he says it will last
several years.”

                             _The Thimble_

There is a rich family of the name of Lofting, in England, whose fortune
was founded by the thimble. The first ever seen in England was made in
London less than 200 years ago by a metal worker named John Lofting. The
usefulness of the article commended it at once to all who used the
needle, and Lofting acquired a large fortune. The implement was then
called the thumb-bell, it being worn on the thumb when in use, and its
shape suggesting the rest of the name. This clumsy mode of utilizing it
was soon changed, however, but the name, softened into “thimble,”

                              _Bank Notes_

The oldest bank note probably in existence in Europe is one preserved in
the Asiatic Museum at St. Petersburg. It dates from the year 1399 B.C.,
and was issued by the Chinese government. It can be proved from Chinese
chroniclers that as early as 2697 B.C. bank notes were current in China
under the name of “flying money.” The bank note preserved at St.
Petersburg bears the name of the imperial bank, date, and number of
issue, signature of a mandarin, and contains even a list of the
punishments inflicted for forgery of notes. This relic of 4000 years ago
is probably written, for printing from wooden tablets is said to have
been introduced in China only in the year A.D. 160.

                             _Anno Domini_

The first sovereign who adopted the phrase, “In the year of our Lord,”
was Charles the Third, Emperor of Germany, 879. It is now the accepted
mode of designating the year in all Christian countries.

                _The Oldest Declaration of Independence_

The original manuscript of the Declaration of Independence made and
signed by the revolutionary patriots of Harford County, Maryland, at a
meeting held at Harford Town on March 22, 1775, is still in existence.
This declaration is older than that of Mecklenburg, North Carolina,
which was made in May, 1775, and antedates by more than a year the
Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress, July 4, 1776.
Harford Town is Bush of the present day, and the house in which the
meeting was held was an old tavern stand, the ruins of which are yet to
be seen at Bush.


The invention of the modern system of punctuation has been attributed to
the Alexandrian grammarian Aristophanes, after whom it was improved by
succeeding grammarians; but it was so entirely lost in the time of
Charlemagne that he found it necessary to have it restored by
Warnesfried and Alouin. It consisted at first of only one point used in
three ways, and sometimes of a stroke formed in several ways; but as no
particular rules were followed in the use of these signs, punctuation
was exceedingly uncertain until the end of the fifteenth century, when
the learned Venetian printers, the Manutii, increased the number of the
signs and established some fixed rules for their application. These were
so generally adopted that we may consider the Manutii as the inventors
of the present method of punctuation; and, although modern grammarians
have introduced some improvements, nothing but a few particular rules
have been added since their time.


The first sleeping-cars ever designed were used on the Cumberland Valley
Railroad, between Harrisburg and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. They were
built in the year 1838, and ran for several years. One end of the car
was arranged in the ordinary way, with day seats, the other end was
fitted up with eighteen sleeping-berths for the night, which were
changed for the day’s running, so as to make omnibus-seats on each side
of the car. There were three lengths of berths, and three tiers on each
side. The top tier of berths hoisted on a hinge, and was secured by rope
supports to the ceiling of the car. The middle tier consisted of the
back of the omnibus-seat, hinged, and supported in the same manner. The
lower tier was the day seat along the side of the car. At that period,
there were two coach-loads of passengers arriving by turnpike road
nightly from Pittsburg; and they were very glad to have the benefit of
the sleeper during the four hours then occupied between Chambersburg and
Harrisburg, on the old plate rail. There was no charge for sleeping

                             _Eve’s Mirror_

If we are to believe Milton, our mother Eve was the first of the race to
use a mirror:

           “That day I oft remember, when from sleep
           I first awaked, and found myself reposed
           Under a shade on flowers, much wondering where
           And what I was, whence thither brought, and how;
           Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound
           Of waters issued from a cave, and spread
           Into a liquid plain, then stood unmoved,
           Pure as the expanse of heaven: I thither went
           With unexperienced thought, and laid me down
           On the green bank to look into the clear,
           Smooth lake, that to me seemed another sky.
           As I bent down to look, just opposite
           A shape within the watery gleam appeared
           Bending to look on me. I started back;
           It started back; but pleased I soon returned;
           Pleased it returned as soon with answering looks
           Of sympathy and love. There I had fixed
           Mine eyes till now, and pined with vain desire,
           Had not a voice thus warned me, ‘What thou seest,
           What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself;
           With thee it came and goes.’”

                         _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.’”


In 1669 Soliman Agu, ambassador from the sultan, Mahomet IV., arrived in
Paris, and established the custom of drinking coffee. A Greek, named
Pasco, had already opened a coffee-house in London in 1652. The first
mention of coffee in the English statute-books occurs in 1660, when a
duty of fourpence was laid upon every gallon made and sold.


The game of billiards was invented about the middle of the sixteenth
century by a London pawnbroker named William Kew. In wet weather this
pawnbroker was in the habit of taking down the three balls, and with the
yard-measure pushing them, billiard-fashion, from the counter into the
stalls. In time, the idea of a board with side-pockets suggested itself.
A black-letter manuscript says, “Master William Kew did make one board
whereby a game is played with three balls; and all the young men were
greatly recreated thereat, chiefly the young clergymen from St. Pawles:
hence one of ye strokes was named a ‘canon,’ having been by one of ye
said clergymen invented. The game is now known by the name of
‘bill-yard,’ because William or Bill Kew did first play with the
yard-measure. The stick is now called a ‘kew,’ or ‘kue.’” It is easy to
comprehend how “bill-yard” has been modernized into “billiard,” and the
transformation of “kew,” or “kue,” into “cue” is equally apparent.

                            _Cheap Postage_

The idea of cheap postage was suggested by a trivial incident. Rowland
Hill, who was the father of cheap postage, on one occasion saw a poor
woman, whose husband had sent her a letter, take it from the carrier,
look earnestly at the outside, and then hand it back, declining to
receive it, as the postage was too great. He expressed his sympathy;
but, when the postman was gone, she explained to him that the letter was
all on the outside. Her husband and herself had agreed on certain signs
and tokens, to be conveyed by various changes in the address; so that
she could thus tell whether he was sick or well, or was coming home
soon, or similar important intelligence. Mr. Hill thought it a pity that
the poor should be driven to such expedients; and accordingly, in 1837,
he urged, in the most strenuous manner upon the government of Great
Britain, a system of cheap postage, which, two years later, was adopted.

                            _Postage Stamps_

The postage stamp made its first appearance in 1839. Its invention is
due to James Chalmers, a printer of Dundee, who died in 1853. England
adopted the adhesive stamp, according to a decree of December 21, 1839,
and issued the first stamps for public use on May 6, 1840. A year later
they were introduced in the United States and Switzerland, and soon
afterwards in Bavaria, Belgium, and France.

                        _A Boston “Merchantman”_

Captain Kempthorn, in Longfellow’s “New England Tragedies,” back in
1665, the time of Quaker persecution, coined a now familiar phrase. He
speaks of

                      “A solid man of Boston,
            A comfortable man, with dividends,
            And the first salmon and the first green peas.”

                         _Theatrical Deadheads_

In the National Museum at Naples is a case of theatre tickets found in
the tragic theatre at Pompeii. They are variously made in bone, ivory,
and metal. To this day the upper gallery of an Italian theatre is called
the pigeon loft. The little tickets for the Pompeiian gallery were in
the shape of pigeons, while varying devices were used for other parts of
the house. But what attracts the most curious attention is a set of
diminutive skulls modelled in ivory. These were used solely by those
having the privilege of _free admission_, a fact suggestive of the
possible derivation of the term deadhead.


Few persons have ever troubled themselves to think of the derivation of
the word dollar. It is from the German thal (valley), and came into use
in this way some 300 years ago. There is a little silver mining city or
district in northern Bohemia called Joachimstal, or Joachim’s Valley.
The reigning duke of the region authorized this city in the sixteenth
century to coin a silver piece which was called “joachimsthaler.” The
word “joachim” was soon dropped and the name “thaler” only retained. The
piece went into general use in Germany and also in Denmark, where the
orthography was changed to “daler,” whence it came into English, and was
adopted by our forefathers with some changes in the spelling.

                          _Marriage in Church_

Not until the time of the Reformation was marriage sanctioned as a rite
to be fittingly performed within a church. Prior to this the customary
place was at the door of the church, and not within the sacred
enclosure. This rule appears to have been transgressed, but until the
first Prayer Book of Edward VI. (1549), the rubric of the Sarum Manual
was in use, which directed that the man and the woman about to be
married should be placed before the door of the church. It was
considered indecent to unite in wedlock within the church itself.
Chaucer, in his “Canterbury Tales” (1383), alludes to this custom in his
“Wife of Bath:”

               “She was a worthy woman all her live,
               Husbands at the Church door had she five.”

So late as 1559 Elizabeth, daughter of Henry II. of France, was married
to Philip II. of Spain by the Bishop of Paris at the church door of
Notre Dame; while Mary Stuart had been married the year before to the
Dauphin on the same spot.

                         _The Degree of M. D._

The degree of Doctor of Medicine was first conferred near the beginning
of the fourteenth century. The first recorded instance occurred in the
year 1329, when Wilhelm Gordenio received the degree of Doctor of Arts
and of Medicine at the College of Asti, Italy. Soon after this date the
degree was conferred by the University of Paris.

                       _The Title of “Reverend”_

An interesting contribution to the history of the title of “Reverend” as
applied to clergymen is made by the Rev. Brooke Lambert in a letter to
the London _Times_. Mr. Lambert says,—

“The registers of the parish of Tamworth contain some interesting
particulars as to local usage. These registers date back from the reign
of Philip and Mary, 1556. The first title given in them to a clergyman
is the old title ‘Sir,’ with which Shakespeare has made us familiar. In
May, 1567, we have an entry ‘Sir Peter Stringar, curate.’ The clergyman
who succeeded him is called ‘Sir Richard Walker,’ but there are other
contemporaneous entries, such as ‘sacerdos,’ ‘clericus,’ ‘preacher’ and
‘verbi minister.’ These latter seem to have obtained till, in King
James’s reign, we have the prefix ‘master,’ which, as we know, was
applied to the great divine, Master Hooker, and this practice seems by
our registers to have been continued through the commonwealth, though
‘Minister of the Gospell’ is sometimes added. We have, however, in 1657
the first use of the word ‘reverend,’ evidently in this case as a
special mark of respect, not as a formal title. On ‘11 June, 1657, was
buried our Reverend Pastor Master Thomas Blake, minister of Tamworth.’
In 1693 we have a clergyman by name Samuel Collins. I had noticed with
curiosity an erasure before his name in each of the casualties,
baptismal or funereal, recorded in our register. At last, in 1701, I was
lucky enough to find an unerased entry, and it appears that the
obnoxious word was the title ‘Revd.’ (so written) prefixed to his Mr.
However, he seems not to have been able to hold to this title. One of
his children, baptized in 1706, is baptized as the child of plain Samuel
Collins, minister; and when he died, in 1706, he was buried without the
title ‘reverend’—as Mr. (_i.e._, Master) Samuel Collins, minister of
Tamworth. Henceforward the same address is used till November, 1727,
when we have the baptism of Anne, daughter of ‘ye Rev. Mr. Robert
Wilson, minister of Tamworth,’ and after that date the prefix ‘reverend’
never seems to have been omitted.”

                       _The First Christian Hymn_

In the works of Clement of Alexandria is given the most ancient hymn of
the Primitive Church. Clement wrote in the year 150, and the hymn itself
is said to be of much earlier origin. The first and last stanzas
rendered into English may serve to show the strains in which the happy
disciples were wont to address their loving Saviour:

                      “Shepherd of tender youth!
                      Guiding in love and truth,
                        Through devious ways;
                      Christ, our triumphant King,
                      We come Thy Name to sing,
                      And here our children bring
                        To shout Thy praise.

                      “So now, and till we die,
                      Sound we Thy praises high,
                        And joyful sing;
                      Infants and the glad throng,
                      Who to Thy Church belong,
                      Unite and swell the song
                        To Christ our King.”

                     _Mother Goose and Mary’s Lamb_

Many suppose “Mother Goose” to be an imaginary personage, but she was a
real woman, and her maiden name was Elizabeth Foster. She was born in
1665, married Isaac Goose in 1693, a few years later became a member of
the Old South Church, of Boston, and died in 1757, at the age of
ninety-two. Her songs were originally sung to her grandchildren. They
were first published in 1716 by her son-in-law, Thomas Fleet, of Boston.

The “Mary” that “had a little lamb” was Mary Elizabeth Sawyer, a
Massachusetts girl; her lamb was one of twins forsaken by an unnatural
mother. Mary took it home and cared for it herself. They became fast
friends, and when Mary started to school her pet missed her very much,
so one morning it followed her. At school she tucked it under her desk
and covered it with her shawl, but when she went out to her
spelling-class the lamb trotted after her. The children laughed wildly,
and the teacher had the lamb removed from the room. On that morning a
young student named Rawlston was a visitor at the school. The incident
awakened his poetic genius, and a few days later he handed Mary the
first three verses of the poem. He died soon after, ignorant of the
immortality of his verses.

                             _The Umbrella_

Baltimore was foremost in introducing several things now in universal
use. Its enterprise started the first steam passenger railway in this
country; it was the first to demonstrate, in connection with Washington,
the practicability of the Morse telegraph system; it was the first to
burn carburetted hydrogen gas as an illuminant; it built the first
merchants’ exchange, and originated various manufacturing industries.
All this is matter of notoriety, but it is not generally known that a
Baltimorean displayed the first umbrella seen in the United States. It
was in 1772 when he appeared on the streets walking under an umbrella
which he had purchased from a Baltimore ship that had come from India.
It is related that at sight of the innovator with his novel weather
shield women were affrighted, horses became frantic runaways, children
stoned the man, and the solitary watchman was called out. However, in
spite of so hostile a reception, an account of the umbrella episode
which reached Philadelphia had the effect of begetting for the new
article an enthusiastic adoption. New York later received the innovation
with cordiality, and it was not long before the umbrella was universally
adopted, not alone for utility, but in some instances as a badge of
dignity of the village sage. Considering the indispensability of the
umbrella to the social life of the day, the Baltimorean who had the
courage to take the initiative in umbrella-carrying deserves at least a
commemorative tablet.

                              _Equal Mark_

In Robert Recorde’s “Whetstone of Witte,” a treatise on algebra written
about the year 1557, he says, “To avoide the tediouse repetition of
these words, _is equalle to_, I will sette, as I doe often in worke use
a pair of parallel lines of one lengthe, thus: =, because no two things
can be more equalle.” This was the origin of this common arithmetical

                          _Cardinal’s Red Hat_

The red hat was granted to cardinals by Pope Innocent IV. at the Council
of Lyons, A.D. 1245, and allowed to be borne in their arms at the same
time, as an emblem that they ought to be ready to shed their blood for
the Church, especially against the Emperor Frederick II., who had just
been deposed, and his subjects absolved from their allegiance by that
Pope and Council. Varennes, however, looking for a less temporary
reason, quotes Gregory of Nyssen to prove that this color was the mark
of supreme dignity, and appeals even to the prophet Naham, ii. 3, “The
shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet.”
Hence he concludes that “the royal priesthood” belongs to the cardinals,
and that they are the chief leaders of the church militant.

                            _An Old Proverb_

The proverb “those who live in glass houses should not throw stones” has
been traced to the royal pedant James I. Seton says, “When London was
for the first time inundated with Scotchmen, the Duke of Buckingham,
jealous of their invasion, organized a movement against them, and
parties were formed for the purpose of breaking the windows of their
abodes. By way of retaliation, a number of Scotchmen smashed the windows
of the duke’s mansion in St. Martin’s Fields, known as the ‘Glass
House,’ and on his complaining to the king, his Majesty replied,
‘Steenie, Steenie (the nickname given to Villiers), those who live in
glass houses should be careful how they fling stanes.’”

But the idea is more than two centuries older than the time of James I.
It occurs in Chaucer’s “Troilus and Creseide,” where his use of _verre_,
instead of glass, suggests that the proverb was originally current in
Old French.

                           _The Stereoscope_

In the spring of 1893 the Boston _Transcript_ gave an account of the
stereoscope, for which Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes had furnished the
original model. Some inaccuracies having crept into the article, the
doctor gave his story of the invention as follows:

“The instrument in common use at that time was a box with a hinged flap
on its upper wall, which opened to let the light in upon the pictures. I
got rid of the box, made some slots into which the lower edge of the
stereograph was inserted, stuck an awl underneath for a handle, and with
the lenses and an upright partition my stereoscope was finished. The
slide afterwards substituted for these was suggested by one of Mr.
Joseph Bates’s employees. The hood was a part of my original pattern,
made of pasteboard, and shaped to fit my own forehead.

“I tried hard for some time to give my contrivance away to the dealers,
but without success. The Messrs. Anthony, of New York, who were always
polite and attentive, did not care to take up the new model. The London
Stereoscopic Company, speaking through the young man who represented
them, assured me that everything which might, could, or would be novel
or interesting in the stereoscopic line was already familiarly known in
London. One of the great houses of Philadelphia also declined my gift of
a model out of which I thought they might make some profit. At last Mr.
Bates thought he would have a few made and see if they would sell. So he
put a dozen or thereabout on the market, and they were soon disposed of.
The dozen was followed by a hundred, and by and by the sale went into
the thousands, and I was told that I might have made more money by my
stereoscope if I had patented it than I was ever going to make by
literature. But I did not care to be known as the patentee of a pill or
of a peeping contrivance.

“The above is the true story of the origin of the stereoscope with which
my name is associated.

                                                              “O. W. H.”

                            _The Dark Horse_

There lived in Tennessee an old chap named Sam Flynn, who traded in
horses and generally contrived to own a speedy nag or two, which he used
for racing purposes whenever he could pick up a “soft match” during his
travels. The best of his flyers was a coal-black stallion named Dusky
Pete, who was almost a thoroughbred, and able to go in the best of
company. Flynn was accustomed to saddle Pete when approaching a town and
ride him into it to give the impression that the animal was merely a
“likely hoss,” and not a flyer. One day he came to a town where a
country race-meeting was being held and he entered Pete among the
contestants. The people of the town, not knowing anything of his
antecedents, and not being overimpressed by his appearance, backed two
or three local favorites heavily against him. Flynn moved among the
crowd and took all the bets offered against his nag. Just as the
“flyers” were being saddled for the race old Judge McMinamee, who was
the turf oracle of that part of the State, arrived on the course, and
was made one of the judges. As he took his place on the stand he was
told how the betting ran, and of the folly of the owner of the strange
entry in backing his “plug” so heavily. Running his eye over the track,
the judge instantly recognized Pete, and he said, “Gentlemen, there’s a
dark horse in this race that will make some of you sick before supper.”
The judge was right. Pete “the dark horse,” lay back until the
three-quarter pole was reached, when he went to the front with a rush
and won the purse and Flynn’s bets with the greatest ease.

                  _The First Gold Found in California_

The existence of gold in California has been known since the expedition
of Drake in 1577; being particularly noticed by Hakluyt in his account
of the region. The occurrence of gold upon the placers was noticed in a
work upon Upper California, published in Spain in 1690, by Loyola
Cavello, at that time a priest at the mission of San José, Bay of San
Francisco. Captain Shelvocke in 1721 speaks favorably of the appearance
of the soil for gold, and of the probable richness of the country in
metals. The “Historico-Geographical Dictionary” of Antonio de Alcedo,
1786, positively affirms the abundance of gold. The favorable appearance
of the country for gold was noticed by Professor J. D. Dana, and
recorded in his geological report. In Hunt’s _Merchants’ Magazine_ for
April, 1847, is a statement by Mr. Sloat respecting the richness of the
country in gold, made from his observations there; and he predicted that
its mineral developments would greatly exceed the most sanguine

The discovery which led to immediate development, and to an enormous
influx of population, was made February 9, 1848, at Sutter’s Mill, on
the American fork of the Sacramento River. The account of Captain John
A. Sutter himself is as follows:

“While building a mill on American River, a man employed by me, by the
name of Marshall, discovered yellow spots in the mill-race. He procured
some of the yellow stuff, and remarked to several men that he believed
it was gold; but they only laughed at him, and called him crazy. He came
to my office next day; and seeing that he wanted to speak to me alone,
and suspecting that he was under some excitement, I asked him, ‘What’s
the matter?’ We went into a room and locked the door. He wanted to be
very sure that no listeners were about; and, when satisfied, he gave me
the stuff to examine; he had it wrapped up in a piece of paper. During
our interview I had occasion to go to the door, opened it, and neglected
to lock it again; and, while handling the open package, my clerk
unexpectedly came in, when Marshall quickly put it in his pocket. After
the clerk had retired, the door was again locked, and the specimen
closely examined. Several tests that I knew of I applied as well as I
could, and satisfied myself that it was really gold. One of these tests
was with aquafortis, and the other by weighing in water. I told him it
was gold, and no mistake, and hoped the discovery could be kept secret
for six weeks,—until certain mills would be finished, and preparation
made for a large additional population. I then had about eighty white
mechanics employed. But the secret soon leaked out; was told by a woman
employed as a cook,—of course she could keep no such golden secret.”

The cook here referred to was Mrs. Wimmer, the wife of one of General
Fremont’s enlisted men. She has left on record her story of the
discovery as follows:

“We arrived here in November, 1846,” said Mrs. Wimmer, “with a party of
fourteen families, across the plains from Missouri. On reaching Sutter’s
Fort, Sacramento, we found Fremont in need of more men. My husband
enlisted before we had got the oxen unyoked, and left me and our seven
children at the fort in the care of Commissary Curtain. We drew our
rations like common soldiers for four months. Captain Sutter arranged a
room for us in the fort. As soon as Mr. Wimmer returned from Santa
Clara, where he had been stationed during the winter, he joined three
others and went over the mountains to what is now called Donner Lake, to
fetch over the effects of the Donner family, after that terrible winter
of suffering.

“In June, 1847, they loaded all our household plunder for Battle Creek,
up on the Sacramento, to put up a saw-mill, but they changed their plans
and went to Coloma. Captain Sutter and J. W. Marshall were equal
partners and were the head of the expedition. After seven days of travel
we arrived at sundown a mile above the town. Next morning Mr. Wimmer
went out to select a site for the mill, and I a site for the house. He
was to oversee the Indians, be a handy man about, and I was to be cook.
We had from fifteen to twenty men employed. We soon had a log house—a
good log house—and a log heap to cook by.

“They had been working on the mill-race, dam, and mill about six months,
when, one morning along in the first week of February, 1848, after an
absence of several days to the fort, Mr. Marshall took Mr. Wimmer and
went down to see what had been done while he was away. The water was
entirely shut off, and as they walked along, talking and examining the
work, just ahead of them, on a little rough muddy rock, lay something
looking bright, like gold. They both saw it, but Mr. Marshall was the
first to stoop to pick it up, and, as he looked at it, doubted its being

“Our little son Martin was along with them, and Mr. Marshall gave it to
him to bring up to me. He came in a hurry and said, ‘Here, mother,
here’s something Mr. Marshall and Pa found, and they want you to put it
into saleratus water to see if it will tarnish.’ I said, ‘This is gold,
and I will throw it into my lye-kettle, which I had just tried with a
feather, and if it is gold it will be gold when it comes out.’ I
finished off my soap that day and set it off to cool, and it staid there
till next morning. At the breakfast table one of the workhands raised up
his head from eating, and said, ‘I heard something about gold being
discovered, what about it?’ Mr. Marshall told him to ask Jenny, and I
told him it was in my soap-kettle.

“A plank was brought for me to lay my soap upon, and I cut it in chunks.
At the bottom of the pot was a double-handful of potash, which I lifted
in my two hands, and there was my gold as bright as it could be. Mr.
Marshall still contended it was not gold, but whether he was afraid his
men would leave him, or he really thought so, I don’t know. Mr. Wimmer
remarked that it looked like gold, weighed heavy, and would do to make
money out of. The men promised not to leave till the mill was finished.
Not being sure it was gold, Mr. Wimmer urged Mr. Marshall to go to the
fort and have it tested. He did so, and George McKinstry, an assayer,
pronounced it gold. Captain Sutter came right up with Mr. Marshall, and
called all the Indians together, and agreed with them as to certain
boundaries that they claimed, and on the right of discovery demanded
thirty per cent. of all gold taken out. They, in payment, were to give
the Indians handkerchiefs, pocket looking-glasses, shirts, beads, and
other trinkets.

“One day Mr. Marshall was packing up to go away. He had gathered
together a good deal of dust on this thirty per cent. arrangement, and
had it buried under the floor. In overhauling his traps, he said to me,
in the presence of Elisha Packwood, ‘Jenny I will give you this piece of
gold. I always intended to have a ring made from it for my mother, but I
will give it to you.’ I took it and I have had it in my possession from
that day to this. Its value is between four and five dollars. It looks
like (pardon the comparison) a piece of spruce-gum just out of the mouth
of a school girl, except the color. It is rather flat, full of
indentations, just as the teeth make in a piece of nice gum. There are
one or two rough points on the edge, which, with a little stretch of the
imagination, give the appearance of a man’s head with a helmet on, and
it can be easily identified by any one who has ever seen it.”

                    _The Flag of the United States_

In Admiral George H. Preble’s “Origin and Progress of the Flag of the
United States,” he says,—

In 1870, Mr. W. J. Canby, of Philadelphia, read before the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania a paper on the “History of the American Flag,”
in which he stated that his maternal grandmother, Mrs. John Ross (whose
husband was a nephew of Colonel George Ross, one of the signers of the
Declaration of Independence), was the first maker and partial designer
of the stars and stripes. The house where the first flag was made was
No. 239 Arch Street, formerly 89, below Third, Philadelphia. It was a
little two-storied and attic tenement, and was occupied by Betsy Ross
after the death of her husband.

A committee of Congress, accompanied by General Washington, in June,
1776, called upon Mrs. Ross, who was an upholsterer, and engaged her to
make the flag from a rough drawing, which, according to her suggestion,
was redrawn by General Washington “then and there in her back parlor.”
The flag as thus designed was adopted by Congress. Mrs. Ross received
the employment of flag-maker for the government, and continued in it for
many years.

It is related that when Colonel George Ross and General Washington
visited Mrs. Ross and asked her to make the flag, she said, “I don’t
know whether I can, but I’ll try,” and directly suggested to the
gentlemen that the design was wrong in that the stars were six pointed,
and not five pointed as they should be. This was corrected and other
alterations were made.

                    _National Political Conventions_

The first national convention to nominate candidates for President and
Vice-President met in 1831. The example was set, curiously enough, not
by either of the regular political parties, but by the faction which
came into existence solely to oppose the secret order of Masonry. It is
worth while to notice that it was this movement which gave an opening to
the public careers of two men who afterwards rose, one to the
Presidency, the other to the Senate and the Secretaryship of State.
These were William H. Seward and Millard Fillmore. The Antimasonic party
grew out of the excitement produced by the mysterious disappearance of
William Morgan, a member of the Fraternity who was supposed to have
divulged its secrets. In September, 1831, a national convention of this
party assembled at Baltimore, tendered the nomination to the famous
Maryland lawyer, William Wirt, formerly Attorney-General, who accepted
it, and Amos Ellmaker, of Pennsylvania, was added to the ticket as
candidate for Vice-President.

The caucus system was now evidently extinct; no party would have dared
attempt its revival. The system of national conventions, exemplified by
the Antimasons, was seen to be the only feasible substitute. As the
supporters of Jackson now called themselves “Democrats,” so his
opponents adopted the designation of “National Republicans.” The latter
party was first in the field to call a national convention, and this
convention met at Baltimore in December, 1831. Its session was brief,
for public opinion had already marked out Henry Clay as its candidate.
Clay was nominated on the first ballot, and John Sergeant was given the
second place on the ticket. Thus the opposition to Jackson, which was
strenuous and hot, was yet divided at the start of the race between Clay
and Wirt.

The Legislature of New Hampshire issued the first call at this time for
a Democratic National Convention—the first of that long series of
powerful and exciting conclaves which have so often designated our
rulers since. This body met in May, 1832. The Democracy rallied in large
numbers at Baltimore, which may be called the City of Conventions, as
well as of Monuments, so often has it been chosen for their
meeting-place. General Lucas, of Ohio, was chosen president. One of the
first motions passed by this convention was to adopt the famous
two-thirds rule, which more than once afterwards did deadly work with
the aspirations of statesmen.

                     _The First United States Bank_

Immediately after the first Congress of 1791, Alexander Hamilton,
Secretary of the Treasury, recommended a national bank as one of the
means necessary to restore the credit of the government, and to act as
its financial agent. The two Houses of Congress, on his recommendation,
passed the first bank charter.

General Washington expressed serious doubts of the power to pass the
law, and took the opinions of his Cabinet, in writing. Thomas Jefferson,
Secretary of State, was against it. Edmund Randolph, Attorney-General
expressed the same opinion; while General Henry Knox, Secretary of War,
sustained Hamilton in its constitutionality. Washington referred the
opinions of Jefferson and others to Hamilton for his reply, who gave an
elaborate opinion, sustaining the right of Congress to establish the

On consideration of the whole subject General Washington was of the
opinion that the bank was unconstitutional, and that he ought to veto
it, and called on Mr. Madison to prepare for him a veto message, which
he accordingly did. Upon the presentation of that message, Washington
again expressed himself in doubt, inclining to the impression that the
power did not exist. Jefferson still adhered to his opinion that it was
clearly unconstitutional, but he advised the President that _in cases of
great and serious doubt, the doubt should be weighed in favor of
legislative authority_. Whereupon Washington signed the bill.—STEPHEN A.

                       _The Oldest Living Things_

The oldest living things on this earth are trees. Given favorable
conditions for growth and sustenance, the average tree will never die of
old age—its death is merely an accident. Other younger and more vigorous
trees may spring up near it, and perhaps rob its roots of their proper
nourishment; insects may kill it, floods or winds may sweep it away, or
its roots may come in contact with rock and become so gnarled and
twisted, because they have not room to expand in their growth, that they
literally throttle the avenues of its sustenance; but these are
accidents. If such things do not happen a tree may live on for century
after century, still robust, still flourishing, sheltering with its
wide-spreading branches the men and women of age after age.

There is a yew-tree in the church-yard at Fortingal, in Perthshire,
which de Candolle, nearly a century ago, proved to the satisfaction of
botanists to be over twenty-five centuries old, and another at Hedsor,
in Buclas, which is three thousand two hundred and forty years old. How
de Candolle arrived at an apparently correct estimate of the enormous
age of these living trees is a simple thing, and the principle is
doubtless well known to-day to all. The yew, like most other trees, adds
one line, about the tenth of an inch, to its circumference each year. He
proved this after an investigation extending over several years, and we
know now, a hundred years later, that his deductions were correct. The
old yew at Hedsor has a trunk twenty-seven feet in diameter, proving its
great age, and it is in a flourishing, healthy condition now, like its
brother at Fortingal.

Humboldt refers to a gigantic boabab tree in central Africa as the
“oldest organic monument” in the world. This tree has a trunk
twenty-nine feet in diameter, and Adanson, by a series of careful
measurements, demonstrated conclusively that it had lived for not less
than five thousand one hundred and fifty years.

Still, it is not the oldest organic monument in the world, as Humboldt
declared, for Mexican scientists have proved that the Montezuma cypress
at Chepultepec, with a trunk one hundred and eighteen feet and ten
inches in circumference, is still older,—older, too, by more than a
thousand years,—for it has been shown, as conclusively as these things
can be shown, that its age is about six thousand two hundred and sixty
years. To become impressed with wonder over this, one has only to dwell
on that duration for a little while in thought.

The giant redwoods of California are profoundly impressive, not only by
reason of their age and dimensions, but of their number. The sequoias of
the Mariposa, Calaveras, and South Park groves are more than eighteen
hundred in number. The age of the “grizzly giant,” in the Mariposa
group, is four thousand six hundred and eighty years, while the
prostrate monarch of the Calaveras grove, known as the “Father of the
Forest,” with a circumference of a hundred and ten feet, and a height
when standing of four hundred and thirty-five feet, is much older.



The Ninety-fifth Declamation of “The Orator,” of Alexander Silvayn,
treats “Of a Jew who would for his debt have a pound of the flesh of a
Christian.” This is classed by J. Payne Collier among the romances,
novels, poems, and histories used by Shakespeare as the foundation of
his dramas. It first appeared in 1596. According to Gregorio Leti, the
biographer of Pope Sixtus V, the question of Shylock’s Judaism had been
anticipated by others. In the eleventh book of his history of the Pope,
Leti tells the following story:

“In the year of 1587, ten years before the probable date of the
production of Shakespeare’s play, a Roman merchant named Paul Maria
Secchi, a good Catholic Christian, learned that Sir Francis Drake had
conquered San Domingo. He imparts his news to a Jewish trader, Simson
Ceneda, who either disbelieved it or had an interest in making it appear
so. He obstinately contested the truth of the statement, and to
emphasize his contradiction added that he would stake a pound weight of
his flesh on the contrary. The Christian took him at his word, staking
one thousand scudi against the pound of flesh, and the bet was attested
by two witnesses. On the truth of Drake’s conquest being confirmed, the
Christian demanded the fulfilment of the wager. In vain the Jew offered
money instead of the stake he had agreed to. The Jew appealed to the
governor, and the governor to the Pope, who sentenced them both to the
galleys—a punishment they were allowed to make up for by a payment of
two thousand scudi each to the Hospital of the Sixtine Bridge.” A more
interesting fact connected with the “pound of flesh” is that the
conception is found in different shapes in Hindoo mythology.


The music of the opera of “Le Barbier de Seville” (Il Barbiere di
Siviglia) is by Rossini, and the words are by Sterbini. The music of “Le
Mariage di Figaro” (Le Nozze di Figaro) is by Mozart, and the libretto
by Lorenzo da Ponte. But both operas are based on Beaumarchais’s
satirical comedies, which had acquired popularity all over Europe.

                            _The Malaprops_

Theodore Hook’s series of “Ramsbottom Papers” were the precursors of all
the Mrs. Malaprops, Tabitha Brambles, and Mrs. Partingtons of a later
generation. Let Dorothea Julia Ramsbottom speak for herself, in a few
sentences from her “Notes on England and France:”

“Having often heard travellers lamenting not having put down what they
call the memorybilious of their journey, I was determined, while I was
on my tower, to keep a dairy (so called from containing the cream of
one’s information), and record everything which occurred to me.

“Resolving to take time by the firelock, we left Montague Place at 7
o’clock by Mr. Fulmer’s pocket thermometer, and proceeded over
Westminster Bridge to explode the European continent. I never pass
Whitehall without dropping a tear to the memory of Charles II., who was
decimated after the rebellion of 1745, opposite the Horse Guards.

“We saw the inn where Alexander, the Autograph of all the Russias, lived
when he was here; and, as we were going along, we met twenty or thirty
dragons mounted on horses. The ensign who commanded them was a friend of
Mr. Fulmer’s: he looked at Lavinia as if pleased with her _tooting
assembly_. I heard Mr. Fulmer say he was a son of Marr’s. He spoke as if
everybody knew his father: so I suppose he must be the son of the poor
gentleman who was so barbarously murdered a few years ago near Ratcliffe
Highway: if so he is uncommon genteel.

“Travellers like us, who are mere birds of prey, have no time to waste:
so we went to-day to the great church which is called Naughty Dam, where
we saw a priest doing something at an altar. Mr. Fulmer begged me to
observe the knave of the church; but I thought it too hard to call the
man names in his own country.”

                        _The Pen and the Sword_

Dr. Draper, in his “Intellectual Development of Europe,” says,—

“Within twenty-five years after the death of Mohammed, under Ali, the
fourth Khalif, the patronage of learning had become a settled principle
of the Mohammedan system. Some of the maxims current show how much
literature was esteemed.”

“The ink of the doctor is equally valuable with the blood of the martyr.

“Paradise is as much for him who has rightly used the pen, as for him
who has fallen by the sword.”

                           _The Best Service_

When General R. B. Hayes was nominated by the Republican party for the
Presidency, he made use, in his letter of acceptance, of the expression,
“He serves his party best who serves his country best.” A clue to this
phrase, which was frequently repeated afterwards, will be found in
Pope’s translation of the tenth book of Homer’s Iliad, where Nestor goes
through the camp to wake up the captains, and arousing Diomed says,—

            “Each single Greek, in his conclusive strife,
            Stands on the sharpest edge of death or life.
            Yet if my years thy kind regard engage,
            Employ thy youth as I employ my age;
            Succeed to these my cares, and rouse the rest;
            He serves me most who serves his country best.”

The similarity of the last line to the celebrated expression used by
President Hayes is striking. It is probable he was at some period of his
life a close reader of the Iliad, and that this expression found a
lodgement in his mind, to crop out in a slightly modified form after
many years.

                    _Mark Twain Accused of Plagiary_

Mark Twain having dedicated a recent book of his “to Mr. Smith wherever
he is found,” will, doubtless, be interested to learn that the gentleman
in question is to be discovered in the current London Post Office
Directory alone to the very considerable extent of sixteen and a half
columns. But will Mr. Twain be surprised to hear that the notion of this
Smith dedication of his is not a new one? Surely he must be aware that
an earlier American humorist, Artemus Ward, prefaced one of his volumes
with a similar inscription, and gave it additional point, too, by adding
a sincere hope that every one of his “dedicatees” would purchase a copy
of the book. So that, apparently, and not by any means for the first
time, a stolen idea has been spoiled in the stealing.

                           _The Bill of Fare_

A German gastronomical publication gives the following account of the
origin of the menu: At the meeting of Electors in Regensburg in the year
1489, Elector Henry of Braunschweig attracted general notice at a state
dinner. He had a long paper before him to which he referred every time
before he ordered a dish. The Earl of Montfort, who sat near him, asked
him what he was reading. The Elector silently handed the paper to his
interrogator. It contained a list of the viands prepared for the
occasion, which the Elector had ordered the cook to write out for him.
The idea of having such a list so pleased the illustrious assembly that
they introduced it each in his own household, and since that time the
fashion of having a menu has spread all over the civilized world.


On one occasion Mr. John Bright said, in the course of a speech, “The
noble lord comes of a race distinguished, I am told, as having come over
with the Conqueror. I never heard that any of them have since been
distinguished for anything else.” This sentiment, though probably Mr.
Bright knew it not, found epigrammatic expression in France more than a
century ago, in a distich composed when A. Courtenay, in compliment to
his birth, was elected a member of the Academy:

               “Le Prince de Courtenay est de l’Académie,
               Quel ouvrage a-t-il fait? Sa généalogie.”

The phrase, “I am my own ancestor,” is traced to Andoche Junot. When
Junot, a soldier who had risen from the ranks, was created Duke of
Abrantes, a French nobleman of the old régime sneeringly asked him what
was his ancestry. Junot replied, “Ah, ma foi, je n’en sais rien; moi je
suis mon ancêtre.” (Faith, I know nothing about it; I am my own
ancestor.) The Emperor Tiberius, however, thus described Curtius Rufus:
“He seems to be a man sprung from himself.” A similar reply is
attributed to Napoleon, as he is said to have told his prospective
father-in-law, the emperor of Austria, when the latter tried to trace
the Bonaparte lineage to some petty prince: “Sire, I am my own Rudolph
of Hapsburg.” (Rudolph was the founder of the Hapsburg family.)


The story of Cinderella is not the invention of some imaginative genius,
but is founded on fact. According to Strabo, the story is as follows:
One day a lady named Rhodopis was bathing in the Nile, and the wind
carried one of her sandals and laid it at the feet of the king of Egypt,
who was holding a court of justice in the open air not far away. His
curiosity was excited by the singularity of the event and the elegance
of the sandal, and he offered a reward for the discovery of the owner.
Rhodopis claimed it, and it was found to fit her exactly. She was very
beautiful, and the king married her. She lived two thousand years before
the Christian era, and is remembered in history as the “Rosy-cheeked
Queen” of Egypt.

                           _Crossing the Bar_

Did Tennyson find the suggestion for one of his latest poems, “Crossing
the Bar,” in the letter written by the Rev. Donald Cargill in 1680 to a
friend who was under sentence of death? Thus it runs: “Farewell, dearest
friend, never to see one another any more, till at the right hand of
Christ. Fear not, and the God of mercies grant a full gale and a fair
entry into His kingdom, that may carry you sweetly and swiftly over the
bar, that you find not the rub of death.”

                            _Fourth Estate_

Carlyle, in the fifth lecture on “Heroes and Hero Worship,” said, “Burke
said there were three estates in Parliament, but in the reporters’
gallery yonder there sat a fourth estate more important far than they
all.” This was in 1839 or 1840.

                       _Ne Sutor Ultra Crepidam_

John Randolph had had a discussion with a man named Sheffey, who was one
of his colleagues, and who had been a shoemaker in early life. Sheffey
had made a speech which excited Randolph’s jealousy, and Randolph, in
replying to him, said that Sheffey was out of his sphere, and by way of
illustration had told the story of the sculptor Phidias. “This
sculptor,” said Randolph, “had made a noted figure, and having placed it
on the sidewalk, he secured a hiding-place near by, where, unobserved,
he might hear the criticisms of those who passed upon his statue. Among
those who examined the marble was a shoemaker, and this man criticised
the sandals and muttered over to himself as to where they were wrong.
After he had gone away, Phidias came forth and examined the points that
the shoemaker had objected to, and found that his criticism was correct.
He removed the statue to his studio and remedied the defects. The next
day Phidias again placed it upon the street and the shoemaker again
stopped before it. He saw at once that the defects he had noticed had
been remedied, and he now began to criticise very foolishly other points
about the statue. Phidias listened to him for a time, and then came
forth with a Latin phrase which means ‘Let the shoemaker stick to his
last.’ And so,” concluded Randolph, “I say in regard to my colleague.”


The slang term “chestnut,” as applied to ancient jokes or moss-grown
anecdotes, though credited to a Philadelphia actor, may be traced to a
remote period. Ovid, in his “Art of Love,” says, “Let your boy take to
your mistress grapes, or what Amaryllis so delighted in; but at the
present time she is fond of chestnuts no longer.” This is plainly a
reference to a line in the Second Eclogue, in which Virgil tells how
chestnuts pleased Amaryllis. The idea obviously was that for weariness
and satiety the chestnut had lost its allurement.

                        _Milton’s Indebtedness_

A reverend gentleman named Edmunson is endeavoring to rob the author of
“Paradise Lost” of all the honor which belongs to originality of
conception. He has published a work to prove that Milton was largely
indebted in the composition of his great poem to various poems of a
Dutch rhymester of the same period, one Joost Van den Vondel, and that
Samson Agonistes was inspired by a drama by Vondel on the same subject.

                         _An Expressive Phrase_

Mr. Lincoln has often been credited with the expressive phrase, “Of the
people, by the people, for the people.” It was not original with him,
however; Theodore Parker first used it, and often used it during the
last decade of his life. A lady who was long a member of Mr. Parker’s
household, and who assisted him in his intellectual work, says that the
idea did not spring at once to his mind in its perfect conciseness; he
had expressed it again and again with gradually lessening diffuseness
before he gave the address to the Anti-Slavery Society, May 13, 1854,
where it appears thus: “Of all the people, by all the people, and for
all the people,” as published in Additional Speeches, Vol. II., page 25.
“But that,” she adds, “was not quite pointed enough for the weapon he
needed to use so often in criticising the national action, to pierce and
penetrate the mind of hearer and reader with the just idea of democracy,
securing it there by much iteration; and I can distinctly recall his
joyful look when he afterwards read it to me in his library, condensed
into this gem: ‘Of the people, by the people, for the people.’”

                       _Overstrained Politeness_

Maunsell B. Field, in his “Memories,” relates that General Winfield
Scott told him that during the last war with Great Britain (1812–14),
before an action began between the two armies, it was customary for the
respective commanders to ride forward, accompanied by their staffs, and
formally salute each other. Each then returned to his own lines, and the
battle opened.

This serves as a reminder of the old story of Fournier (_L’Esprit dans
l’histoire_): “Lord Hay at the battle of Fontenoy, 1745, called out,
‘Gentlemen of the French Guard, fire first.’ To which the Comte
d’Auteroches replied, ‘Sir, we never fire first; please to fire

                        _The Next to Godliness_

The proverb “Cleanliness is next to godliness” first made its appearance
in “Beraitha” as the last Mishna of Sota, chapter ix. _Mishna_
(instruction) is a word applied by the Jews to the oral law, which is
divided into six parts. The Jewish Talmud is a commentary on the Mishna.
The references to that are: Talmud Jerus, Skakalim, chapter iii., page
6; Talmud babl. Ab. Sarah, page 20 b; Jalket, sh. Isaiah No. 263; and
Alfassi ab; Sarah, ibid. loc. Here it reads as follows: “Phinehas ben
Yair says, The doctrines of religion are resolved into (or are next to)
carefulness; carefulness into vigorousness; vigorousness into
guiltlessness; guiltlessness into abstemiousness; abstemiousness into
cleanliness; cleanliness into godliness (equal to holiness),” etc., etc.
No translation can render it exactly; it is literally “cleanliness next
to (or akin to) godliness;” and this saying is older than the gospels.


The Punch and Judy idea is over two thousand years old. The Celestial
Emperor Kao Tsu (206 B.C.) was shut up in the City of Peh-têng by an
army of barbarous Huns. “With his Majesty was a statesman, Ch’ ên P’ing,
who, happening to know that the wife of the besieging chieftain was a
very jealous woman, devised a scheme. He caused the portrait of a very
beautiful girl to be forwarded to her, with a message that if her
husband would permit the emperor to go forth unharmed, the young lady
should become his property. The chieftain’s wife never mentioned the
portrait to her husband, but at once began to persuade him to raise the
siege, which, in fact, he would have done forthwith had he not been
privately informed of the picture and warned at the same time that the
whole affair was simply a ruse. Thereupon he sent to say that it would
be necessary for him first of all to have a glimpse of this beauty in
the flesh; and later on he repaired by agreement to the foot of the city
wall, where he beheld the young lady moving about and surrounded by a
number of attendants. His suspicions being thus allayed, he gave orders
to open a passage through his lines to the Emperor Kao Tsu and suite,
who promptly made the best of their way out. At the same time the Hun
chieftain entered the city and proceeded to the spot on the wall where
the young lady was awaiting him, still surrounded by her handmaids; but
on arriving there he found that the beauty and her attendants were
simply a set of wooden puppets which had been dressed up for the
occasion and were worked by a concealed arrangement of springs.

                          _Workmen’s Strikes_

Mrs. Oliphant, in “The Makers of Florence,” relates that in the course
of the construction of the massive dome of the Duomo, of the many
difficulties with which Brunelleschi had to contend, “the greatest was a
strike of his workmen, of whom, however, there being no trades’ unions
in those days, the imperious _maestro_ made short work.”

                           _The Standing Egg_

The well-known trick of Columbus in making an egg stand on end during a
dispute after his return from his first voyage was anticipated by
Brunelleschi, the architect of the magnificent dome of the Duomo in
Florence. During the heated controversy which preceded his selection
over his competitors, “he proposed,” according to Vasari’s amusing
account, “to all the masters, foreigners, and compatriots, that he who
could make an egg stand upright on a piece of smooth marble should be
appointed to build the cupola, since in doing that his genius would be
made manifest. They took an egg accordingly, and all those masters did
their best to make it stand upright, but none discovered the method of
doing so. Wherefore Filipo (Brunelleschi), being told that he might make
it stand himself, took it daintily into his hand, gave the end of it a
blow on the plane of the marble, and made it stand upright. Beholding
this the artists loudly protested, exclaiming that they could all have
done the same, but Filipo replied, laughingly, that they might also know
how to construct the cupola if they had seen the model and design.”

This was in the year 1420, fifteen years before Columbus was born.

                       _Setting up to Knock Down_

The great English statesman, John Bright, once playfully suggested that
the appointment of a certain gentleman to the Chief Secretaryship of
Ireland was intended as a punishment to that country for some of its
offences. What was thus said half in jest a sacred writer states here in
all seriousness: “That such a prince as Zedekiah was raised to the
throne was itself a token of divine displeasure, for his character was
such as to hasten the final catastrophe,”—that which came to pass was
“through the anger of the Lord.”

                         _The Guilds of London_

With regard to the origin of the London guilds there are two opposing
parties, one of which holds that these organizations had their origin in
certain mutual benefit associations of the Roman Empire, while the other
insists on their spontaneous generation from the needs of Teutonic
society in the Middle Ages. One thing is certain, without the culture of
the Roman Empire there would have been no Teutonic nor Celtic nor
Iberian civilization in modern Europe, and chivalry, knighthood, and the
guild system, as well as every other step toward modern refinement, owe
their existence in a near or remote degree to what preceded them, to the
civic life that descended in unbroken continuity from Babylon to Treves.
It would have been a remarkable thing if mediæval Europe had not
retained a reminiscence more or less distinct of the well-drilled,
well-mounted, well-armed, imperturbable Romans, the men “under
authority,” scattered in villages and outposts, or collected in
garrisons, and had not tried to create defenders of the same kind.
Equally strange would it be if such organizations as the Collegia
Opificum pervaded the urban life of the imperial dominions without
leaving an impression on the people. The similarity of the guilds to
their Roman prototypes is very remarkable. The objects of both were
common worship, social intercourse, and mutual protection. It is
confessed that modern historians have exaggerated the breach in
continuity between the Roman and the barbarian world; it is even
acknowledged that in one or two Gallic towns certain artisan
corporations may have existed without interruption from the fifth to the
twelfth century; and that Roman regulations may have served as models
for the organization of serfs, skilled laborers on the lands of monks
and nobles. But it must be pointed out on the other hand that until the
twelfth century the demand for skilled labor in Europe was comparatively
meagre and that the stream of ancient tradition was really growing
weaker with every decade. What can be insisted on is simply a certain
economy of intellectual effort, for the sake of a human animal, the
mediæval Celt, Saxon, Norseman, Hun, etc., with whom intellect does not
seem to have been a strong point. His invention may not have been put to
the test in the matter of guilds. What he needed had happily survived
his own clumsy race as well as the indifference of Romans and
Provincials. Even in England one can ascend much beyond the twelfth
century by the discovery of a rare notice now and then of a Knights’
Guild or a Frith Guild in Saxon London.

                            _Rip Van Winkle_

The classical scholar will regard Rip Van Winkle as a resuscitation of
Epimenides, who lived in the Island of Crete six centuries before the
Christian era. The story is, that going by his father’s order in search
of a sheep, he laid himself down in a cave, where he fell asleep, and
slept for fifty years. He then reappeared among the people, with long
hair and a flowing beard. But while poor Rip, after his twenty years’
slumber, awoke to find himself the butt of his village, Epimenides had
absorbed a wonderful degree of knowledge.

The German legend on which Washington Irving’s story is founded is given
by Otmar in his “Volks-Sagen,” entitled “Der Ziegenhirt.” Peter Klaus, a
goatherd of Sittendorf, is the hero of the tale, the scene of which is
laid on the Kyffhäuser.


Benedict Arnold, the traitor whose betrayal of trust and attempt to
sacrifice his country will, through all time, be regarded as the highest
height and the lowest depth of infamy, had a fitting prototype in Sir
John Menteith, who betrayed the great defender of Scotch liberty, Sir
William Wallace, into the hands of the English invaders, and, with the
deliverance of his person, the surrender of the liberty of his country,
leaving a name and memory loaded with disgrace. Sir Walter Scott, in his
“Tales of a Grandfather,” says,—

“The King of England, Edward I., possessed so many means of raising
soldiers, that he sent army after army into the poor, oppressed country
of Scotland, and obliged all its nobles and great men, one after
another, to submit themselves to his yoke. Sir William Wallace alone, or
with a very small band of followers, refused either to acknowledge the
usurper Edward, or to lay down his arms. He continued to maintain
himself among the woods and mountains of his native country for no less
than seven years after his defeat at Falkirk, and for more than one year
after all the other defenders of Scottish liberty had laid down their
arms. Many proclamations were sent out against him by the English, and a
great reward was set upon his head; for Edward did not think he could
have any secure possession of his usurped kingdom of Scotland while
Wallace lived. At length he was taken prisoner, and shame it is to say,
a Scotsman, called Sir John Menteith, was the person by whom he was
seized and delivered to the English. It is generally said that he was
made prisoner at Robroyston, near Glasgow, and the tradition of the
country is that the signal for rushing upon him and taking him unawares,
was that one of his pretended friends, who was to betray him, should
turn a loaf which was placed on the table, with its bottom or flat side
uppermost. And in after times it was reckoned ill-breeding to turn a
loaf in that manner if there was a person named Menteith in company;
since it was as much as to remind him that his namesake had betrayed Sir
William Wallace, the champion of Scotland.

                          _The Christmas-Tree_

The Christmas-tree came in with the movements of the transition from the
mediæval to the modern period. Previous to that epoch, the fir or
spruce-tree, with its pendant decorations, its toys and baubles, its
stars and crosses, its spangles and tinselry, its glittering emblems,
and the wax candles lighting its branches were unknown. For a long time
it found its highest expression in the tannenbaum of Germany, and German
antiquaries claim that it was a relic of the Saturnalia, and was
implanted in Teutonic soil by the conquering Legions of Drusus, about
the commencement of the Christian era. The myth which connects it with
St. Winfred goes forward to the eighth century. While the famous
missionary was hewing down the sacred oak that had been the object of
idolatrous worship, a tornado blasted it. But just behind it, unharmed
by the whirlwind, stood a young fir tree pointing a green spire to the
stars. Winfred turned to his followers, and said,—

“This little tree, a young child of the forest, shall be your holy-tree
to-night. It is the wood of peace, for your houses are built of it. It
is the sign of an endless life, for its leaves are always green. See how
it points upward to heaven. Let this be called the tree of the
Christ-child; gather about it, not in the wild woods, but in your own
homes; there it will shelter no deeds of blood, but loving gifts and
acts of kindness.”

It is noteworthy that the first description of a Christmas-tree in
German literature is to be found in “The Nut-Cracker” of Hoffman, whose
strange stories remind us of our own Edgar Poe. But whatsoever the
German pedigree, the tree had a Roman prototype, as we learn from the
Georgics of Virgil. It was customary to suspend from the branches of
trees in the vineyards _oscilla_ or _sigilla_, which were little
figures, or faces, or heads of Bacchus, made of earthenware or marble
(some of which are preserved in the British Museum), to be turned in
every direction by the wind. Whichsoever way they looked when blown by
the air currents, they were supposed to make the vines in that quarter
fruitful. The oscilla were frequently given as toys to children. Virgil
says of the Roman youth—to use Dryden’s translation,—

        “In jolly hymns they praise the god of wine,
        Whose earthen images adorn the pine,
        And there are hung on high, in honor of the vine,” etc.

Antiquarians who are not satisfied to let the origin rest with this
feature of the sixth and seventh days of the Saturnalia have undertaken
to trace the tree to the ancient Egyptians, and also to the Buddhists.

                          _Shallows and Deeps_

“The shallows murmur while the deeps are dumb” seems to be an adaptation
from Quintus Curtius Rufus: “Altissima quæque flumina minimo sono
labuntur.” The line is to be found in “The Silent Lover,” usually
attributed to Sir Walter Raleigh, sometimes entitled “Sir Walter Raleigh
to Queen Elizabeth”:

           “Passions are likened best to flouds and streames;
             The shallow murmur, but the deepe are dumbe:
           Soe, when affections yield discourse, it seemes
             The bottome is but shallowe whence they come.
           They that are riche in wordes, in wordes discover
           That they are poore in that which makes a lover.”

The lines—

                “Remember, aye the ocean deeps are mute,
                          The shallows roar.
                Worth is the Ocean—Fame is but the bruit
                          Along the shore”—

are to be found in “Fame,” translated from Schiller, one of the Hymns of
the Ages.


In Carlyle’s “Letters of Oliver Cromwell,” vol. iii, p. 89, is a passage
in which Cromwell uses the word platform in the modern American sense of
a creed, or theory, or declaration of principles. He charges Governor
Dundas (Edinburgh Castle) and the Presbyterian ministers with “darkening
and not beholding the glory of God’s wonderful dispensations in this
series of His providences in England, Scotland, and Ireland, both now
and formerly, through envy at instruments, and because the things did
not work forth your platform, and the great God did not come down to
your minds and thoughts.”


                          _Sic Vos Non Vobis_

The iconoclasts are turning their attention to the claims of Harvey and
Jenner. They declare that the claim of Andrea Cesalpino, of Avezzo, one
of the famous scientists of Italy in the sixteenth century, to the prior
discovery of the circulation of the blood, has been established. And as
to Jenner, they bring forward this inscription in the graveyard of Worth
Maltravers, Dorsetshire, to show that he was anticipated by several

“Sacred to the memory of Benjamin Jesty, of Downshay, died April 16,
1816, aged 79. He was born at Yetminster, in this county, and was an
upright, honest man, particularly noted for having been the first person
known that introduced the cow-pox by inoculation, and who, for his great
strength of mind, made the experiment from the cow on his wife and two
sons in the year 1774.”

The “strength of mind” referred to would be laughable were it not for
the fact that Jesty had already caught the cow-pox from his cows, and so
did not need to be inoculated for it.

                          _The Moons of Mars_

The following passage, from Voltaire’s “Micromegas Histoire
Philosophique,” is curious in view of the discovery of the two moons of
Mars, several years ago, by Professor Asaph Hall, of the National
Observatory, Washington. The work describes a journey, throughout the
solar system, of Micromegas, a philosopher of Sirius, and a being of
enormous proportions, who is accompanied by an inhabitant of Saturn, the
latter intermediate in size between the great Sirian and the inhabitants
of our earth. The extract is from the third chapter:

“Departing from Jupiter, our voyagers traversed a space of a hundred
millions of leagues, and coasted the planet Mars, which, as is well
known, is about one-fifth of the dimensions of our little globe. _They
saw two moons which attend this planet, and which have escaped the
observations of our astronomers._ I know very well that Father Castel
will write, good-humoredly, of course (et même assez plaisamment),
against the existence of these two moons; but I am in accord with those
who reason from analogy. Philosophers of this sort know how difficult it
would be for Mars, which is so distant from the sun, to get on with less
than two moons, at all events.”

Voltaire’s philosophical romance, published in 1752, was imitated from
Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels.” It is therefore easy to trace the
quotation to the Voyage to Laputa (Chapter III.) in which Swift, writing
in 1727, says,—

“Although their largest telescopes do not exceed three feet, they show
the stars with great clearness. This advantage has enabled them to
extend their discoveries much farther than our astronomers in Europe;
for they have made a catalogue of ten thousand fixed stars, whereas the
largest of ours do not contain above one-third part of that number. They
have likewise discovered two lesser stars, or satellites, which revolve
about Mars, whereof the innermost is distant from the centre of the
primary planet exactly three of his diameters, and the outermost five;
the former revolves in the space of ten hours, and the latter in
twenty-one and a half; so that the squares of their periodical times are
very near in the same proportion with the cubes of their distance from
the centre of Mars; which evidently shows them to be governed by the
same law of gravitation that influences the other heavenly bodies.”

                            _The Suez Canal_

In the second part of Marlowe’s “Tamburlaine the Great,” written in
1587, there is a remarkable forecasting of one of the greatest
enterprises of modern times, the Suez Canal. In the catastrophe of this
powerful drama, Tamburlaine (the historical Timour, or Tamerlane, the
“Scourge of God”) being about to die, is made to review his conquests.
He calls upon his attendants for a map that he may see how much of the
world is left for him to conquer, and may exhibit his plans to his sons
for them to execute when he is dead. Placing his finger on the map, he

            “Here I began to march toward Persia,
            Along Armenia and the Caspian Sea,
            And thence into Bithynia, where I took
            The Turk and his great empress prisoners.
            Then marched I into Egypt and Arabia,
            And here, not far from Alexandria,
            Whereas the Terrene and the Red Sea meet,
            Being distant less than full a hundred leagues,
            I meant to cut a channel to them both,
            That men might quickly sail to India.”

                           _The Panama Canal_

Eckermann, in his “Conversations,” under date of February 21, 1827,

“Dined with Goethe. He spoke with admiration of Alexander von Humboldt,
whose views as to the project for making a passage through the Isthmus
of Panama, appeared to have a particular interest for him. ‘Humboldt,’
said Goethe, ‘has, with a great knowledge of his subject, given other
points where, by making use of some streams which flow into the Gulf of
Mexico, the end may be, perhaps, better attained than at Panama. All
this is reserved for the future and for an enterprising spirit. So much,
however, is certain, that if they succeed in cutting such a canal that
ships of any burden and size can be navigated through it from the
Mexican Gulf to the Pacific Ocean, innumerable benefits would result to
the whole human race, civilized and uncivilized. But I should wonder if
the United States were to let an opportunity escape of getting such work
into their own hands. It may be foreseen that this young State with its
decided prediction to the West, will, in thirty or forty years, have
occupied and peopled the large tract of land beyond the Rocky Mountains.
It may, furthermore, be foreseen that along the whole coast of the
Pacific Ocean, where nature has already formed the most capacious and
secure harbors, important commercial towns will gradually arise for the
furtherance of a great intercourse between China and the East Indies and
the United States. In such a case it would not only be desirable, but
almost necessary, that a more rapid communication should be maintained
between the eastern and western shores of North America, both by
merchant ships and men-of-war, than has hitherto been possible with the
tedious, disagreeable, and expensive voyage round Cape Horn. I therefore
repeat that it is absolutely indispensable for the United States to
effect a passage from the Mexican Gulf to the Pacific Ocean; and I am
certain that they will do it.’”

                   _Foreshadowing of the Germ Theory_

Dr. Samuel Johnson, in a letter to Mrs. Thrale, under date of November
12, 1781, in the course of a sympathetic reference to a friend of theirs
who was suffering from dysentery, expressed the opinion that the
specific cause of that disease, one of the oldest of which we have any
record, was an amœba or animalcule. He says, “If Mr. B—— will drink a
great deal of water, the acrimony that corrodes his bowels will be
diluted, if the cause be only acrimony; but I suspect dysenteries to be
produced by animalculæ which I know not how to kill.” Long before
Johnson’s time, Morgagni’s investigations had shown the character of the
inflammation of the lower intestines, but that a century before the
revelation of pathogenic micro-organisms Johnson should have suspected
causal relations between amœboid cells and an infectious disease is very
curious. Even the term he employed is used in classification, as of the
two forms of dysentery which are recognized, one is known as amœbic, and
the other as bacillary.

                            _The Telephone_

More than two centuries ago, Robert Hooke, in the preface to his
“Micrographia,” said,—

“And as glasses have highly promoted our seeing, so ’tis not improbable
but that there may be found many mechanical inventions to improve our
other senses, of hearing, smelling, tasting, touching. ’Tis not
impossible to hear a whisper at a furlong’s distance, it having been
already done; and perhaps the nature of the thing would not make it more
impossible, though that furlong should be ten times multiplyed. And
though some famous authors have affirmed it impossible to hear through
the thinnest plate of Muscovy glass; yet I know a way by which ’tis
easie enough to hear one speak through a wall a yard thick. It has not
been yet thoroughly examin’d how far Otocousticons may be improv’d, nor
what other ways there may be of quick’ning our hearing, or conveying
sound through other bodies then [than] the air: for that is not the only
medium. _I can assure the reader, that I have, by the help of a
distended wire propagated the sound to a very considerable distance in
an instant, or with as seemingly quick a motion as that of light_, at
least incomparably swifter then [than] that which at the same time was
propagated through the air; and this not only in a straight line, or
direct, but in one bended in many angles.”


A curious little book has been dug from out the dust of two centuries,
and has been partially republished by the German newspapers for the
purpose of proving that there is nothing new under the sun. The little
book is entitled “Foolish Wisdom and Wise Foolishness,” and was written
by an old-fashioned German political economist named Becher. At the time
of its publication the book was regarded as something of a Munchausen
narrative of the author’s travels through Europe. During his wanderings
Becher became acquainted with most of the learned men on the Continent,
and acquired much information concerning the scientific work of his day.
He describes crude conceptions of the phonograph and the telephone by a
Nuremburg optician named Fraur Gründler. He gives foreshadowings of an
air-gun, aërial navigation, a universal language like Volapuk, and other
things which would have gladdened Wendell Phillips when he was preparing
his famous lecture on “The Lost Arts.”

During his tour of inquiry Becher discovered that in several regions
outside of Germany many men had learned “to write down what others said,
with wonderful rapidity, by means of strange characters.” “Englishmen
have discovered a kind of tachygraphy,” he explains, “or an art which
enables them to write as rapidly as the fastest speakers can talk. They
have brought this wonderful art to such a degree of perfection that
young persons often write out full sermons without a mistake. Orations
in Parliament can be written out by this means as rapidly as they are
delivered, which I regard as a very useful invention.” So much for
stenography two centuries ago.

                       _The Great Fire of London_

The ever-memorable fire which destroyed fifteen of the twenty-six wards
of the city of London, an area of four hundred and thirty-six acres,
broke out at two o’clock on Sunday morning, September 2, 1666. On the
preceding Friday London was forewarned of this calamity by a Quaker from
Huntingdon, named Thomas Ibbott. Entering London on horseback, he
dismounted and turned his horse loose; then, unbuttoning his garments,
he ran about the streets, scattering his money and crying out, “So
should they run up and down scattering their goods, half-undressed, like
mad people, as he was a sign to them,”—a prediction to which no
attention was paid at the time, but which was verified during the four
days’ conflagration.

                         _The Plague of London_

Astrology, with its terrestrial theory of the heavens, its belief in
planetary influences upon the earth and its inhabitants, and the
arbitrary signification it gave to the astral bodies, singly or in
conjunction, was largely concerned with the propagation of superstition.
It accounted for and predicted the great plague of London, in 1665, by a
conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Sagittarius on the 10th of October,
and a conjunction of Saturn and Mars in the same sign on the 12th of
November. It took no note of the real causes of that and all other
pestilences,—accumulation of sewage and filth, contamination of air and
water, effluvia from putrefactive matter, noxious gases, soil
exhalations, and overcrowding of man and beast. If, however, in his
dealings with simple unsupported superstition the astrologer failed in
his reasoning and his conclusions, we must credit him with laborious
attempts to find some rationale.

                           _The Reformation_

An instance of a dying man punning upon his own name is furnished in the
case of John Huss, the Bohemian Reformer. Huss was burned at the stake,
in Constance, July 6, 1415, the anniversary of his birth. Shortly before
he was overcome by the heat of the flames, he said, “It is thus that you
silence the _goose_ (huss = a goose), but a hundred years hence there
will arise a _swan_ whose singing you shall not be able to silence.” On
November 10, 1483, was born Martin Luther, who is generally regarded,
and rightly so, as having fulfilled this remarkable prophecy to the


The following lines, prophetic of our Civil War, were written in 1850 by
James Russell Lowell, in his “Capture of Certain Fugitive Slaves near

    “Out from the land of bondage ’tis decreed our slaves shall go,
    And signs to us are offered as erst to Pharaoh;
    If we are blind, their exodus, like Israel’s of yore,
    Through a Red Sea, is doomed to be, whose surges are of gore.”

                        _The French Revolution_

In the “Memoirs of Madame Du Barry” is the following anecdote:

“The duchess (de Grammont) related that one evening, when M. de Carotte
was at a large party, of which she made one, he was requested to consult
the planets and make known what would be the destiny of the persons
assembled there. This he evaded by every possible pretext, until,
finding they would take no excuse, he declared that, of the whole of the
company then before him, not one would escape a violent and public
death, from which not even the king and queen would be exempt.”

                            _The White Lady_

The cholera was raging in Bavaria; several of the small mountain
villages had been depopulated. King Ludwig, Queen Therese, and the Court
remained at Aschaffenburg, as the pestilence was peculiarly fatal at
Munich, a place Queen Therese disliked very much, when, unexpectedly,
either on account of some state ceremonial or from one of his usual fits
of restlessness, Ludwig announced that the Court would return to Munich
in three days. On the evening before they started, the queen and several
of her ladies were sitting in one of her apartments in the palace, the
last but one of the suite. She was in low spirits, and all were unhappy
at the prospect of the return to Munich. It was a warm summer evening,
drawing towards dusk. Presently a lady, dressed in white, came into the
room, and, making a slight reverence to the queen, passed on into the
inner room, which opened from the one in which they were sitting. A few
moments after she had passed it struck all present that they did not
recognize her; also, that none of the other ladies on that day were
wearing white dresses. The queen and some others arose from their seats
and went into the room to see whom it might be, and found it empty!
There was no mode of egress except the door by which they had entered,
and the room was on the second story, so that no one could have got out
of the window. Suddenly all felt that it must have been “the White
Lady,” whose visit is believed to foretell the death of one of the
Bavarian royal family, and some of the ladies fainted. The court went to
Munich on the next day, according to appointment, and three days after
Queen Therese died of cholera.

                          MISCELLANEA CURIOSA

                _Loyalty to Prince, Disloyalty to Self_

A case of disinterested generosity and moral delinquency without a
parallel is that recorded of a Scotch peasant, who sheltered the
Pretender, Prince Charles Edward, after his defeat at Culloden Moor, in
1746, when the price of thirty thousand pounds was set upon his head,
and who was afterwards hung for stealing a cow!

                          _Singular Expedient_

A strange story is that related in a paper on “English and Irish
Juries,” in _All the Year Round_. The presiding judge in the case, Sir
James Dyce, chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas, astonished at
the verdict of acquittal in so plain a case, sought an interview with
the foreman, who, having previously obtained a promise of secrecy during
his lifetime, confessed that he had killed the man in a struggle in
self-defence, and said that he had caused himself to be placed on the
jury in order to insure his acquittal.

                    _Queer Parliamentary Enactment_

When the bill was in Parliament for building the famous bridge at
Gloucester, there was a clause enacting that the commissioners should
meet on the _first Monday_ in every month, “except the same should fall
on Christmas day, Ash Wednesday, or Good Friday.” The blunder as to the
last two is palpable, and a moment’s reflection would show that
Christmas Day can never fall on the first Monday of the month. The
mistake passed unobserved, and still stands in the Act.

                     _Bolingbroke’s Favorite Desk_

Among the satirical prints brought out in connection with the famous
Treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, was a picture in which was represented what
was said to be a very remarkable incident in the life of Lord
Bolingbroke. In this picture he is seen sitting up in bed in a sort of
dressing-gown. Leaning over the bed is a female as scantily attired as a
Venus, and upon that part of her figure from which the Venus Callipyge
took her name, Bolingbroke is signing a paper. This incident furnishes a
strange picture of the manners of the times and of the recklessness of

                           _Fourth of March_

Several years ago an English journal, _The Owl_, published the following
singular paragraph:

“It is not perhaps generally known to our readers that the reason which
the founders of the American republic had for selecting the fourth of
March for the inauguration of their President, was to avoid the
occurrence of a _dies non_ by the incidence of that date on a Sunday. By
calculation it was ascertained that for many hundreds of years the
quadrennial recurrence of that day in the year of election invariably
falls on a week day.”

In the face of this absurdly incorrect statement, and before it was
written, the fourth of March fell twice on Sunday,—in 1821 and in
1849,—so that Monroe’s second inauguration and General Taylor’s
inauguration each took place on Monday, March 5.

                              _The Powwow_

The mysterious performance known as the powwow among the North American
aborigines dates back to time immemorial. David Brainerd says, in his
Indian Narrative, “At a distance, with my Bible in my hand, I was
resolved if possible to spoil their spirit of powwowing, and prevent
their receiving an answer from the infernal world.” Elsewhere, speaking
of the Delaware Indians and their medicine men, he says, “They are much
awed by those among themselves who are called powwowers, who are
supposed to have a power of enchanting or poisoning them to death.” The
Esquimaux also have a sorcerer or diviner who conjures over the sick.
Dr. Kane, in his “Arctic Explorations,” says of this Angekok, as he is
called, that “he is the general counsellor who prescribes or powwows in
sickness and over wounds, directs the policy of the little state, and is
really the power behind the throne.”

                        _The Flowering Dogwood_

A correspondent wrote to the New York _Sun_ urging the claims of the
dogwood flower (_Cornus florida_) to be chosen as the national flower,
and in support of the claims told the following story:

“A British army was marching upon Washington’s camp, expecting to find
him with a small force. In the distance, about where they expected to
find the camp, the British scouts saw a hill covered with dogwood trees
in blossom. They mistook the trees for tents, and returned with the
report that Washington’s army was so large that its tents whitened the
hills. The British were not prepared to meet a large army, and so
retired, leaving Washington and his little army in peace.”

                        _Offensiveness Punished_

The following story of the Paris Commune was vouched for by an English
spectator: “As several Versaillese were being led away to be shot, one
man in the crowd that accompanied them to see the shooting made himself
conspicuous by taunting and reviling the prisoners. ‘There, confound
you,’ said one of the prisoners at last, ‘don’t you try to get out of it
by edging off into the crowd and pretending you are one of them. Come
back here; the game is up; let us all die together;’ and the crowd was
so persuaded that the communard’s vehemence was only assumed to cloak
his escape that he was marched into file with the prisoners and duly

                      _Ropes made of Women’s Hair_

Speaking before a meeting of the Methodist ministers, Bishop Fowler told
of a new heathen temple in the northern part of Japan. It was of
enormous size, and the timbers for the temple from their mountain homes
were hauled up to the temple and put in place by ropes made from the
hair of the women of the province. An edict went forth calling for the
long hair of the women of the province, and two ropes were made from
these tresses—one seventeen inches in circumference and fourteen hundred
feet long, and the other ten to eleven inches around and two thousand
six hundred feet long.

                         _Premonitory Caution_

          We find it written of Simonides
            That travelling in strange countries once he found
            A corpse that lay expiring on the ground,
          For which, with pain, he caused due obsequies
          To be performed, and paid all holy fees.
            Soon after, this man’s Ghost unto him came
            And told him not to sail, as was his aim,
          On board a ship then ready for the seas.
            Simonides, admonished by the Ghost,
          Remained behind; the ship the following day
            Set sail, was wrecked, and all on board was lost.
          Thus was the tenderest Poet that could be,
            Who sang in ancient Greece his loving lay,
          Saved out of many by his piety.


“To paint cuirassiers,” said Meissonier, “I must needs see them.” He
accordingly took a dozen of this corps to his country home, where they
were required to charge down the park every morning, but the evolution
did not last long, and, before the artist had sketched an outline of the
group, the gallant fellows were out of sight. “You must follow them by
train,” said a friend. No sooner said than done. An engineer was
summoned, rails were laid down, rolling stock purchased, and for several
weeks Meissonier accompanied the charge of his models by train. But it
was summer, and historical accuracy required that the cuirassiers should
dash over snowy ground. Thousands of bushels of flour were then laid
down in the park, and the cuirassiers as they charged became enveloped
in clouds of farina. The illusion was complete, the studies admirable,
and the finished picture sold.

                      _He couldn’t have shot him_

Mr. William Hemphill Jones, formerly Deputy Comptroller of the Treasury,
was the man to whom General Dix telegraphed, “If any one attempts to
haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot.” The order was
grand, but it becomes almost ridiculous when you see the amiable
gentleman to whom it was sent, and imagine him receiving it alone and
unarmed, as a treasury clerk sent to New Orleans on public business, and
surrounded by an infuriated mob. Never was a man more powerless to obey
an order.

                           _Cromwell’s Grace_

Oliver Cromwell usually said the following grace before meals: “Some
people have food, but no appetite; others have an appetite, but no food.
I have both. The Lord be praised!” or words to this effect.

Burns’s version, which he calls the Selkirk grace, is as follows:

                   “Some hae meat and canna eat,
                       And some wad eat that want it;
                   But we hae meat and we can eat,
                       And sae the Lord be thankit.”

                           _The Ocean Depths_

The greatest depths known of the sea is in the South Atlantic Ocean,
midway between the island of Tristan d’Acunha and the mouth of the Rio
de la Plata. The bottom was there reached at a depth of 40,236 feet, or
eight and three-quarter miles, exceeding by more than 17,000 feet the
height of Mount Everest, the loftiest mountain in the world. In the
North Atlantic Ocean, south of Newfoundland, soundings have been made to
a depth of 4580 fathoms, or 27,480 feet, while depths equalling 34,000
feet, or six and a half miles, are reported south of the Bermuda
Islands. The average depth of the Pacific Ocean between Japan and
California is a little over 2000 fathoms; between Chili and the Sandwich
Islands, 2500 fathoms; and between Chili and New Zealand, 1500 fathoms.
The average depth of all the oceans is from 2000 to 2500 fathoms.

                           _Pleasant Reading_

The late Abraham Hayward, distinguished in his time as a man of letters,
was instrumental in making public the fact that Lord Beaconsfield, in
his speech on the Duke of Wellington’s death, had cribbed from M. Thiers
a considerable part of his eulogium. On the night when this discovery
was first unfolded, in the London _Globe_, Mrs. Disraeli, unconscious of
the coming storm, went out to a party, and, entering the room, announced
in loud tones, proud of her lord’s new honor, “I left the Chancellor of
the Exchequer reading the evening paper.” “Oh, what delightful reading
he will find in it!” responded a malicious Whig peer.

               _Bismarck in the Language of the Spirits_

On the eve of the Franco-German War, Napoleon III., as superstitious a
man as his uncle, was present at a table-turning seance at the
Tuileries, when a courtier, expecting doubtless some fulsome bit of
flattery from the oracle, asked the question, “Who is to be the victor
in this war?”

Two sharp raps were the immediate answer, but no one present could
interpret them in accordance with the usual code of signs. A second time
the inquiry was made and received the same distinct reply, to the
emperor’s evident displeasure.

At last when a third trial had brought the same persistent result, he
could stand the experiment no longer, and, with an irritated “What can a
double rap signify but _bis-mark_?” he left the room.

                       _The Age of Niagara Falls_

The last word on this much-discussed subject, which is of great geologic
importance, because the falls have been made to serve as a sort of
standard by which all geologic time is measured, comes from J. W.
Spencer, who concludes from the measured rate of recession during
forty-eight years, together with other geologic data not usually taken
into account, that the falls are thirty-one thousand years old, and the
river thirty-two thousand; also that the Huron drainage was turned into
Lake Erie less than eight thousand years ago. He thinks that the lake
epoch began fifty thousand or sixty thousand years ago, and that the
falls have about five thousand years more to live, at the end of which
time the lake waters will discharge into the Mississippi.

                    _Tools of the Pyramid Builders_

Mr. Petrie’s researches at Gizeh show that the Egyptian stone-workers,
four thousand years ago, had a surprising acquaintance with what have
been considered modern tools. Among the many tools used by the
pyramid-builders were both solid and tubular drills and straight and
circular saws. The drills, like those of the present time, were set with
jewels (probably corundum, as the diamond was very scarce), and even
lathe-tools had such cutting edges. So remarkable was the quality of the
tubular drills and the skill of the workmen that the cutting marks in
hard granite give no indication of wear of the tool, while a cut of a
tenth of an inch was made in the hardest rock at each revolution, and a
hole through both the hardest and softest material was bored perfectly
smooth and uniform throughout.

                           _A Distant World_

It is impossible for the finite mind to comprehend the vastness of the
spaces that separate us from the stars, even from those that are
nearest. Some idea of our marvellous distance from Sirius, the nearest
fixed star, and which shines brightest in the heavens, is given by this
illustration. A scientific writer says that if people on the star Sirius
have telescopes powerful enough to distinguish objects on our planet,
and are looking at it now, they are witnessing the destruction of
Jerusalem, which took place more than eighteen hundred years ago. The
reason of this is that the light which the world reflects, travelling as
it does at the rate of one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per
second, would take over eighteen centuries to reach the nearest fixed

                           _A Matter of Form_

The following is a brief extract from a law paper, for the full
understanding of which it has to be kept in view that the pleader, being
an officer of the law, who has been prevented from executing his warrant
by threats, is required, as a matter of form, to swear that he was
really afraid that the threat would be carried into execution:

“Farther depones, that the said A. B. said that if deponent did not
immediately take himself off he would pitch him (the deponent) down
stairs,—which the deponent verily believes he would have done.

“Farther depones, that, time and place aforesaid, the said A. B. said to
deponent, ‘If you come another step nearer, I’ll kick you to
hell,’—which the deponent verily believes he would have done.”

                             _Sweet Auburn_

Thousands of American tourists, while in London, stand reverentially
beside the grave of Oliver Goldsmith in the old burial ground of the
Temple, or curiously examine the room in Wine Office Court in which he
wrote the “Vicar of Wakefield.” But how many of all these thousands have
ever visited the _locale_ of the “Deserted Village?” Lissoy, the Auburn
of the poet, is on the road that runs from Athlone to Ballymahon, not
more than fifty or sixty miles west of Dublin, yet there is nothing in
Westmeath to attract strangers. The general impression is that when the
“one only master,” General Napier, grasped the whole domain, and
dispossessed and removed the _cottiers_ to make room for his projected
improvements, the village was dismantled and effaced. It is said,
however, that a descendant of General Napier afterwards did something in
the way of restoration. Be this as it may, the ruined walls of the
alehouse, the “busy mill,” and the “decent church” on the hill are still

                      _Importance of Punctuation_

The dowager Czarina is a great favorite in Russia. Among other stories
illustrating her character is this: She saw on her husband’s table a
document regarding a political prisoner. On the margin Alexander III.
had written, “Pardon impossible; to be sent to Siberia.” The Czarina
took up the pen and, striking out the semicolon after “impossible,” put
it before the word. Then the indorsement read, “Pardon; impossible to be
sent to Siberia.” The Czar let it stand.

                            _Bottled Tears_

In Persia the past and the present are linked by the belief that human
tears are a remedy for certain chronic diseases. At every funeral the
bottling of mourners’ tears forms a prominent feature of the ceremonies.
Every mourner is presented with a sponge with which to mop off the
cheeks and eyes, and after the burial the moistened sponges are
presented to the priest who squeezes the tears into bottles which he
keeps for curative purposes. This is one of the most ancient of the
Eastern customs; it is referred to in the eighth verse of the
fifty-sixth Psalm, where David says, “put thou my tears into thy
bottle;” and according to the testimony of a physician recently returned
from a visit to Persia, the custom is still practised by the Persians as
it was thousands of years ago.

                            _As you read it_

It is said that a professed atheist once had a motto on one of his walls
bearing the words “God is Nowhere.” His little daughter, just beginning
to read, came into the room and began to spell, “G-o-d God, I-s Is,
N-o-w Now, H-e-r-e Here—God is now here.” The father was at once aroused
and excited. We do not ask which was right, but notice that the meaning
depends on how you read, and the possible meanings are as opposite as
the poles.

                        _A Story of Witchcraft_

When Lord Chief Justice Holt presided in the Court of King’s Bench
(1690), a poor decrepit old woman was brought before him charged with
witchcraft. “What is the proof?” asked his lordship. “She has a powerful
spell,” answered the prosecutor. “Let me see it.” The “spell” was handed
up to the bench. It proved to be a small ball of variously colored rags
of silk, bound with threads of as many different hues. These were
unwound and unfolded, until there was revealed a scrap of parchment, on
which were written certain characters now nearly illegible from constant
use. “Is this the spell?” asked the judge. The prosecutor replied that
it was. After attentive scrutiny of the charm, the judge, turning to the
old creature, said, “Prisoner, how came you by this?” “A young
gentleman, my lord, gave it to me to cure my child’s ague.” “How long
since?” “Thirty years, my lord.” “And did it cure the child?” “Oh, yes,
sir; and many others.” “I am glad of it.” The judge paused a few
moments, and then addressed the jury as follows: “Gentlemen of the jury,
thirty years ago, I and some companions, as thoughtless as myself, went
to this woman’s place, then a public house, and, after enjoying
ourselves, found we had no means to discharge the reckoning. I had
recourse to a stratagem. Observing a child ill of an ague, I pretended I
had a spell to cure her. I wrote the classic line you see on that scrap
of parchment, and was discharged of the demand on me by the gratitude of
the poor woman before us for the supposed benefit.”

                       _Circumstantial Evidence_

At a table-d’hôte at Ludwigsburg one of the company showed a very rare
gold coin, which was passed around for inspection. After conjectures as
to its origin and value, conversation drifted to other subjects, and the
coin was temporarily forgotten. After awhile, the owner asked for it,
and to the surprise of all, it was not to be found. A gentleman sitting
at the foot of the table was observed to be in much agitation, and as
his embarrassment seemed to increase with the continuance of the search
the company was about to propose a very disagreeable measure, when
suddenly a waiter entered the room, saying, “Here is the coin; it was
found in one of the finger-glasses.” The relief to all was manifest, and
now the suspected stranger broke his silence thus: “None of you can
rejoice more than myself at the recovery of the coin, for I have been
placed in a painful situation. By a singular coincidence I have a
duplicate of the very same coin in my purse (here showing it to the
company). The idea that on the personal search which would probably be
proposed I would be taken for the purloiner of the coin, added to the
fact that I am a stranger here, with no one to vouch for my integrity,
was distracting. The honesty of the servants, with a lucky accident, has
saved my honor.” The friendly congratulations of the company soon
effaced the unpleasant effect of their unwarranted suspicions.

                      _A Little Beggar’s Charity_

A touching little begging story with a good moral is told by the
Pittsburg _Telegraph_. A young man who had been on a three days’ debauch
wandered into the office room of a hotel, where he was well known, sat
down, and stared moodily into the street. Presently a little girl of
about ten years came in and looked timidly about the room. She was
dressed in rags, but she had a sweet, intelligent face that could
scarcely fail to excite sympathy. There were five persons in the room,
and she went to each begging. One gentleman gave her a five-cent piece,
and she then went to the gentleman spoken of and asked him for a penny,
adding: “I haven’t had anything to eat for a whole day.” The gentleman
was out of humor, and he said, crossly: “Don’t bother me; go away! I
haven’t had anything to eat for three days.” The child opened her eyes
in shy wonder and stared at him a moment, and then walked slowly towards
the door. She turned the knob, and then after hesitating a few seconds,
walked up to him, and gently laying the five cents she had received on
his knee, said with a tone of true girlish pity in her voice, “If you
haven’t had anything to eat for three days, you take this and go and buy
some bread. Perhaps I can get some more somewhere.” The young fellow
blushed to the roots of his hair, and lifted the Sister of Charity in
his arms, kissed her two or three times in delight. Then he took her to
the persons in the room, and to those in the corridors and in the
office, and told the story and asked contributions, giving himself all
the money he had with him. He succeeded in raising over forty dollars
and sent the little one on her way rejoicing.

                              _Jack Sprat_

Enthusiasts in folk-lore have undertaken to prove that subtle allegories
or abstruse theological dogmas are the basis of popular tales. That in
the celebrated story of Jack Sprat, for example, it is possible to
discern an emblem of a rapacious clergy and an equally greedy
aristocracy devouring the substance of the commons.

                        _Franklin’s Brown Coat_

When Benjamin Franklin, as minister to France, was formally presented to
Louis XVI., he gained admiration for republican simplicity by appearing
in a plain, ordinary suit. But when Nathaniel Hawthorne made the
discovery that Franklin’s tailor had disappointed him of the
gold-embroidered court costume he had ordered, simple-minded republicans
were considerably disconcerted.

                          _Sources of History_

Early in the sixteenth century four Franciscan monks, living in a
monastery in Donegal, compiled from a tangled web of tradition, song,
story, and legend, the annals upon which all subsequent _histories_ of
Ireland have been based.

                             _A Long Name_

Probably the longest name in the world is attached to the daughter of
Arthur Pepper, laundryman. The name of his daughter, born 1883, is Anna
Bertha Cecilia Diana Emily Fanny Gertrude Hypatia Inez Jane Kate Louisa
Maud Nora Ophelia Quince Rebecca Sarah Teresa Ulysses Venus Winifred
Xenophon Yetty Zeus Pepper, one title for every letter of the alphabet.

                             _Hero Worship_

Among the Acul Mountains, in Hayti, there has been found, in an old
house, a bust of Lord Nelson. It is of white marble, somewhat stained by
time and neglect. Nelson is represented in his costume of admiral, and
bears on his breast five decorations. One, in commemoration of the
battle of Aboukir, has the inscription, “Rear Admiral Lord Nelson of the
Nile.” Another medal bears the words, “Almighty God has blessed his
Majesty’s glory!”

This bust, interesting in its artistic and historical association, was
found on an altar devoted to the _fetish_ worship, where for half a
century it has been reverenced as the Deity of the Mountain Streams. The
names of the sculptors were Coale and Lealy, of Lambeth.

Thus for fifty years a bust of an English admiral has been worshipped as
a heathen idol.

                    _Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?_

During the contest over the will of Samuel J. Tilden, himself an eminent
lawyer, it was noted, among some of the failures of great lawyers to
draw wills that will be indisputable, that Baron St. Leonards, Lord High
Chancellor of England, who was the author of treatises on the law of
property, to-day accepted as authorities, wrote a will which was
overthrown by the courts. Intending testators may well wonder wherein
safety and certainty for testamentary bequests may be found.

                              _None Such_

The stone in the Washington Monument contributed by the government of
Switzerland bears this inscription: “This block is from the original
chapel built to William Tell, in 1338, on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, at
the spot where he escaped from Gessler.” Since it was sent here the
Historical Society of Switzerland has demonstrated that no such persons
as Tell and Gessler ever existed.

                           _The Ants’ Habits_

Among the many mistakes prevalent in regard to the habits of animals and
insects is the notion that ants in general gather food in harvest for a
winter’s store. This is quite an error; in the first place, they do not
live on grain, but chiefly on animal food; and in the next place, they
are torpid in winter and do not require food. There is in Poonah a
grain-feeding species which stores up millet seed, but certainly our
ants have no claim to Jane Taylor’s stanza,—

                   “Who taught the little ant the way
                     Its narrow hole to bore,
                   And labor all the summer day
                     To gather winter store?”

                    _Caroline Herschel’s many Years_

The life of Caroline Herschel, one would imagine, was anything but
favorable to long-lasting. Insufficient sleep, irregular and hasty
meals, long fasts, excessive toil, both bodily and mental, were the
conditions of her life—at least, during the fifteen years she was her
brother’s housekeeper and astronomical assistant. A lady who devoted
herself to hard work, one of the necessities of which was that she had
to spend the whole of every starry night, covered with dew or hoar
frost, on a grass-plot in the garden, would not, one would think, be
likely to make old bones. At the age of eighty-two, however, according
to her nephew’s account, she skipped up two flights of stairs and ran
about like a girl of twenty. She died at the age of ninety-eight.

                   _Constitution of the Early Church_

Dean Stanley once remarked that the most learned of all the living
bishops of England (Dr. Lightfoot) has, with his characteristic
moderation and erudition, proved beyond dispute, in a celebrated essay
attached to his edition of “St. Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians,” that
the early council of the Apostolic churches of the first century was not
that of a single bishop, but of a body of pastors indifferently styled
bishops or presbyters, and that it was not till the very end of the
apostolic age that the office which we now call Episcopacy gradually and
surely made its way into the churches of Asia Minor; that Presbytery was
not a later growth out of Episcopacy, but that Episcopacy was a later
growth out of Presbytery; that the office which the apostles instituted
was a kind of rule, not of bishops, but of presbyters; and that even
down to the third century presbyters as well as bishops possessed the
power of nominating and consecrating bishops.

                          “_Home, Sweet Home_”

“Clari; or, The Maid of Milan,” produced in 1823, contains one piece
that is known in every English-speaking country,—“Home, sweet home.”
Clari is a beautiful peasant girl, who has exchanged her father’s lowly
cottage for the splendor of the duke’s palace and become his bride. But
she pines for the simple life she has led, and as she enters, fatigued
and melancholy, she sings this song. The words are by John Howard Payne,
an American, and though the music was called by Bishop a “Sicilian air,”
it is now generally agreed that it was really composed by him. “It is
the song,” says Clari, “of my native village,—the hymn of the lowly
heart, which dwells upon every lip there, and like a spell-word brings
back to its home the affection which e’er has been betrayed to wander
from it. It is the first music heard by infancy in its cradle; and our
cottagers, blending it with all their earliest and tenderest
recollections, never cease to feel its magic till they cease to live.”
The air is heard again during the play; a chorus of villagers sing it
when Clari revisits her home.

About a year before Payne’s death at Tunis, where he was serving as
American Consul, he wrote the following letter:

                                              WASHINGTON, March 3, 1851.

MY DEAR SIR,—It affords me great pleasure to comply with your request
for the words of “Home, Sweet Home.” Surely there is something strange
in the fact that it should have been my lot to cause so many people in
the world to boast of the delights of home, when I never had a home of
my own, and never expect to have one, now—especially since those here at
Washington who possess the power seem so reluctant to allow me the means
of earning one! In the hope that I may again and often have the
gratification of meeting you, believe me, my dear sir,

                                                 Yours, most faithfully,
                                                 JOHN HOWARD PAYNE.


                         _Marriage in Undress_

A century ago the law of Maine obliged a husband to pay all the debts of
his bride in case she brought him any clothing. As outer clothing was
legal property which could be taken for debt, an unfortunate couple who
were deeply in love resorted to the experiment described in the
following certificate of marriage to be found to-day in the ancient
records of Lincoln County:

                      “_Certificate of Marriage._”

From record of return marriages to the Court of Sessions, Lincoln
County, under date of July 7, 1775:

This is to certify that John Gatchell and Sarah Cloutman, both
inhabitants of Kennebec River, a little below Fort Halifax, and out of
the bounds of any town, but within the county of Lincoln, were first
published, as the law directs, at said court and there married; said
Cloutman being in debt was desirous of being married with no more
clothes on her than her shift, which was granted, and they married each
other on the 21st day of November, A.D. 1767.

                                 Attest:      WILLIAM LITHGOW,
                                                     _Justice of Peace_.

                          _A City in Darkness_

The Romans, after they had attained a high culture, when they had filled
their city with noble architecture, sculpture, engineering, monuments,
and other accompaniments of maturity, had no system of street-lightning.
Not a trace of anything of the kind has been discovered. It is referred
to in no extant books. It is, in short, as certain as anything can be,
short of absolute demonstration, that the masters of the world endured
dark streets to the end. They had plenty of good oil-lamps in their
houses. They even invented mechanical lamps, something like the Carcel
burners, for use in their libraries. But after sunset it was always
dangerous to walk the streets of Rome, and the Roman police (who were
called “cops” in the slang of the period) had enough to do. In fact,
they had more than enough to do, for they combined the functions of
policemen and firemen. Rome had a regular body of men, some nine
thousand strong. The police were well treated, if they were worked hard.
Their quarters were palaces of marble and stone; spacious, airy,
furnished with everything which could conduce to the comfort and even
luxury of the inmates. Those old Roman roundsmen and policemen were,
like all the ancient Italians, greatly addicted to scribbling on the
walls. These scribblings, after being buried for twelve or fifteen
hundred years or so, are now being uncovered and deciphered. They are
called graffiti and from them many intimate details of the old life may
be gathered. The police of ancient Rome were very human. They set down
their complaints and their opinions of their captains and
superintendents, their poor jokes (funny enough to them, no doubt) and
all their little affairs.

                       _The Graffiti at Pompeii_

August Mau, of the German Archæological Institute in Rome, says, “The
graffiti form the largest division of the Pompeiian inscriptions,
comprising about three thousand examples, or one-half of the entire
number; the name is Italian, being derived from a verb meaning to
scratch. Writing upon walls was a prevalent habit in antiquity, as shown
by the remains of graffiti at Rome and other places besides Pompeii, a
habit which may be accounted for in part by the use of the sharp-pointed
stylus with wax tablets; the temptation to use such an instrument upon
the polished stucco was much greater than in the case of pens and
lead-pencils upon the less carefully finished wall surfaces of our time.
Pillars or sections of wall are covered with scratches of all
kinds,—names, catchwords of favorite lines from the poets, amatory
couplets, and rough sketches, such as a ship, or the profile of a face.
The skit occasionally found on walls to-day,—

                   “‘Fools’ names, as well as faces,
                   Are often seen in public places,’—

has its counterpart in a couplet which has been preserved:

              “‘Admiror, paries, te non cecidisse ruinas,
                Qui tot scriptorum taedia sustineas.’

     (Truly ’tis wonderful, wall, that you have not fallen in ruin;
     You that have to support so many nauseous scribblings.)

“Taken as a whole, the graffiti are less fertile for our knowledge of
Pompeiian life than might have been expected. The people with whom we
should most eagerly desire to come into direct contact, the cultivated
men and women of the ancient city, were not accustomed to scratch their
names upon stucco or to confide their reflections and experiences to the
surface of a wall. Some of the graffiti, to judge from the height at
which we find them above the floor, were undoubtedly made by the hands
of boys and girls; for the rest, we may assume that the writers were as
little representative of the best elements of society as are the
tourists who scratch their names upon ancient monuments to-day.
Nevertheless, we gain from these scribblings a lively idea of individual
tastes, passions, and experiences.”

Here and there in the collection we find imitations of the jests of
Hierocles, and sometimes we are amused by inconsistencies and
contradictions which remind us of the modern Hibernicism. Of this
character is a Greek line scratched upon a wall on the Palatine hill in
Rome: “Many persons have here written many things; I alone refrain from


As to the amusing superstitions we so often witness in people of
intelligence and impressible nature, the question, even for those who
indulge in such fancies, is not whether they are reasonable. Lord Byron
would not commence an undertaking of any kind on Friday. But even Byron,
with his remarkable sensitiveness to impressions, and his habit of
brooding over the mysteries of life, would not venture to assert that
such conduct is reasonable. The “Autocrat of the Breakfast Table” says,
“Jeremy Bentham’s logic, by which he proved he couldn’t possibly see a
ghost, is all very well—in the daytime. All the reason in the world will
never get impressions of childhood out of a man’s head.” Elsewhere, Dr.
Holmes says, “We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our
tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. You cannot
educate a man wholly out of the superstitious fears which were early
implanted in his imagination; no matter how utterly his reason may
reject them, he will still feel as a famous French woman did about
ghosts, ‘Je n’y crois pas; mais je les crains,’—‘I don’t believe in
them; but I am afraid of them, nevertheless.’”

                           _An Itemized Bill_

An old church in Belgium decided to repair its properties and employed
an artist to touch up some of its old paintings. Upon presenting his
bill, the committee in charge refused payment unless the details were
specified, whereupon he presented the items as follows:

 To correcting Ten Commandments                                     3.12

 Embellishing Pontius Pilate and putting new ribbon on his hat      3.02

 Putting new tail on rooster of St. Peter and mending his coat      3.20

 Repluming and regilding wing of Guardian angel                     5.18

 Washing servant of high priest and putting carmine on his cheeks   5.02

 Renewing heaven, adjusting the stars, and cleaning up the moon     7.14

 Touching up Purgatory and restoring lost souls                     3.06

 Taking spots off son of Tobias                                     1.30

 Putting ear-rings in Sarah’s ears                                  1.31

 Brightening up flames of hell, putting new tail on the devil,
   cleaning left hoof, and doing several odd jobs for the damned    7.17

 Rebordering the Robes of Herod and adjusting his wig               4.00

 Cleaning Balaam’s ass and putting new shoes on him                 1.70

 Putting new stone in David’s sling, enlarging head of Goliath,
   and extending Saul’s Leg                                         6.18

 Decorating Noah’s ark and putting new head on Shem                 4.31

 Mending shirt of prodigal son and cleaning his ear                 3.39


                               Total                               59.10

                         _Latin Pronunciation_

A French savant, M. Garaud, has just published a book which professes to
settle the vexed question of pronunciation of Latin by the ancient
Romans. He says: “The patois of Pamiers, in the Department of Ariège, is
nothing else than Latin exiled on the borders of the Ariège. It has been
brought there with its original pronunciation and accentuation. Without
the aid of any book the ear has sufficed to preserve its first form and
intonation after eighteen centuries’ use. The most delicate inflections
of the voice have been kept. Thanks to the instinct of harmony and the
love of sonority, Latin pronunciation has been exactly transmitted to

                     _Prevention better than Cure_

We learn from the parish records of Oberammergau that when the plague of
1633 was sweeping the by-ways of the Bavarian Tyrol, eighteen peasants
met together and vowed that if the plague were stayed they would, once
in ten years, present in living pictures the Passion of Christ. That vow
has been faithfully kept. On Fish Street Hill, in London, where the
great fire of 1666 started, the citizens erected a commemorative
monument as an expression of their gratitude that the fire had destroyed
the last vestige of the pestilence which, in the course of a few months,
had carried off sixty-eight thousand five hundred and ninety-six of the
inhabitants of the metropolis. We who live in an age of broader
enlightenment have learned that the line of practical beneficence leads
to prophylaxis rather than to religious vows or sacrificial offerings,
and points to higher promise and larger performance. We, too, are
building a monument, but it will be more enduring than stone or bronze,
and will immortalize its trust in one word, SANITATION.


                             _The Old Cock_

Many years ago the only inn at Keswick was called the “Cock,” and was
much frequented by the visitors to the Lake district. But the late
excellent Bishop of Llandaff, Dr. Richard Watson, happening to reside in
the neighborhood, and being universally esteemed and loved, the
landlord, out of compliment to his lordship, changed his sign to the
“Bishop’s Head.” Another inn was shortly after opened in the village,
and the proprietor selected the “Cock” as his sign. The landlord of the
old inn, finding that the rival establishment, owing to its name,
threatened to deprive him of many of his customers, in consequence of
the guide-books recommending the “Cock” as the best inn, wrote under the
bishop’s head at his door, “This is the original Old Cock,” to the great
amusement of the bishop, who used to relate the story with much glee.

                           _Already had One_

The following story is told by General Harry Heth: “One day General
Gordon and I were ordered to attack General Grant’s lines near
Petersburg, and we accordingly moved out toward the front. Gordon, you
know, was a preacher, and a man of pious devotional habits. Just before
the action began, he said, ‘General, before we go into action, would it
not be well to engage in prayer?’ ‘Certainly,’ I replied, and he and his
staff retired into a little building by the roadside, and I and my staff
prepared to follow. Just then I caught sight of my brother, who was with
some artillery a little way down the road, and, thinking to have him
join us, I called out to him by name. ‘Come,’ said I, pointing to the
building we were just entering. ‘No, thank you,’ he answered, ‘I have
just had one.’”

                               _Ask Papa_

A stanza went the rounds among the public men of Washington, the
authorship of which, from the fact that it was first heard among
senators and cabinet officers, is credited to various statesmen.
Secretary Shaw recited it at a cabinet meeting, and was said to be its
author, but he disclaimed the honor. It is:

                  “‘Go ask papa,’ the maiden said,
                  The young man knew papa was dead;
                  He knew the life papa had led;
                  He understood when the maiden said,
                          ‘Go ask papa.’”

                               _Too Mild_

When his friends secured for him a commission in the army they
confidently expected him to develop a military genius of the first

Great was their chagrin, then, when, in the thick of his first battle, a
courier having dashed up and asked him how long he could hold his
position, he did not reply:

“Till hell freezes over!”

But merely:

“As long as may be necessary!”

Now, of course, there was nothing for his friends to do, in simple
justice to themselves, but advise him to resign and engage in trade.

                          _The Eye of the Fly_

Sydney Smith jokes have a delicate flavor of age, but an anecdote in
“Memories of Half a Century” has not been told so often as some of the
classic tales. Sydney was a guest at the dinner of an archdeacon, and a
fellow-guest, whose hobby was natural history, was a bore, if once
started on his subject. Smith promised to try to keep him in check. The
naturalist got his opening.

“Mr. Archdeacon,” said he, “have you seen the pamphlet written by my
friend, Professor Dickenson, on the remarkable size of the eye in a
common housefly?”

The archdeacon courteously said he had not. The bore pursued his

“I can assure you it is a most interesting pamphlet, setting forth
particulars, hitherto unobserved, as to the unusual size of that eye.”

“I deny the fact!” said a voice from the other end of the table. All
smiled, save the bore.

“You deny the fact, sir?” said he. “May I ask on what authority you
condemn the investigations of my most learned friend?”

“I deny the fact,” replied Smith, “and I base my denial on evidence
wedded to immortal verse well known to every scholar, at least, at this

The emphasis laid on scholar nettled the naturalist by its implication.
“Well, sir,” he said, “will you have the kindness to quote your

“I will, sir. The evidence is those well known, I may say immortal,

                         “‘Who saw him die?’
                         ‘I,’ said the fly,
                         ‘With my little eye!’”

The guests roared, and during the rest of the dinner nothing further was
heard on the subject of natural history.

                              _Yale’s Way_

Once when President Dwight was at the head of Yale he was asked to lead
in prayer at some religious gathering in Boston. Among his hearers was
President Eliot, of Harvard. President Dwight ended his supplication by
repeating the Lord’s Prayer, and spoke a certain part of it as follows:
“Thy will be done in heaven as it is on earth.” At the close of the
meeting President Eliot, of Harvard, was greeted by a friend, who said,
“Dwight seemed a little lame on the Lord’s Prayer. He put earth ahead of
heaven. Did you notice it?” “Yes,” replied Eliot, “but I didn’t pay any
attention to it. That’s the way they are taught to say it down at New


A canard, meaning in French, a duck, has come to mean in English a hoax
or fabricated newspaper story. Its origin is amusing. About fifty years
ago a French journalist contributed to the French press an experiment,
of which he declared himself to have been the author. Twenty ducks were
placed together, and one of them, having been cut up into very small
pieces, was gluttonously gobbled up by the other nineteen. Another bird
was then sacrificed for the remainder, and so on, until one duck was
left, which thus contained in its inside the other nineteen! This the
journalist ate. The story caught on, and was copied into all the
newspapers of Europe.

                       _Sothern’s Practical Joke_

A Dublin paper relates, as follows, one of the practical jokes of Edward
A. Sothern, the comedian: He called upon an undertaker one day, and
ordered, on a most elaborate scale, all that was necessary for a
funeral. Before the preparations could have gone far, he reappeared with
great solicitude to ask how they were progressing. Again, at a brief
interval, he presented himself, with an anxious face, to inquire when he
could count upon possession of the body—a question which naturally
amazed the undertaker, who was at a loss to discover his meaning. “Of
course, you provide the body,” said Sothern. “The body?” cried the
undertaker. “Why, do you not say,” exclaimed the actor, exhibiting a
card of the shop, “‘All things necessary for funerals promptly
supplied?’ Is not a body the first necessity?”

                         _High Art Advertising_

That German tradesmen are rapidly rising to the higher flights of the
advertising art is shown by the following ingenious paragraphs from the
advertisements in the _Berliner Tageblatt_ and the _Wiener
Vorstadt-Zeitung_: “A German Knightly landowner wishes to find a female
life-companion who resembles, externally as well as in character, the
heroine of Sacher-Masoch’s novel, ‘Frau von Soldan,’ published in the
April number of _Auf der Höhe_, by E. L. Morgenstern, Leipzig. Address
Karl Egger, Beiderwiese, near Passau.” An enterprising Viennese tailor
has hit upon this: “How to become a houseowner: Quite lately a gentleman
made his fortune on the Weiden in an astonishing and absolutely original
manner. At my shop he purchased a morning suit for ten florins, a dress
suit for nineteen florins, a pair of summer trousers for three florins,
and a complete costume for his little son at the low figure of three
florins and a half. Having reflected that, had he bought these articles
in any other shop, he would have been obliged to pay at least twenty
florins more for them, he resolved to invest his savings to that amount
in a ticket for the Crown Prince Rudolph Lottery. At the next drawing
his number came out the first prize of twenty thousand florins, which
sum this lucky person forthwith invested in a comfortable mansion. Thus,
through dealing at my establishment, he became a houseowner and a
wealthy man.”

                      _An Admissible Explanation_

The late Dr. Yandell was fond of telling the following joke: A lady
patient one morning greeted him with the remark, “Doctor, I had such a
singular dream about you last night.” “Indeed. What was it?” “Why, I
dreamed that I died and went to heaven. I knocked at the Golden Gate,
and was answered by Peter, who asked my name and address and told the
recording angel to bring his book. He had considerable difficulty in
finding my name, and hesitated so long over the entry when he did find
it, that I was terribly afraid something was wrong; but he suddenly
looked up and asked, ‘What did you say your name was?’ I told him again.
‘Why,’ said he, ‘you have no business here. You’re not due these ten or
fifteen years yet.’ ‘Well,’ said I, ‘Dr. Yandell said——’ ‘Oh, you’re one
of Yandell’s patients, are you? That accounts for it. Come right in!
Come right in! That man’s always upsetting our calculations in some

                        _Second- or Third-Rate_

Bishop Lawrence, of Massachusetts, tells this joke on himself with keen
relish. It was at the time when there was a vacancy in the bishopric,
and Dr. Brooks was the most prominent candidate. Mr. Lawrence, then the
Dean of the Theological School, in Cambridge, was walking with President
Eliot of Harvard University, and the two were discussing the situation.
“Don’t you hope Brooks will be elected?” asked the Dean. “No,” said Dr.
Eliot; “a second- or third-rate man would do just as well; and we need
Brooks in Boston and Cambridge.” Phillips Brooks was elected, and a
little later Dr. Eliot and Mr. Lawrence again discussed the matter.
“Aren’t you glad Brooks was elected?” queried the Dean. “Yes, I suppose
so,” said Dr. Eliot, “if he wanted it; but, to tell the truth, Lawrence,
you were my man.”

                          _The Wounded Amazon_

Gibson’s Wounded Amazon is a poem in marble, but how many of its
admirers would ever suspect the grotesque suggestiveness of which it was
the outgrowth? “Yes,” said Gibson to a friend who went to his studio to
see the statue in clay, “I call it a Wounded Amazon, but that statue is
a proof of how useful it is for an artist to keep his eyes open. Now,
how do you think I found that pose? I was going along the street, and I
found a girl catching a flea. Yes, I did; she was catching a flea! I
stopped and said to myself, ‘That’s a pretty pose—a very pretty pose
indeed,’ and I took it down. Then I thought it over; I sat up and worked
it out, and there it stands now as my Wounded Amazon. But it is the very
pose of the girl catching the flea, nevertheless. A very pretty pose it
is, you see; and, as I said, it shows that an artist must not fail to
keep his eyes always open.”

                       _Mr. Evarts’s Jocularity_

A friend read to Mr. William M. Evarts the statement of a newspaper
that, in reply to the question “What part of the turkey will you have?”
Mr. Evarts answered that it was “quite inconsequential to one of his
recognized abstemiousness and supersensitive stomachic nervation whether
he be tendered an infinitesimal portion of the opaque nutriment of the
nether extremities, the superior fraction of a pinion, or a snowy
cleavage from the cardiac region.” Mr. Evarts said that this was an
attempt at condensing one of his despatches protesting against the
dismemberment of Turkey. It was founded on an incident which occurred at
one of his Thanksgiving dinners at home. “I had a roasted New England
goose, well stuffed with sage, with plenty of apple-sauce and the usual
accompaniments. At the close of the meal I said, ‘My children, you now
see the difference between the condition of affairs before and after
dinner. You then saw a goose stuffed with sage; now you see a sage
stuffed with goose.’”

                           _Worse than Worst_

Two comedians having laid a wager as to which of them sang the best,
they agreed to refer it to an arbitrator. A day was accordingly set, and
both parties executed to the best of their abilities. When they had
finished, he proceeded to give judgment in the following manner: “As for
you, sir,” addressing himself to the first, “you are the worst singer I
ever heard in all my life.” “Ah,” said the other, “I knew I should win
the wager.” “Stop, sir,” said the arbitrator; “I have a word to say to
you before you go, which is this, that as for you, you cannot sing at

                        _A Poet-farmer in a Fix_

Long Island has a poet named Bloodgood H. Cutter, who, when an infant,
“lisped in numbers.” He is a member of the agricultural profession, a
practical farmer, and alternates between cultivation of his extensive
family manor and his favorite muse monthly. One day the Long Island
Byron, when on the way to the New York market, had the misfortune to
break his tackling through the antics of his spirited team, that was
drawing a big load.

Just at this moment, as the poet was in the road lugubriously viewing
his ruptured tackling and broken traces, there appeared on the spot a
wagon-load of his neighbors on their way home. “By Jove!” said S.,
“there is our rhyming neighbor Cutter, broke down; bet you the dinners
all round at Tony’s that when we stop he will tell his trouble in good
rhythm.” “Done,” said B. “I take that bet. Drive up and decide it.”
Bloodgood looked around, saw a chance of relief, and his countenance
radiating like an Edison lamp, opened his lips thusly:

                  “Glad to see your smiling faces;
                    I’ve broke down and want relief;
                  Come and help me mend these traces,
                    Or my trip will come to grief.
                  I’ve a load of pink-eyed beauties,
                    Rare potatoes—sure to sell—
                  Don’t forget your Christian duties,
                    Pious work, you know, pays well.”

A roar went up that could have been heard a mile. “All right, Bloodgood,
that Christian duty shall be ‘did.’” They fixed him up and he went on
his way rejoicing. In due time Tony Miller’s elegant dinner for four was
partaken of, and B. footed the bill.

                           _A Venerable Joke_

The framework of jokes is handed down from one generation to another,
like andirons and spinning-wheels. For instance, a Hartford paper,
learning that there is a coin in Southern Russia so small that it takes
two hundred and fifty of them to be worth one dollar, remarks that they
must be very convenient for charitable purposes. The joke appears in
every age, without much alteration. It is first noticed in English
literature after the ascension of James I. to the throne had brought in
a horde of hungry Scotch place-hunters, to the great disgust of the
English, who wanted all the places themselves. Jokes at the expense of
the Scotch, of course, became very popular, and this was one of the most
popular: “Why are they coining farthings again?” “To give Scotchmen an
opportunity to subscribe to benevolent objects.”

                             _The Graduate_

 He could quote from musty pages, delve in geologic ages, and relax
    himself in synthesis and such;
 Could construct an exegesis, startle with a subtle Thesis, and involve a
    tortured subject overmuch.
 He was great in mathematics, as applied to hydrostatics, or eternal
    revolution of the spheres;
 His chronology was reckoned from the minimum of second to the
    undiscovered maximum of years.
 He was constantly amazing with philology and phrasing, with vocabulistic
    plenitude and ease;
 He was by his fellows quoted, as a lexicon is noted, his attainments
    were superlative degrees.
 On Commencement his oration was received with an ovation, oh, his
    temporary glory was immense;
 While the complimenting flowers fell around in fragrant showers, and the
    fever of the moment was intense.
 But behold the fellow later from his sheltering Alma Mater reach his
    educated fingers for some necessary cash;
 All the wisdom he may utter doesn’t turn to bread and butter, and his
    Theses do not count for daily hash.

                        _Coldblooded Criticism_

Mr. Longfellow sent this little verse to the Columbus, Ohio, school
children, who celebrated his birthday:

              “If any thought of mine, e’er sung or told,
                Has ever given delight or consolation,
              Ye have repaid me back a thousand-fold
                By every friendly sign and salutation.

                  With the compliments and good wishes of
                                        H. W. LONGFELLOW.”

Whereupon a Cincinnati paper chaffed the poet in this fashion:
“Certainly, Mr. Longfellow; but if you sung it you told it, didn’t you?
It is rather your point to tell a thing in singing it! Why, then, ‘sung
_or_ told?’ And why the _back_ in the third line? Break that back. Could
one repay you forward? And is not a sign also a salutation?”

                             _Mock Heroics_

               Out rode from his wild, dark castle
                 The terrible Heinz von Stein;
               He came to the door of a tavern,
                 And gazed on the swinging sign.

               He sat himself down at a table,
                 And growled for a bottle of wine;
               Up came with a flask and a corkscrew
                 A maiden of beauty divine.

               Then, seized with a deep love-longing,
                 He uttered, “O damosel mine,
               Suppose you just give a few kisses
                 To the valorous Ritter von Stein!”

               But she answered: “The kissing business
                 Is entirely out of my line;
               And I certainly will not begin it
                 On a countenance ugly as thine!”

               Oh, then the bold knight was angry,
                 And cursed both coarse and fine;
               And asked, “How much is the swindle
                 For your sour and nasty wine?”

               And fiercely he rode to the castle,
                 And set himself down to dine:
               And this is the dreadful legend
                 Of the terrible Heinz von Stein.
                                       CHARLES G. LELAND.

                        _Unwilling Willingness_

Dr. Guernsey, in an article on faith cure, in the _Medical Times_, cites
a case in which will power appears to have successfully supplied the
place of faith. Among the parishioners of the Rev. Dr. Taylor, of New
Haven, was an invalid lady, who finally took to her bed, where she
continued to receive her pastor’s visits. One bitter cold night she sent
for him to console her dying moments, and declared herself ready to
depart in peace. “If it is His will,” she said, “that I shall go to
hell, I can still say, ‘Thy will be done.’” The physician who was
present became a little impatient. “Well,” said he, “if that is God’s
will, and both you and your family are reconciled to it, I do not know
that I ought to object.” In a moment the woman was on her feet shouting,
“I won’t die and I won’t go to hell!” She afterward enjoyed comfortable
health for years.

                          _Companion Pictures_

The Rev. Dr. John Hall once suggested that an artist might paint
“Enchantment” as “a bright young girl, on the deck of an ocean steamer
at the wharf, chattering to the friends around her, grandly directing
her bouquets to be sent to her room, full of the joys of the voyage and
her first trip to Europe.” He adds that a companion picture might be
called “Disenchanted,” representing the same girl, “like Jonah, gone
down to the sides of the ship, not like him, asleep, but with great
inward trouble, like that in the venerable sea story, ‘The first hour I
feared I would die; the second hour I feared I would not.’ The faded
bouquets, disordered garments, and a very crowded foreground would
complete the scene.”


Dr. Henry Gibbons describes a kiss as “the anatomical juxtaposition of
two orbicularis oris muscles in a state of contraction.” Upon this, a
newspaper editor remarked, “A kiss may be one of those things, but it
doesn’t taste like it. We once heard a young man describe a kiss as
‘bully,’ and he had quite as much experience in the osculatory business
as Dr. Gibbons, but he didn’t have so much education.”


An American tourist was visiting Naples and saw Vesuvius during an
eruption. “Have you anything like that in the New World?” was the
question of an Italian spectator. “No,” replied Jonathan; “but I guess
we have a mill-dam that would put it out in five minutes.”

                           _Compliant Courts_

Edwin Booth, as Richelieu, once said, in a Chicago theatre,—

            “France, my mistress, France, my wedded wife,
            Who shall proclaim divorce ’twixt me and thee?”

And, after a solemn pause, somebody in the gallery said, “Most any
Chicago Judge.”

                 _A Modern Judge on Portia’s Judgment_

The Home Secretary lately ventured to assert that Lord Bramwell
entertained so vast a reverence for all kinds of property that if he had
been called upon to decide the legal dispute in “The Merchant of
Venice,” he would infallibly have declared that Antonio’s pound of flesh
must be given to his creditor. Lord Bramwell, with the frankness which
usually characterizes him, has met Sir William Harcourt’s little joke by
an answer delivered from the judicial bench. In the course of an Appeal
Court case the learned judge took occasion to respond to the witty
illustration of the Home Secretary. Far from expressing the slightest
shame or penitence for the views which he holds as to the sacredness of
property of all descriptions, Lord Bramwell actually seems to glory in
them. The session of the Court of Appeal was probably the earliest
opportunity that was presented to him of answering Sir William
Harcourt’s banter; but at all events, he seized on the opportunity and
turned it to the best account. Portia’s statement of the case would,
Lord Bramwell tells us, have induced him to give the pound of flesh to
the usurer, except for one little flaw in her argument. The flesh had
not been “appropriated,” and could not, therefore, be regarded as
property to which Shylock had a good legal right until it had been cut
from Antonio’s quivering body. Supposing Lord Bramwell to have been
sitting in _banco_ with the Doge of Venice on the occasion of the famous
trial, and the pound of flesh had been lying on a table ready cut; in
that case the decision of the English judge would have been in favor of
the plaintiff’s claim to the possession of the horrible piece of
“property.” But then, as Lord Bramwell truly remarks, in order to get
the flesh, assault, and even murder, would have had to be committed, and
therefore the contract was null and void from the beginning. The moment
Shylock had advanced toward his victim, knife in hand, he would have
been technically guilty of an assault with intent, and would have been
obliged to appear at the police court of the period next morning to hear
what the sitting magistrate thought of the offence.

                           _A Legal Dilemma_

At an examination for admission to the bar of Ohio, the examiner
propounded this question: “A great many years ago there lived a
gentleman named Lazarus, who died possessed of chattels, real and
personal. After this event to whom did they go?” The student replied,
“To his administrators and his heirs.” “Well, then,” continued the
examiner, “in four days he came to life again; inform us, sir, whose
were they then?” Which interesting inquiry we submit to the lawyers. I
am not a lawyer, but I see no difficulty in the inquiry. Lazarus died
and was buried. As soon as he died, his property, if he left no will,
vested in his heirs. The law gives no man the right to die for four days
and then come to life again. Legally Lazarus couldn’t rise. I have no
doubt the Supreme Court would decide that the Lazarus who rose was not
the Lazarus who died; he was a new Lazarus. The new Lazarus would, of
course, feel within himself that he was the old Lazarus, and go around
boring his legal friends talking about his legal wrongs; but every
lawyer would leave him as quickly as possible, saying, in parting, “It’s
a hard case; but if your heirs can prove your death, and they came in
legally under the statute, there is no way to make them disgorge. All
you can do is this—you’re a young fellow about sixty; hire out as a
clerk, try to save something from your salary so as to go into business
again, build up a grand estate, and perhaps your heirs will recognize
your identity.”

                       _Virgil’s Æneid Dissected_

In an English college journal our old and highly polished friend P.
Virgilius Maro is quite thoroughly shaken up. After a little general
discussion of the poet, the writer proceeds to quote a large number of
passages in which Virgil is inconsistent and oftentimes contradictory.
Take, for instance, the following:

“Down comes blind Cyclops to the shore—

          ‘Postquam altos tetigit fluctus, et ad æquora venit,
          Luminis effusi fluidum lavit inde cruorem.’

‘He washes with its water the gore that trickled from his scooped-out
eye.’ Now would anybody but a madman go and bathe a bleeding wound in
the sea—the sea, of all places? Why, he would have made his head smart
for a year; but Virgil wanted him down on the shore, and must make him
do something. Note, too, ‘fluidum cruorem.’ Now, in line 645 of the same
book (III), the fugitive tells Æneas that they put out the Cyclops’s eye
three months ago, and so, according to Virgil, the wound bleeds
incessantly for three months (three days of bleeding would, according to
modern doctors, have taken the life of even a stout Cyclops), and then
the giant comes down to the shore and bathes in salt water.... Again, in
the celebrated athletic sports in Book V., everybody is rewarded with a
prize. One man gets a prize because he comes in first; the second man
gets one because he would have been first if something hadn’t happened,
and the last man gets one because he fell down. The only parallel to
such a practice is one afforded by Artemus Ward, who, in command of a
volunteer force, makes all his men captains, to prevent jealousy. In V,
456, Virgil, after carefully telling us that Dares is wonderfully nimble
and Entillus wonderfully slow, lets the slow man chase the fast one,
_æquore toto_, hitting him all the while.”

                            _Relative Size_

Before the ocean leviathans of the Cunard and White Star steamship lines
were built, an inquirer asked whether the “Great Eastern” was the
largest vessel ever built. The editor replied, “An impression has got
abroad that she is, but such is not the case. The ‘Mayflower,’ in which
the Pilgrim fathers came to this country, was the largest ship that ever
ploughed the waters. The old furniture scattered over this country,
brought over by the ‘Mayflower,’ would fill the ‘Great Eastern’ a dozen
times or more.”

                         _The Cardinal’s Curse_

“The Jackdaw of Rheims” is better known than the majority of the
“Ingoldsby Legends,” with the dreadful curse which the cardinal called
down upon the thief who had stolen his ring:

         The Cardinal rose with a dignified look.
         He called for his candle, his bell, and his book!
           In holy anger and pious grief,
           He solemnly cursed that rascally thief!
           He cursed him at board, he cursed him in bed;
           He cursed him in sleeping that very night,
           He should dream of the devil and wake in a fright;
           He cursed him in eating, he cursed him in drinking;
           He cursed him in coughing, in sneezing, in winking;
           He cursed him in sitting, in standing, in lying;
           He cursed him in walking, in riding, in flying;
           He cursed him in living, he cursed him dying!
         Never was heard such a terrible curse!
           But what gave rise to no little surprise,
         Nobody seemed one penny the worse!

In twitting again at Holy Church, Mr. Barham makes Pope Gregory, in
setting a penance for Sir Ingoldsby Bray, break out in the following
extraordinary though highly entertaining dog Latin:

               _O turpissime! Vir nequissime!
               Never, I trow, have the _Servi servorum_
               Had before ’em such a breach of decorum,
               Such a gross violation of _morum bonorum_,
               And won’t have again _sæcula sæculoram_!

                       _The Berners Street Hoax_

In point of audacity and ingenuity in the line of practical joking,
Theodore Hook is unrivalled. The most famous of his hoaxes was played on
Mrs. Tottingham, an old lady living at No. 54 Berners Street, Oxford
Road, London. The date of its occurrence was November, 26, 1810, so long
since that the elders have forgotten it, and the later generations have
never heard of it. For the sake of the latter, it is worth while to
recall such a laughable incident.

In walking down Berners Street one day with a companion, their attention
was attracted to the neat and modest appearance of the house referred
to. “I’ll bet you a guinea,” said Theodore, “that in one week that nice
quiet dwelling shall be the most famous in all London.” The bet was
taken. In the course of the next four or five days, Hook wrote and
despatched more than a thousand letters, conveying orders to tradesmen
of every sort, all to be executed on one particular day, and as nearly
as possible at one fixed hour. From wagons of coal and potatoes to
books, prints, feathers, ices, jellies, tarts, anything and everything
available was ordered from rival dealers scattered from Wapping to
Lambeth, from Whitechapel to Paddington. In 1810 Oxford Road was not
approachable from Westminster, or Mayfair, or from the city, otherwise
than through a complicated series of lanes. Imagine the crash and jam
and tumult that followed! Hook had provided himself with a temporary
lodging on the opposite side of the street, and there, with a couple of
trusty allies, he watched the development of the drama. But, for
prudential reasons, some of the _dramatis personæ_ were seldom, if ever,
alluded to afterwards. Hook had no objection to open references to the
arrival of the Lord Mayor and his chaplain, invited to take the
death-bed confession of a peculating common councilman, but he would
rather have buried in oblivion that precisely the same sort of liberty
was taken with the Governor of the Bank of England, the Chairman of the
East India Company, the Lord Chief Justice, a cabinet minister, the
Archbishop of Canterbury, and his Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief.
They all obeyed the summons—every pious and patriotic feeling had been
most movingly appealed to. We are not sure that they all reached Berners
Street, but the Duke of York’s military punctuality and crimson liveries
brought him to the point of attack before the poor widow’s astonishment
had risen to terror and despair. No assassination, no conspiracy, no
royal demise or ministerial revolution was a greater godsend to the
newspapers than this daring piece of mischief. In Hook’s own theatrical
world he was instantly suspected, but no sign escaped either him or his
confidants. Beyond that circle the affair was serious. Fierce were the
growlings of the doctors and surgeons, scores of whom had been cheated
of valuable hours. Attorneys, teachers of all kinds (male and female),
hair-dressers, tailors, preachers, and philanthropists had been
victimized, and were vociferous in their complaints. The tangible
material damage done was itself considerable. Beer casks and wine casks
were overturned, glass and china were smashed, harpsichords and
coach-panels were broken, and men and horses, under the resistless
pressure of a countless multitude, were thrown down and trampled upon.
It was a field-day for the pickpockets. A fervent hue and cry arose for
the detection of the trickster, but he disappeared and did not return to
his accustomed haunts until the storm had blown over.

                          _The Point of View_

                 The girl stood on the roller skates,
                   But then she could not go;
                 She was afraid to tempt the fates,
                   Because she wobbled so.
                 She called aloud, “Say, Chawley, say:
                   Do come; help me along!”
                 But Chawley went the other way,
                   Because his legs went wrong;
                 There came a crash—a thunder sound;
                   The girl, oh, where was she?
                 Ask of the giddy youth around,
                   Who viewed her hosiery.


A class of schoolgirls, highly educated on the newest principles, were
pouring forth to the Bishop of Manchester a list of Latin words, with
the English equivalents, and they came to the word which we elders
should call _vicissim_, “We-kiss-im,” said the girls; “we-kiss-im—by
turns.” “Oh, do you?” answered the bishop; “then I don’t wonder at your
adopting the new pronunciation.”

                            _Jack and Jill_

                 ’Twas not on Alpine snow nor ice,
                   But honest English ground;
                 Excelsior! was their device;
                   But sad the fate they found.

                 They did not climb for love nor fame,
                   But followed Duty’s call;
                 They were together in their aim,
                   But parted in their fall.

              _High Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle_

          Heard ye that mirthful melody? Remote
          It rose; and straight the strain, approaching near,
          Caught of the careful cat the critic ear—
          Proud dame, in tortoise decked or tabby coat,
          The villain vermin’s vixen vanquisher.
          Her frolic paw the festive fiddle smote,
          Which, as high Hesper poured his glittering glance,
          Inspired the not unawkward cow to dance
          Above the beamy moon; all this beheld
          The dog diminutive, while its strange romance
          With laughter loud his simple bosom swelled:
          The dish, high heaped with food of savory store,
          Kissed the bright spoon by kindred love impelled,—
          Such is the nursery tale of infant lore.

                          _Mary’s Little Lamb_

 Mary possessed a diminutive sheep,
 Whose external covering was as devoid of color as the congealed aureous
    fluid which occasionally presents insurmountable barriers to railroad
    travel on the Sierras;
 And everywhere that Mary peregrinated
 The juvenile Southdown was certain to get up and get right after her.
 It tagged her to the alphabet dispensary one day,
 Which was in contravention of established usage;

 It caused the other youthful students to cachinnate and skyfungle
 To perceive an adolescent mutton in an edifice devoted to the
    dissemination of knowledge.
 And so the preceptor ejected him from the interior.
 And he continued to roam in the immediate vicinity,
 And remained in the neighborhood until Mary
 Once more became visible.
 “What causes the juvenile sheep to hanker after Mary so?”
 Queried the inquisitive children of their tutor.
 “Why, Mary bestows much affection upon the little animal to which the
    wind is tempered when shorn, you must be aware,”
 The preceptor with alacrity responded.

                             _The Meeting_

                 They met; ’twas in the starry depths
                   Of August’s cloudless sky;
                 Fair Luna trod her silvery path
                   In matchless majesty:
                 The cricket chirped, the firefly
                   Pursued his fitful dance.
                 ’Twas in the balmy slumb’rous night
                   That those two met by chance.

                 With throbbing heart and beating pulse
                   He spoke in accents low,
                 And in her glancing eye there came
                   A deeper, warmer glow:
                 Then up the apple tree she flew
                   And there vindictive spat,
                 For “he” was “Jack” my terrier,
                   And “she” our neighbor’s cat.

                          FLASHES OF REPARTEE

                       _Hereditary Transmission_

Madame Bonaparte (Betsy Patterson) once attended a state dinner, and was
escorted to the table by Lord Dundas. He had already received some of
her sarcastic speeches, and in a not very pleasant mood asked her
whether she had read Mrs. Trollope’s book on America. She had. “Well,
madame,” said the Englishman, “what do you think of her pronouncing all
Americans vulgarians?” “I am not surprised at that,” answered sprightly
Betsy Bonaparte. “Were all the Americans descendants of the Indians or
the Esquimaux, I should be astonished; but being the direct descendants
of the English, it would be very strange if they were not vulgarians.”
There was no more heard from Lord Dundas that evening.

                           _Fitting Answers_

One sultry evening, Phœbe Cary, dressed as usual in a close-fitting
bodice, entered the room where John G. Saxe and others were seated. Saxe
greeted her with, “Miss Phœbe, why do you dress so closely in such hot
weather? Look at me.” He had on a linen duster, and was fanning himself
industriously. Phœbe replied instantly, “I never feel comfortable with
loose sacks around me.”

On another occasion, at the tea-table, the question arose about the
number of children John Rogers had—“nine small children and one at the
breast.” The company were evenly divided whether there were nine or ten.
Phœbe was appealed to, when she said, “Ten, of course.” “How do you
reach such a positive decision?” some one asked. “Don’t nine and one to
carry make ten?” was her reply.

                       _Left-Handed Compliments_

Leyden, having had a quarrel with the author of “The Pleasures of Hope,”
once said to Sir Walter Scott,—

“You may tell Campbell that I hate him, but that he has written the best
poetry that has been written for fifty years.”

Scott conveyed the message with fidelity, and Campbell replied,—

“Tell Leyden that I detest him, but I know the value of his critical

                           _Not Beyond Reach_

Rev. Dr. Bethune asked a morose and miserly man how he was getting
along. The man replied, “What business is that of yours?” Said the
doctor, “Oh, sir, I am one of those who take an interest even in the
meanest of God’s creatures.”

                       _Limitation of Authority_

Pope Paul IV. was so shocked at Michael Angelo’s undressed figures in
his famous “Last Judgment,” that he employed Daniele da Volterra to
clothe them; and he, in consequence, received the nickname of “Il
Braghettone” (the breeches-maker). Michael Angelo, with his usual wit,
punished Messer Biagio da Cesena, master of the ceremonies (who first
suggested to the Pope the impropriety of nude figures), by painting him
in hell, with ass’s ears, as Midas.

The story goes that Biagio implored the Pope to insist upon the removal
of this caricature, whereupon Paul IV. replied:

“I might have released you from purgatory, but over hell I have no

                              _Like Topsy_

When General Schenck was United States minister to England, the wife of
a British cabinet officer assured him that “England made America all
that she is.” “Pardon, madam,” said the general, “you remind me of the
answer of the Ohio lad in his teens who, attending Sunday school for the
first time, was asked by the teacher, ‘Who made you?’ ‘Made me?’ ‘Yes.’
‘Why, God made me about so long (holding his hands about ten inches
apart), but I growed the rest.’”

                           _Opposite Effects_

“The matrimonial fever seems to be raging in this vicinity,” said a
smart young man to a young lady in a street car.

“Are you sure it only seems to be?” said she, not wishing to commit

“It is raging about as bad as the yellow fever in the South last year,”
said he, further pushing his opportunity.

“Yes,” she replied, in a utilitarian tone of voice, “but it has just the
opposite effect upon the population.”


“I never could _bear_ children,” said a crusty old maid to Mrs.
Partington. “Perhaps, if you could, you would like them better,” mildly
replied the old lady.

                          _Date of Possession_

“Don’t you think,” said a husband, mildly rebuking his wife, “that women
are possessed by the devil?” “Yes,” was the quick reply, “as soon as
they are married.”

                           _The Old Dominion_

When a distinguished French abbe was making a visit to this country in
the early days of our national history, he happened to be dining with
some Washington celebrities, of whom John Randolph, of Roanoke, was one,
and the place of whose residence was not known to the foreigner. The
question was put to the abbe:

“And how were you pleased with the South?”

“Exceedingly; but I confess to having been a little disappointed—I had
heard so much—in the Virginia gentlemen.”

“Perhaps you were unfortunate in your circle,” broke in Randolph, with a
sneer. “You did not come to Roanoke, for instance.”

“True,” said the abbe, covering his evident annoyance at the rude tone
with his usual calm smile. “True; the next time I visit Virginia I shall
certainly go to Roanoke.”

“_Gentlemen_,” answered Randolph, emphasizing the word, “do not come to
Roanoke unless they are _invited_!”

It was a cruel thrust, but the abbe took it in the same placid manner;
and lifting his gray head, paused for a moment to give due emphasis to
his words, and then replied, looking inquiringly at the other guests:

“Said I not, messieurs, that I was disappointed in Virginia gentlemen?”

                        _No Jury Then and There_

Allen, the Quaker, waited upon the Duke of Sussex to remind him of his
promise to present a petition to abolish capital punishment. The duke
did not seem to like the job, and observed that Scripture has declared,
“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” “But
please note,” replied the Quaker, “that when Cain killed Abel he was not
hung for it.” “That’s true,” rejoined the duke, “but remember, Allen,
there were not twelve men in the world then to make a jury.”

                           _Each His Own Way_

Among the anecdotes recalled by the death of M. Leverrier is one which
describes M. Villemain, the secretary of the French Academy, as
declaiming in the library one day in a vigorous manner against Napoleon
III. Leverrier, who was an ardent imperialist, chanced to overhear some
of his remarks, and demanded, “How dare you speak thus of the emperor in
a public building?” Villemain looked up carelessly and replied, “And
pray who may you be?” “You know me, sir,” said the astronomer. “Your
face may be familiar to me, but I don’t exactly recall your name.”
“Leverrier is my name.” “Oh, yes, Leverrier. Astronomer, I think? In his
day I was intimately acquainted with M. Laplace; he was an astronomer,
too,—and a gentleman.” “Sir,” said Leverrier, “I despise wit, but if you
continue speaking thus I warn you that I shall report your words to the
proper authorities.” “Well,” said Villemain, shrugging his shoulders,
“every one has his way of making a living.”

                          _Nature’s Painting_

A young lady with very rosy cheeks, walking down Charles Street in
Baltimore, overheard a clubman say, “By Heaven, she’s painted.” Turning
quickly around, she said, “Yes, and by Heaven only.”

                             _A Boomerang_

Some years ago several army officers were stopping at a hotel in
Washington. Among them were a Captain Emerson and a Captain Jones.
Emerson and Jones used to have a good deal of fun together at the
dinner-table and elsewhere. One day at the dinner-table, when the
dining-hall was well filled, Captain Jones finished his dinner first,
got up, and walked almost to the dining-hall door, when Emerson called
to him in a loud voice: “Hallo, captain! see here. I want to speak to
you a minute.” The captain turned and walked back to the table and bent
over him, when Emerson whispered, “I wanted to ask you how far you would
have gone if I had not spoken to you.” The captain never changed a
muscle, but straightened up and put his fingers into his vest pocket and
said, “Captain Emerson, I don’t know of a man in the world I would
rather lend five dollars to than you, but the fact is I haven’t a cent
with me to-day,” and he turned on his heel and walked away. Emerson was
the color of a dozen rainbows, but he had to stand it.


           As my wife and I at the window one day,
             Stood watching a man with a monkey,
           A cart came by with a “broth of a boy,”
             Who was driving a stout little donkey.
           To my wife I then spoke, by way of a joke,
             “There’s a relation of yours in that carriage,”
           To which she replied, as the donkey she spied,
             “Ah, yes, a relation _by marriage_.”

                          _Decay’s Effacement_

In an action that was tried in an English court, when the question in
dispute was as to the quality and condition of a gas-pipe that had been
laid down many years before, a witness stated that it was an old pipe,
and therefore out of condition. The judge remarking that “people do not
necessarily get out of condition by being old,” the witness promptly
answered, “They do, my lord, if buried in the ground.”

                          _A Woman’s Revenge_

Sophie Arnould was a last century favorite, whose voice gave way in
youth, and of her the Abbe Galiani caustically said, “She has the finest
asthma I ever heard.” But the lady revenged herself, if not on him, on
the religious order to which he belonged. Hearing that a capuchin had
been eaten by wolves, she exclaimed, “Poor beasts! what a dreadful thing
hunger must be!”

                             _Best for Her_

An old bachelor, picking up a book, exclaimed, upon seeing a woodcut
representing a man kneeling at the feet of a woman, “Before I would ever
kneel to a woman I would encircle my neck with a rope and stretch it!”
And then, turning to a young woman, he inquired, “Do you not think it
would be the best thing I could do?” “It would, undoubtedly, be the best
for the woman.”

                      _Ecclesiastical Tit-for-Tat_

Two young men who had been chums in college entered the ministry. One
became a Baptist, the other an Episcopalian. They did not meet again for
several years. When brought together once more, the Baptist invited the
Episcopalian to preach from his pulpit, which, though out of the usual
course, he did, to the great satisfaction of the congregation. Sermon
over, the two divines ducked their heads behind the breastwork of the
preaching desk, and held the following colloquy: “Fine sermon, Tom; much
obliged. Sorry I can’t repay your kindness for preaching by asking you
to stay to our communion. Can’t though, you know, because you have never
been baptized.” “Oh, don’t concern yourself about that, Jim. I couldn’t
receive the communion at your hands because you have never been

                             _Even Chances_

He was an entire stranger to the girls present, and the boys were mean
and would not introduce him. He finally plucked up courage, and,
stepping up to a young lady, requested the pleasure of her company for
the next dance. She looked at him in surprise, and informed him that she
had not the pleasure of his acquaintance. “Well,” remarked the young
man, “you don’t take any more chances than I do.”

                        _A Quick-Witted Damsel_

A young lady was sitting with a gallant captain in a charmingly
decorated recess. On her knee was a diminutive niece, placed there _pour
les convenances_. In the adjoining room, with the door open, were the
rest of the company. Says the little niece, in a jealous and very
audible voice, “Auntie, kiss me, too.” What had just happened may be
easily imagined. “You should say _twice_, Ethel dear; _two_ is not
grammar,” was the immediate rejoinder. Clever girl that!

                         _Meeting an Emergency_

It is related of Compton, the English comedian, that he happened to stop
at a hotel where a meeting of clergymen had just been ended, and the
preachers were about to dine. The landlord, seeing his white tie and
long black coat, mistook him for a minister, and said he was sure the
Dean would be pleased to have the visitor dine with them. “I thank you,”
answered Compton, who was very hungry. “I have no card. You can say, the
Rev. Mr. Payne, who is passing through the town.” The Dean not only
invited Compton to dine, but seated him at his right, and, through
courtesy, asked him to say grace. Compton felt a cold chill run through
him, but, with perfect presence of mind, he recalled the opening part of
the church service, and solemnly said, “O Lord, open thou our _lips_,
and our _mouths_ shall show forth thy praise.”

                         _Declined with Thanks_

When Mr. Wilberforce, the great anti-slavery advocate (the father of the
late Bishop of Winchester), was once a candidate for parliamentary
honors, his sister, an amiable and witty young lady, offered the
compliment of a new gown to each of the wives of those freemen who voted
for her brother, on which she was saluted with the cry of “Miss
Wilberforce forever!” when she pleasantly observed, “I thank you,
gentlemen; but I cannot agree with you, for I really do not wish to be
‘Miss Wilberforce’ forever.”

                          _A Courteous Retort_

A good illustration of “the retort courteous” was given to Count Herbert
Bismarck, the rough-and-rude son of Prince Bismarck, on the occasion of
the German Emperor’s visit to Rome. At the railway station Count Herbert
pushed rudely against an Italian dignitary, who was watching the
proceedings. The dignitary, greatly incensed, remonstrated forcibly
against such unceremonious treatment, whereupon Count Herbert turned
around haughtily and said,—

“I don’t think you know who I am. I am Count Herbert Bismarck.”

“That,” replied the Italian, bowing politely, “as an excuse, is
insufficient, but as an explanation it is ample.”

                          _Bearding the Lion_

(Snoggs, the Lion Comique of the music halls, has made himself
unendurably offensive by his vulgar familiarity.) Lion Comique: “Dunno
me? Well, you ought to; my name is in the papers often enough.”
Irritated Swell: “I daresay; but I seldom if ever read the police

                    _Distinction With a Difference_

Dr. St. John Roosa, of New York, in the course of a speech which he made
at the dinner of the State Medical Society, emphasized a point by
telling a story. A person not entirely well up in music asked a
professor of music if Mendelssohn was still composing. “No,” was the
reply, “he is still decomposing.”

                           _Future Provision_

A refractory Boston youngster was being sharply rebuked by his mother
for his numerous transgressions.

“Harry, Harry,” she exclaimed, “if you behave in that way, you will
worry your father and mother to death; and what will you do without any
father and mother?”

“The Lord is my shepherd,” said the small boy; “I shall not want.”

Which went to prove that his Sunday-school training had not been
entirely lost on him.

                       _Sumner’s Legal Learning_

When Charles Sumner visited Europe the first time, he took with him
letters from Judge Story. At one time he was invited to sit with the
Lord Chief-Justice of the King’s Bench. During the trial a point arose
which seemed a novel one. The Lord Chief-Justice turned to Sumner and
asked him if there were any American decisions on that point. “No, your
lordship,” he replied, “but this point has been decided in your
lordship’s court in such a case,” giving him the citation. This
remarkable readiness gave him _éclat_ throughout the kingdom.

                       _Walk_ vs. _Conversation_

A tutor of one of the Oxford colleges who limped in his walk was some
years after accosted by a well-known politician, who asked him if he was
not the chaplain of the college at such a time, naming the year. The
doctor replied that he was. The interrogator observed, “I knew you by
your limp.” “Well,” said the doctor, “it seems my limping made a deeper
impression than my preaching.” “Ah, doctor,” was the reply, with ready
wit, “it is the highest compliment we can pay a minister, to say that he
is known by his walk rather than by his conversation.”

                           _The Last Chance_

Some years ago Phillips Brooks was recovering from an illness, and was
denying himself to all visitors, when Robert G. Ingersoll called. The
bishop received him at once. “I appreciate this very much,” said Mr.
Ingersoll, “but why do you see me when you deny yourself to your

“It is this way,” said the bishop; “I feel confident of seeing my
friends in the next world, but this may be my last chance of seeing

                           _Divine Knowledge_

An itinerant called on John Bunyan one day with “a message from the
Lord,” saying he had been to half the jails in England in search of him,
and was glad at last to find him. To which Bunyan replied, “If the Lord
had sent you, you would not have needed to take so much trouble to find
me out, for He knew that I have been in Bedford Jail these seven years

         _A Quaint Reproof—Acceptability Without a Dress Suit_

Ramsay, in his “Scottish Characteristics,” says, “A well-known member of
the Scottish bar, when a youth, was very foppish, and short and sharp in
his temper. He was going to pay a visit in the country, and was making a
great fuss in preparing and putting up his habiliments. His old aunt was
much annoyed at all this bustle, and stopped him with the somewhat
contemptuous question, ‘Whaur’s this you’re gaun’, Robbie, that ye mak
sic a grand wark about yer claes?’ The young man lost temper, and
pettishly replied, ‘I’m going to the devil.’ ‘’Deed, Robbie, then’, was
the quiet answer, ‘ye needna be sae nice; he’ll juist tak’ ye as ye

                          _Marriage in Heaven_

                   Says Sylvia to a reverend Dean,
                     “What reason can be given,
                   Since marriage is a holy thing,
                     That there is none in heaven?”

                   “There are no women,” he replied.
                     She quick returns the jest:
                   “Women there are, but I’m afraid
                     They cannot find a priest.”

                          _Force and Argument_

Many persons who have seen the following lines of Dr. Trapp on a
regiment being sent to Oxford, and at the same time a valuable library
sent to Cambridge, by George I. in 1715, have not seen the answer which
they provoked:

             The king, observing with judicious eyes
             The state of both his universities,
             To Oxford sent a troop of horse; and why?
             That learned body wanted loyalty:
             To Cambridge books he sent, as well discerning
             How much that loyal body wanted learning.

The answer came from Sir William Browne, a physician of Lynn in Norfolk:

              The King to Oxford sent a troop of horse,
              For Tories own no argument but force;
              With equal skill to Cambridge books he sent,
              For Whigs admit no force but argument.

                         _The Condemned Jester_

Horace Smith, one of the authors of the “Rejected Addresses,” tells us
that a king of Scanderoon had a jester who played audacious tricks on
the royal family, the courtiers, and persons of great distinction. But
at length, emboldened by long tolerance of his freaks and hoaxes, the
buffoon went too far:

              Some sin, at last, beyond all measure
              Incurred the desperate displeasure
                Of his serene and raging highness;
              Whether he twitched his most revered
              And sacred beard
                Or had intruded on the shyness
              Of the seraglio, or let fly
              An epigram at royalty,
              None knows—his sin was an occult one;
              But records tell us that the sultan,
              Meaning to terrrify the knave,
                Exclaimed, “’Tis time to stop that breath;
              Thy doom is sealed, presumptuous slave!
                Thou stand’st condemned to certain death.
              Silence, base rebel! no replying.
                But such is my indulgence still
                Out of my own free grace and will,
              I leave to thee the mode of dying.”
              “Thy royal will be done—’tis just,”
              Replied the wretch, and kissed the dust;
                “Since, my last moments to assuage,
              Your majesty’s humane decree
              Has deigned to leave the choice to me,
                I’ll die, so please you, of old age!”


              “Oh, dear,” said Farmer Brown one day,
                “I never saw such weather!
              The rain will spoil my meadow-hay
                And all my crops together.”
                  His little daughter climbed his knee;
                  “I guess the sun will shine,” said she.

              “But if the sun,” said Farmer Brown,
                “Should bring a dry September,
              With vines and stalks all wilted down,
                And fields scorched to an ember”—
                  “Why then ’twill rain,” said Marjorie,
                  The little girl upon his knee.

              “Ah, me!” sighed Farmer Brown, that fall,
                “Now what’s the use of living?
              No plan of mine succeeds at all”—
                “Why, next month comes Thanksgiving,
                  And then, of course,” said Marjorie,
                  “We’re all as happy as can be.”

              “Well, what should I be thankful for?”
                Asked Farmer Brown. “My trouble
              This summer has grown more and more,
                My losses have been double,
                  I’ve nothing left”—“Why, you’ve got me!”
                  Said Marjorie, upon his knee.


A nephew of Mr. Bagges, in explaining the mysteries of a tea-kettle,
describes the benefits of the application of steam to useful purposes.
“For all which,” remarked Mr. Bagges, “we have principally to thank—what
was his name?” “Watt was his name, I believe, uncle,” replied the boy.

Of Dr. Keate many anecdotes are afloat among old Etonians. One was told
that is well worth repeating. A boy named Rashleigh, with all the others
of his class, was set to write a theme on the maxim: _Temere nil
facias_. When the time came for giving in the papers, Rashleigh appeared
without his. “Where is your theme, sir?” asked the formidable Doctor. “I
haven’t done it, sir,” answered Rashleigh. “Not done your theme, sir?”
“No, sir!” persisted he, undaunted by the near prospect of the “apple
twigs.” “Why, you told me not to do it!” “I told you!” “Yes, sir; you
said, _Temere nil facias_—do nothing, Rashleigh.” And the headmaster was
so taken by the Latin pun that the apple twigs were allowed to repose on
the shelf.

“So old Scrapetill is dead at last,” observed David from the interior of
his evening paper; “oceans of money, too.” “What did he do with it?”
queried Dora. “Oh, left it here and there,” said David. “That scapegrace
son gets a quarter of a million. If he doesn’t paint the town red, now,
then I’m a Canadian.” “I should think,” mused Dora, softly, as she
helped herself to another needleful of silk—“I should think that anybody
with a quart of vermilion might paint a town very red indeed.” And David
was so astounded that he put his paper in the fire and laid a fresh
stick of wood in the very centre of the plush-covered table.

Punning would not be so bad were it not so infectious. Puns leave germs
which lie in idle minds until they fructify and bear a baleful crop of
more puns. The other day some of us got to talking about that witty old
cynic, Dean Swift, when one of the company took advantage of the opening
and gave us this _jeu de mot_ of his: “Why,” asked the Dean, “is it
right, by the _lex talionis_, to pick an artist’s pocket?” It was given
up, of course, and the answer was: “Because he has pictures.” A silence
fell about the table round, until, one by one, we saw it. Then one
thoughtful man observed, “It was impossible to give the answer—because
the Dean had contrived to reserve the answer to himself. I could not,
for instance, say that it is right for me to pick an artist’s pocket,
because he has picked yours.” Here is another conundrum, founded upon a
pun, which only the propounder can solve: An old man and a young one
were standing by a meadow. “Why,” asked the young man, “is this clover
older than you?” “It is not,” replied the other. “It is, though,”
returned the man, “because it is pasturage.” Thereupon an abstracted
looking person, who had not followed the line of remark, and who had not
understood the illustration, startled us all with this irrelevant
inquiry, “Why cannot a pantomimist tickle nine Esquimaux? Give it up?
Why it’s because he can gesticulate.”

                When Jonah interviewed the whale
                  And haunted his internals,
                As erst it is recorded in
                  The truthfulest of journals,
                What monarch did he symbolize?
                  (A far-fetched joke you’ll style it.)
                It seems to us he might have been
                  A sort of _paunch’s pilot_.

               “I’d rather not,” Augustus said,
                 The truffles quick rejecting;
               “How now, my dear,” said she, “what fresh
                 Conceit are you affecting?
               I do not wish t’ruffle you.
                 Nor yet to make a pun, Gus;
               But then I surely thought that you
                 Were fond of any fun-Gus.”

“In St. Mary’s Church, Nottingham, England, on the tombstone of Mary
Angell are these lines:

             ‘Sleep on in peace, await thy Maker’s will,
             Then rise unchanged, and be an Angell still.’

The stone is an old one, and the punning epitaph is according to the
spirit of the times, when so many queer inscriptions were put on

A young minister of high-church tendencies was called to preside over a
congregation that abhorred ritualism and was a stickler for the simplest
of services. He asked Bishop Potter of New York what would be the result
if he went in for ritualism just a bit.

“Suppose I should burn a pastille or two during the service, what do you
think would happen?” he inquired. “I dearly wish to try the experiment.”

“Your congregation would be incensed, your vestrymen would fume, and you
would go out in smoke,” replied the Bishop.

Gustave Doré bought a villa on the outskirts of Paris, and wrote over
the entrance the musical notation, “Do, Mi, Si, La, Do, Re.” This being
properly interpreted, is “Domicile a Doré.”

                   I saw Esau kissing Kate,
                   And what’s more, we all three saw;
                   For I saw Esau, he saw me,
                   And she saw I saw Esau.

                   Why should girls, a wit exclaimed,
                     Surpassing farmers be?
                   Because they’re always studying
                     The art of husbandry.

Sentimental young lady to perfumer: “I don’t think you forwarded the
scent I meant; it seems entirely different from that I ordered.”

Perfumer, who is fond of punning: “Madam, I am sure that what you meant
I sent; the scent I sent was the scent you meant, consequently we are
both of one sentiment.”

A duel was fought in Texas by Alexander Shott and John S. Nott. Nott was
shot, and Shott was not. In this case it is better to be Shott than
Nott. There was a rumor that Nott was not shot, and Shott avows that he
shot Nott, which proves either that the shot Shott shot at Nott was not
shot, or that Nott was shot notwithstanding. Circumstantial evidence is
not always good. It may be made to appear on trial that the shot Shott
shot shot Nott or, as accidents with fire-arms are frequent, it may be
possible that the shot Shott shot shot Shott himself, when the whole
affair would resolve itself into its original elements, and Shott would
be shot, and Nott would be not. Apparently the shot Shott shot shot not
Shott, but Nott; anyway, it is hard to tell who was shot.

On the death of Lord Kennet, in 1786, Sir William Nairne was raised to
the bench under Lord Dunsinnan—a circumstance which called forth a _bon
mot_ from the Duchess of Gordon. Her grace, happening to meet his
lordship shortly after his elevation, inquired what title he had
assumed. “Dunsinnan,” was, of course, the reply. “I am astonished at
that, my lord,” said the duchess, “for I never knew that you had begun

A noted Washington wag and beau of many years ago signed his name “A.
More.” Mrs. John Washington had invited him to a formal dinner party at
Mount Vernon. The company all arrived except Mr. More, but knowing his
queer ways the hostess did not wait for him. After she was seated some
time a huge envelope was handed her, in which she found an enormous leaf
of a sycamore tree. The interpretation was “Sick.—A. More.”

A young lady of Louisville, having received urgent proposals of marriage
from an old gentleman, sent the following answer by mail:

                 “Why thus urge me to compliance?
                   Why compel me to refuse?
                 Yet though I court not your alliance,
                   Perchance a younger I may choose.
                 For ’tis a state I’ll ne’er disparage,
                   Nor will I war against it wage;
                 I do not, sir, object to marriage,
                   I but dislike to marri-age.”

Madame Cresswell, a woman of infamous character, bequeathed ten pounds
for a funeral sermon, in which nothing ill should be said of her. The
Duke of Buckingham wrote the sermon, which was as follows: “All I shall
say of her is this—she was born _well_, she married _well_, lived
_well_, and died _well_; for she was born at Shad-well, married to
Cress-well, lived at Clerken-well, and died in Bride-well.”

In 1835 John Howard Payne spent some time in the South and formed the
acquaintance of a daughter of Judge Samuel Goode, of Montgomery,
Alabama. An old autograph album of hers contains the following lines in
Payne’s handwriting and over his signature:

                 “Lady, your name, if understood,
                   Explains your nature, to a letter;
                 And may you never change from _Goode_,
                   Unless, if possible, to _better_.”

On the next page is a response, written by Mirabeau B. Lamar, afterwards
President of the “Lone Star Republic” of Texas. It runs as follows:

                “I am content with being _Goode_;
                  To aim at _better_ might be vain;
                But if I do, ’tis understood,
                  Whate’er the cause—it is not _Payne_.”

                To church the two together went,
                Both, doubtless, on devotion bent.
                The parson preached with fluent ease,
                On Pharisees and Sadducees.
                And as they homeward slowly walked,
                The lovers on the sermon talked,
                And he—he deeply loved the maid—
                In soft and tender accents said:
                “Darling, do you think that we
                Are Pharisee and Sadducee?”
                She flashed on him her bright black eyes
                In one swift look of vexed surprise,
                And thus he hastened to aver,
                He was her constant worshipper;
                “But, darling, I insist,” said he,
                “That you are very fair I see;
                I know you don’t care much for me,
                And that makes me so sad you see.”

The wife of an optical instrument maker tried, on landing at New York,
after a European tour, to smuggle under her dress a quantity of
artificial eyes. In reply to the usual question whether she had anything
to declare, she said, “No,” most positively; but on the officer shaking
her dress the deception was exposed, and in spite of her “No’s,” the
eyes had it. But how absurd of the fair smuggler to hope to escape
detection when _every eye was upon her_!

On the marriage of Ebenezer Sweet and Jane Lemon a wag said,—

        How happily extremes do meet in Jane and Ebenezer!
        She no longer sour, but sweet, and he a lemon squeezer.

And George D. Prentice once said,—

A Mr. J. Lemon, of the North Carolina Legislature, has abandoned the
Whigs and joined the Democrats. That’s all right enough. If the
Democrats think they can recruit their strength with Lemon-aid, they are
welcome to try the experiment.

                  _Toast_ any girl but her, said Ned,
                    With every other flutter—
                  I’ll be content with Annie Bread,
                    And won’t have any _but her_.

A young man in one of our Western towns had patronized the arts so far
as to buy a picture of the Temptation of Adam and Eve. Some one asked
him if it was a chaste picture. “Yes,” he said, “_chased_ by a snake.”
This would have been witty if he had known it, but he didn’t.

                 A judge did once his tipstaff call,
                   And say, “Sir, I desire
                 You go forthwith and search the hall
                   And bring me in the crier.”

                 “And search in vain, my lord, I may,”
                   The tipstaff gravely said;
                 “The crier cannot cry to-day,
                   Because his wife is dead.”

When the fleet commanded by Lord Howe was stationed at Torbay, some time
previous to his defeat of St. André (1794), the inhabitants used to play
upon his name, saying,—

                        Lord _Howe_ he went out!
                        Lord _Howe_ he came in!

After the great victory over the French, the following toast was much in

May the French know _Howe_ to be master of the seas.

“How is it that you can tell such whoppers?” asked a caller, addressing
the editor of the fish-story department.

“Well, you see,” replied the editor, “our wife’s name is Anna.”

“What has that to do with it?”

“A great deal. When we are writing fish stories we usually have Anna
nigh us to help us.”

Two Quaker girls about to do some ironing on the same table, one asked
the other which side she would take, the right or left. She answered
promptly: “It will be right for me to take the left, and then it will be
left for thee to take the right.”

How a French marshal conveyed an order under cover of a cough, in 1851,
is told as follows:

The prevalence of coughs and colds at the present moment reminds me of
the fact that it was a cough which was mainly responsible for the
immense amount of bloodshed that attended the _coup d’état_ whereby
Napoleon III. obtained his throne.

That unscrupulous but brilliant adventurer, General, and afterward Field
Marshal, de St. Arnaud, had charge of the military operations. But he
was unwilling to assume the direct responsibility of ordering the troops
to fire upon the people, being not altogether certain as to the result
of Napoleon’s memorable enterprise.

When the moment for action arrived and the mob began to show signs of
sweeping aside the troops, the brigadier generals under his orders sent
an officer to him at head-quarters to ask him what they were to do,
whether they were to fire on the populace or give way.

Strangely enough, St. Arnaud was seized at that moment with a violent
fit of coughing which lasted for several minutes. Finally when it ceased
the General just managed to gasp the words, “Ma sacrée toux!” (my cursed

The officer having waited until the General had recovered his breath
repeated the question. Again St. Arnaud was seized with a violent fit of
coughing, which terminated, as on the previous occasion, with the
parting exclamation of “Ma sacrée toux!”

The officer was no fool; he could take a hint as well as anyone else,
and saluting he left St. Arnaud’s presence. On returning to the
brigadiers and colonels who had sent him for instructions he was asked
what reply St. Arnaud had made.

“The General’s only words and commands were massacrez tous!” (massacre

These commands were obeyed to the letter, and many thousand people were
shot down and bayoneted in consequence.

The word-twisters do not hesitate to invade the cemeteries and leave
their mark on tombstones. Here is one of Dr. Dibdin’s epitaphs:

             Reader, of these four lines take heed,
               And mend your life for my sake;
             For you must die, like ISAAC REED,
               Though you may _read_ till your _eyes ache_.

Cecil Clay, the counsellor of Lord Chesterfield, directed this whimsical
pun upon his name to be put on his tombstone:

                    Sum quod fui. (I am what I was.)

On an Oxford organist:

              Here lies one blown out of breath,
              Who lived a merry life and died a Merideth.

On a Norwich celebrity:

                   Hic jacet Plus, plus non est hic,
                   Plus et non plus, quomodo sic?

                   Here lies More, no more is he,
                   More and no more, how can that be?

In All Saints’ Church, Hertford, we are told “Here _sleeps_ Mr. _Wake_.”
The inscription over the bones of Captain Jones, the famous traveller
and story-teller, winds up with “He swore all’s true, yet here he
_lies_.” On the slab of a cockney cook is written, “Peace to his
hashes.” Of a drunken cobbler, a friend to _awl_, who toward the close
of life repented of his evil courses, it was said, “He saved his _sole_
by _mending at the last_.” Of John Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury,
1736, it is recorded, “Potter himself is turned to clay.”

A well known anecdote of Dr. Johnson’s dislike of punning is told in the
following way: “Sir,” said Johnson, “I hate a pun. A man who would
perpetrate a pun would have little hesitation in picking a pocket.” Upon
this, 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.”

Two merchants of a Scotch town were noted for many sharp bargains. One
of them was named Strong and the other answered to the name of Wiley.
One Sunday the good old minister greatly surprised his hearers by
invoking “a blessing upon us, for our enemies are wily and strong, as
Thou knowest, O Lord.” Notwithstanding the solemnity of the occasion,
few could resist a smile, feeling how applicable it was.

Among a party dining with W. S. Caine, M.P., was Rev. Dr. John Watson
(Ian Maclaren). Mr. Caine offered to give fifty pounds to a hospital
fund through the man who would make the best pun on his name within five
minutes. Cogitation became active, and then, just as the time was about
to expire, and Mr. Caine thought he would escape, Mr. Watson said,
“Don’t be in such a hurry, Caine.”

Daniel Webster, when a young man in New Hampshire, indulged in a form of
pleasantry on one occasion, unusual with him even in his lightest moods.
Party spirit running high in Portsmouth in the days of the embargo,
great efforts were made at an annual State election by both parties to
carry the town. The Republicans succeeded in electing their moderator,
Dr. Goddard, a position of potentiality, because he decided, in case of
a challenge, the right to vote. A man’s vote was offered on the part of
Mr. Webster’s friends which the Republican party objected to, and the
moderator was appealed to for a decision. The doctor hesitated; he did
not wish to decide against his own party, and still he was too
conscientious to make intentionally a wrong decision. He seemed at a
loss what to do. “I stand,” said he to the meeting, “between two
dangers; on the one side is Scylla, on the other, Charybdis, and I don’t
know which to do.” “I fear then,” said Mr. Webster, “that your Honor
will take the _silly_ side.”

In the way of oddities among the books may be noted a short man reading
Longfellow; a burglar picking at Locke; a jeweller devouring Goldsmith;
an artilleryman with Shelley; an omnibus driver calling for one Moore; a
nice young man going to the Dickens; a laborer at his Lever; a young
woman with her Lover; a Tom studying Dick’s works; a lancer learning
Shakspeare; a servant looking for the Butler; a miller deep in Mill; a
glazier’s hour with Paine; a hedger absorbed in Hawthorne; a Dutchman
interested in Holland; a domestic man with Holmes; a bookseller trying
to save his Bacon; a woman in Thiers; a lazy man’s Dumas; a determined
man with Kant; a corn-doctor with Bunyan’s Progress; a philologist
contemplating Wordsworth; a minstrel reading Emerson; a Catholic at
Pope; a creditor pleased with Sue; a jolly fellow laughing over Sterne.

                      CLEVER HITS OF THE HUMORISTS

                           _Mistaken Vanity_

It is told of Père Monsabre, the famous Dominican preacher, that one
day, as he was on the way to officiate in the church, a message came to
him that a lady wanted to see him. She was worrying about an affair of
conscience, she felt that she must see him, she feared that she was
given up to vanity. That very morning, she confessed, she had looked in
her looking-glass, and yielded to the temptation of thinking herself

Père Monsabre looked at her and said quietly, “Is that all?”

She confessed that it was.

“Well, my child,” he replied, “you can go away in peace, for to make a
mistake is not a sin.”


In the days before the war, days famous for generous but unostentatious
hospitality in the South, a brilliant party was assembled at dinner in a
country homestead. Across the table wit flashed back and forth, and,
when the merry party had adjourned to the broad veranda, the guests
began to vie with one another in proposing conundrums.

Mr. Alexander H. Stephens offered one which puzzled the whole company.
“What is it that we eat at breakfast and drink at dinner?”

For some time no answer came, and the bright eyes of the Southern orator
began to sparkle with triumph, when Colonel Johnston, taking up the
Commonplace Book of the hostess which lay conveniently by, wrote,
impromptu, upon the fly-leaf the following answer:

         “What is eaten for breakfast and drunken at dinner?
           Is it coffee or eggs—or butter or meats?
         Sure double the stomach of obdurate sinner
           Who eats what he drinks and drinks what he eats.

         But let us consider—’tis surely not butter,
           Nor coffee, nor meats, whether broiled or roast,
         Nor boiled eggs, nor poached, nor fried in a batter.
           It _must_ then be bread—ah, yes! when ’tis _toast_.”

                        _The Preferred Beverage_

Near Invermark, on Lord Dalhousie’s estate, a fountain was some years
ago erected to commemorate a visit paid to the place by the Queen. It
bears this inscription, in gold letters, “Rest, stranger, on this lovely
scene, and drink and pray for Scotland’s Queen—Victoria.” A Highlander
was shocked one morning to read the following addenda, traced in a bold
hand, suggestive of the London tourist, immediately underneath the
original: “We’ll pray for Queen Victoria here, but go and drink her
health in beer.”


In a very scarce book, Hal’s “Parochial History of Cornwall,” published
at Exeter in 1750, mention is made of Killigrew, the celebrated Master
of the Revels _temp._ Charles II., though he never was formally
installed as Court Jester. The following anecdote will show that, at all
events, he deserved the appointment, even though he did not get it: When
Louis XIV. showed him his pictures at Paris, the King pointed out to him
a picture of the Crucifixion between two portraits. “That on the right,”
added his Majesty, “is the Pope, and that on the left is myself.” “I
humbly thank your Majesty,” replied the wit, “for the information; for
though I have often heard that the Lord was crucified between two
thieves, I never knew who they were till now.”

                          _An Uncivil Retort_

The attention of a tourist was attracted to the following epitaph in an
English church-yard:

                    “Here I lie at the chancel door,
                    Here I lie because I am poor;
                    When I rise at the Judgment Day,
                    I shall be as warm as they.”

Whereupon the irreverent visitor scribbled underneath:

                         _From a Spirit within._

                 “’Tis true, old sinner, there you lie,
                 ’Tis true you’ll be as warm as I;
                 But, restless spirit, why foretell
                 That when you rise you’ll go to hell?”

                        _Unmistakable Legality_

On one occasion when Daniel Webster and Rufus Choate were pitted against
each other in court, Mr. Choate had lucidly, with great emphasis, stated
the law. Mr. Webster, than whom a greater master of attitude, gesture,
and facial expression never existed, turned on him the gaze of his great
eyes, as if in mournful, despairing remonstrance, against such a sad and
strange perversion. “That is the law, your Honor,” thundered Mr. Choate,
catching the glance, advancing a step, and looking full in Webster’s
face—“that is the law, in spite of the admonishing and somewhat paternal
look in the eye of my illustrious friend!” And it was the law, as
affirmed by the court.

                           _A Very Long Bill_

Mr. Nathan Appleton and Mr. Longfellow, travelling in Switzerland,
reached Zurich, where the landlord charged very exorbitant prices for
their entertainment. Mr. Appleton wrote his name on the books and paid
while demurring at the price charged.

“I have put my name on the books,” said Mr. Longfellow, “and if you will
allow me I will treat the innkeeper as he deserves.”

The name of the inn was the “Raven.” He took the book aside, and wrote
these lines:

                    “Beware of the raven of Zurich,
                      ’Tis a bird of omen ill,
                    With an ugly, unclean nest,
                      And a very, very long bill.”

                         _Whittier’s Impromptu_

John G. Whittier often wrote impromptu verses in albums and elsewhere,
bright with a gayety that does not often appear in his more important
works. In the album of a young lady—who with her friends had been
rallying him on his bachelorhood—he wrote the following lines:

            Ah, ladies, you love to levy a tax
            On my poor little paper parcel of fame;
            Yet strange it seems that among you all
            Not one is willing to take my name—
            To write and rewrite, till the angels pity her,
            The weariful words, Thine truly,      WHITTIER.

                         _Seeing is Believing_

                “I should like to see any man kiss me,”
                  The prudish young Boston maid cries.
                Miss Innocence answers, “Why, bless me!
                  Do you usually close your eyes?”

                           _A Killarney Echo_

A good-natured Anglican parson was riding one day in a jaunting-car near
the Lakes of Killarney, whose famous echoes sometimes repeat a sound as
many as eight times. Wishing to “take a rise out of the driver,” the
clergyman said,—

“Do you know, Pat, that there are none but Protestant echoes here?”

“No, sir, I niver h’ard it, and I don’t believe it aither,” was the

“Well, you shall hear it very soon,” said the Anglican. Arriving at a
favorable spot he called out softly, raising his voice to a loud pitch
on the last word: “Do you believe in Pio Nono?” and the echo replied,—

“No, no! No, no! No, no!”

Pat was delighted at the joke, and, rubbing his hands gleefully, said,—

“Bedad, whin I drive one of the _raal_ clargy here won’t I have the
sport out of him?”

                             _Not Rousseau_

The Russian poet Puschkin was plagued day after day by a certain Ivan
Iakowlewitsch (John, James’s son) to give him his autograph. Puschkin
always excused himself, but the petitioner was one of the men who never
take a hint. The poet at last consented, in no good humor; he seized the
book out of the man’s hand, and scribbled off the following lines:

                            Vous êtes Jean,
                            Vous êtes Jacques,
                            Vous êtes roux,
                            Vous êtes sot,
                    Mais vous n’êtes pas, mon cher,
                    Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

                           _Love of Specie-s_

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

                             _His Station_

At a banquet in London Ambassador Choate sat next to a distinguished
nobleman, who during the course of the conversation had occasion to

“And to what station in your country, Mr. Choate, does your Mr. Chauncey
M. Depew belong?”

“To the Grand Central Station, my lord,” readily replied the diplomat,
without a quiver.

The noble Englishman’s face clouded for a moment with uncertainty.

“I’m afraid you don’t know what I mean,” added Mr. Choate, about to go
to his rescue. But milord quickly smiled a glad smile of intelligence.

“Ah! I see, I see, Mr. Choate!” he exclaimed. “Mr. Depew belongs to your
grand, great middle class!”


That was a frank reply to a friend’s intimation of his approaching
marriage: “I should make my compliments to both of you; but as I don’t
know the young lady, I can’t felicitate you, and I know you so well that
I can’t felicitate her.”

                               _Double X_

A wealthy brewer in Montreal built a church and inscribed on it: “This
church was erected by Thomas Molson at his sole expense. Hebrews xi.”
Some wags altered the inscription so as to make it read: “This church
was erected by Thomas Molson at his soul’s expense. He brews XX.”

                          _Met the Emergency_

At a French provincial theatre, in a military play, the actor who was
credited with the part of a general slipped on the stage and fell
ignominiously at the very moment when he was supposed to be conducting
his troops to battle. With ready wit, however, he saved himself from
ridicule by exclaiming, “Soldiers, I am mortally wounded, but do not
stay to aid me. Pass over my prostrate body to victory.”

                         _A Similar Privilege_

In Carlsbad, Bohemia, is a restaurant keeper, who, when he finds any
distinguished person dining at his establishment, presents himself in a
dress coat, with many bows, and asks the honor of an autograph.
Rothschild, the banker, signed himself simply “R. de Paris.” Oppenheim,
a rich banker of Cologne, was subsequently appealed to. He looked at the
list and asked who “R. de Paris” was. “That,” said the restaurant man,
with pride, “is the Baron Rothschild of Paris.” “Ah!” said Oppenheim,
“what Rothschild did, I can do,” and signed himself “O. de Cologne.”

                          _Caderousse’s Wager_

The following curious anecdote is related in the _Événement_: Some young
men were conversing in a private room of the Maison d’Or. Among them was
the Duke de Gramont-Caderousse, who died at the age of thirty-two. Some
one reproached him with being too much in favor of the people, and with
being imbued with the new democratic ideas. After having replied
according to his conscience, he exclaimed, “Well, gentlemen, I’ll wager
that, without having done anything to merit it, I will get myself
arrested before an hour.” “Without having done anything to deserve it?”
“Nothing.” The bet was taken—fifty louis. Caderousse jumped into a cab,
drove to the Temple, and soon returned in a sordid costume—a tattered
cap on his head, trousers in rags, hobnailed boots, torn, muddy, down at
the heels. He rubbed his face and hands over with dirt and then begged
some one to follow him. Thus prepared, he entered a café on the
Boulevard Poissonnière, seated himself at a table, and called out,
“Waiter, a bottle of champagne!” The man hesitated a moment, and then
said in an undertone, “That costs twelve francs.” “Well,” replied De
Gramont, “I have money to pay with.” And he drew from his pocket forty
bank-notes of a thousand francs each, which he laid on the table. The
master of the establishment sent at once for some sergents de ville, and
in a few minutes the pretended vagabond was saying to the commissary of
police, “I am the Duke de Gramont-Caderousse. I had laid a wager that I
should be arrested without having done anything to deserve it.... I have
won, and I have only now to thank you.”

                        _According to Agreement_

The parson wanted to furnish hymn-books for his congregation, and was
told by a speculator that he would provide books, provided they included
with the hymns advertisements. On the first Sunday after the new books
had been distributed the congregation found themselves singing,—

                  Hark! the herald angels sing
                  Beecham’s pills are just the thing;
                  Peace on earth and mercy mild.
                  Two for men and one for child.

                            _A Pulpit Wager_

Many humorous stories are told of Lorenzo Dow. He preached once from the
text from St. Paul, “I can do all things.” “No, Paul,” he said, “you’re
wrong for once. I’ll bet you five dollars you can’t,” and he took a
five-dollar bill from his pocket and laid it on the desk. He continued
to read, “through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Oh, Paul,” said he, “that’s
an entirely different thing,—the bet is off.” “This,” says an English
writer, “beats any anecdote ever told of Spurgeon.”

                          _Rhus Toxicodendron_

The San Francisco manufacturer of a lotion advertises as follows:

             He built a bower of leafy sprays
               To shield his darling from the heat.
             “Would we might live thus all our days,”
               He said, reclining at her feet.
             Alas, poor love-blind, foolish folk,
               To hold of life so crude a notion!
             The bower was built of poison oak
               And they had to use Blank’s healing lotion.

                         _Mark Twain Convinced_

A story is told that on one occasion Charles Dudley Warner, who was
neighbor and friend to Mark Twain, wanted him to go walking, and Mark,
as usual, refused. Dudley insisted, but to no purpose.

“You ought to do it,” he said finally. “It’s according to Scripture.”

“No ‘Mark-the-perfect-man’ chestnuts on me,” replied the wily humorist.
“Where’s your authority?”

“The fifth chapter of Matthew, verse the forty-first,” said Mr. Warner,
“which reads thus: ‘And whoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with
him, Twain.’”

Mr. Clemens went with Mr. Warner that time.

                       _Motto for a Tavern Sign_

Lockhart, in his “Life of Sir Walter Scott,” tells a story of a Flodden
boniface who asked Scott for a motto from his poems to put on the
sign-board of his house. He says:

“Scott opened the book (Marmion) at the death-scene of the hero and his
eye was immediately caught by the inscription in black letter,—

                “‘Drink, weary pilgrim, drink, and pray
                For the kind soul of Sybil Grey,
                  Who built this cross and well.’

“‘Well, my friend,’ said he, “‘what more would you have? You need but
strike out one letter in the first of these lines and make your
painter-man, the next time he comes this way, print between the jolly
tankard and your own name,

                “‘Drink, weary pilgrim, drink, and PAY.’

“Scott was delighted to find, on his return, that this suggestion had
been adopted, and for aught I know, the romantic legend may still be

                             _A New Light_

A widower, in his great bereavement, expressed his feelings by having
engraved on the tombstone of his wife the line, “My light has gone out.”
As he was about to marry again, he asked the advice of Bishop Henry C.
Potter as to whether or not he should have the inscription erased, as it
seemed at variance with the new conditions. “Oh, no,” said the bishop,
“I wouldn’t have it taken off; just put underneath it, ‘I have struck
another match!’”

                        _Schweininger’s Thrust_

When Bismarck made the acquaintance of his last doctor he was sick and
peevishly declined to answer questions. “As you like,” said the doctor;
“then send for a veterinary surgeon, as such practitioners treat their
patients without asking them any questions.” The Chancellor was

                          _Significant Change_

A French paper revives the story of Alexandre Dumas being one day the
guest of Dr. Gistal, an eminent medical man of Marseilles, who after
dinner requested the novelist to enrich his album with one of his witty
improvisations. “Certainly,” replied Dumas, with a smile, and drawing
out his pencil he wrote, under the eyes of his entertainer, lines which
may be imitated as follows:

               “Since Dr. Gistal came to our town,
                 To cure diseases casual and hereditary,
               The hospital has been pulled down”—

“You flatterer!” here exclaimed the doctor, mightily pleased; but the
poet went on—

                 “And we have made a larger cemetery.”

                              _The Remedy_

Goldy’s touching lines, “When lovely woman stoops to folly,” fare sadly
in the hands of a silk dyer, who sends about a circular with this

               “When lovely woman tilts her saucer,
                 And finds too late that tea will stain—
               Whatever made a woman crosser—
                 What art can wash all white again?

               The only art the stain to cover,
                 To hide the spot from every eye,
               And wear an unsoiled dress above her,
                 Of proper color, is _to dye_!”

                          _Botanical Misnomer_

In one of the early comic annuals there are some amusing lines of Hood’s
describing how a country nurseryman had made a large sum out of the sale
of a simple little flower which he sold under the name of the “Rhodum
Sidus.” This charming name had proved quite an attraction to the ladies,
and the flower had become the rage of the season. At length a
pertinacious botanist, who found that the flower was a not uncommon
weed, insisted on knowing where the nurseryman had got his name from; he
elicited the following reply:

              “I found this flower in the road beside us,
              So christened it the Rhodum Sidus.”

                         _Not Interchangeable_

A rather amusing incident occurred recently at a show in Paris, where
the wonderful “Performing Fleas” were exhibited. One of the dear
creatures, which acted as coachman to the great flea-coach, managed to
hop off his box, and elected a rather stout lady, standing near, as his
first resting-place. The proprietor of the show, who had spent much time
and patience upon the education of his insect, was in despair, and the
lady was asked if she would mind making a search for the missing pet.
She accordingly retired to a private room, and in a few minutes returned
triumphant, carefully holding the captive in the most approved style.
She handed him to the showman, who started and changed color, and
returning the flea to the lady remarked: “Je vous remercie, Madame, mais
celle la est à vous, pas à moi!” (Thank you, Madame, but that’s not

                           _Business Economy_

Two commercial tourists, chancing to meet in an inn of a country town,
began, after lighting their cigars, a dispute as to the relative extent
of the business of their respective houses. One, zealous to prove the
superiority of the establishment he represented, after enumerating
extraordinary instances, reached the climax with the assertion that the
business of his house was so extensive, that in their correspondence
alone, it cost them over five hundred dollars a year for ink.

“Pooh, pooh,” said the other, “why, we save that much yearly by just
omitting the _dots_ to the _i’s_ and the strokes to the _t’s_.”

                   _Completing an Unfinished Stanza_

It is related that Dr. Mansel, of Trinity College, Cambridge, by chance
called at the rooms of a brother Cantab, who was absent, but had left on
his table the opening of a poem, in the following lofty strain:

                  “The sun’s perpendicular rays
                    Illumined the depths of the sea.”

Here the flight of the poet, by some accident, stopped short, but Dr.
Mansel, equal to the occasion, completed the stanza in the following
facetious style:

                “And the fishes, beginning to sweat,
                  Cried ‘Damn it,’ how hot we shall be.”

                           _Sonnet to a Cow_

            Why cow, how canst thou be so satisfied?
              So well content with all things here below?
            So unobtrusive and so sleepy-eyed
              So meek, so lazy, and so awful slow?
            Dost thou not know that everything is mixed,
              That naught is as it should be on this earth,
            That grievously the world needs to be fixed,
              That nothing we can give has any worth,
            That times are hard, that life is full of care,
              Of sin and trouble and untowardness,
            That love is folly, friendship but a snare?
              Prit, cow! this is no time for laziness!
            The cud thou chewest is not what it seems!
            Get up and moo! Tear ‘round and quit thy dreams!

                         _Xanthippe Vindicated_

The admirers of Sorosis have waited patiently for that sisterhood to
discuss and vindicate the character of that long maligned and grossly
misunderstood victim of history, Xanthippe. But Sorosis procrastinates,
and fails to declare that Socrates would have tried any woman’s temper.

Xanthippe has been called a shrew, a harridan, a scold, a virago, a
termagant. Her temper has been represented as hasty, and her poor,
patient husband, Socrates, has commanded not only respect for his
genius, but pity for his domestic woes. It is extraordinary that such a
misconception of the facts arose. It is remarkable that hitherto not one
apologist for Xanthippe has arisen.

But the champion of woman, of womanhood—yea, even of woman’s
rights—cannot study the facts preserved in history concerning this
ill-assorted pair without perceiving the gross injustice done to a
simple-minded and worthy dame. Reduced to its simplest terms, our
proposition is that Xanthippe lived and died a victim to the Socratic

Ladies, put yourselves in her place. Married to an ugly man in the bloom
of her youthful beauty,—to a man conspicuously ugly, with a flat nose,
thick lips, bulging eyes, so ugly that the handsome Alcibiades compared
him to Silenus,—we see at the outset that it was clearly a _mariage de
convenance_. Think of the discoveries the poor girl made after the
wedding! Her homely husband refused to wear shoes or stockings when the
courting days had passed. He not only never dressed for dinner, but even
refused to change his clothes at all, day in and day out. Having once
secured a housekeeper he rarely stayed at home, was constantly off in
the city, loafing in the market-place, disputing with every comer. He
had given up his trade as a sculptor as soon as he had her dowry to
spend, and spent his time gadding about with young men and neglecting
the proud, fair girl at home.

It was common talk that at the banquets, for which he forsook his home,
he drank more than any one else present. The misguided man, moreover,
seems to have had a devil, or demon, constantly instigating him to some
singular deed or remark. No wonder Xanthippe’s beauty faded! No wonder
that the being looked at askance at every meeting of the Society of
Athenian Dames she attended resulted in her gradually isolating herself
from social affairs! Confined to the narrow limits of her small home,
soured by neglect, yet ever faithful to the satyr Socrates, who left
home early and drank till the wee sma’ hours at night, it is evident
that the trials she contended with were great. But, you say, she must,
as a cultivated, ambitious woman, have greatly enjoyed and as greatly
profited by the opportunities of converse, infrequent but priceless,
with the great dialectician when he actually was in the bosom of his
family. That is the very point at issue. Our contention is that
Socrates’s conversation, if he conversed with his wife at all, was the
very straw that broke the camel’s back. Imagine being kept awake every
night, say from two to four by a husband, more or less the worse for
wine, and obliged to converse with him in question and answer, and being
constantly held down to rigid logical rules of expression! What woman
could endure having to voice her complaints in logical phrase? How the
war-horse of dialectics would snort in the excitement of battle at
hearing the feminine argument “Because” advanced in answer to some
impertinent question on his part.

It is undoubtedly true, and Plato incidentally corroborates it, that one
day when Xanthippe was out of wood, and the week’s ironing was all
waiting to be done, Socrates, in sheer laziness, and from no
ascertainable motive but pure cussedness, stood still for twenty-four
hours continuously. His apologist adds that he was entranced in thought,
and a partial public has believed it. But tell me, oh twentieth century
wife, what effect it would have had on your nerves and temper if your
Thomas or Jack were to treat you so?

If he had only brought his friends home occasionally and brightened
Xanthippe’s life somewhat in that way! Even the rough, uncouth Xenophon
would have been better than nobody. But this garrulous Greek seems to
have had no redeeming domestic features—unless we except what Xenophon
records in his Memorabilia (II. 2) as to his admonishing his eldest son,
Lamprocles, to be grateful to his mother, which was only decent in the
old man, as we infer from the context that Xanthippe had furnished
Lamprocles with liberal pocket-money.

We have a profound sympathy with Xanthippe. If she became a shrew, it
was Socrates’s fault. But it does not appear that she ever failed in the
great duties of womanhood. And it ill beseems either the man or his
apologists to malign a hard-working, much-abused woman whose defects of
temper were not congenital, but created and increased by this malicious
maieutic philosopher himself.

                       _Democritus at Belfast_[3]

          Tyndall, high perched on Speculation’s summit,
            May drop his sounding line in Nature’s ocean,
          But that great deep has depths beyond his plummet,
            The springs of law and life, mind, matter, motion.

          Democritus imagined that the soul
            Was made of atoms, spheric, smooth and fiery;
          Plato conceived it as a radiant whole—
            A heavenly unit baffling man’s inquiry.

          Indolent Gods, immeasurably bored,
            Beyond the blast of Boreas and Eurus,
          Too lazy Man to punish or reward,
            Such was the heaven conceived by Epicurus.

          If, as the wide-observant Darwin dreams,
            Man be developed of the Ascidian, ·
          Methinks his great deeds and poetic dreams
            Scarce square with his molluscous pre-meridian.

          But, even as Milton’s demons, problem tossed,
            When they had set their maker at defiance,
          Still “found no end, in wandering mazes lost,”
            So is it with our modern men of science.

          Still in the “Open Sesame” of Law,
            Life’s master key professing to deliver,
          But meeting with deaf ear or scorn-clenched jaw,
            Our question, “Doth not law imply lawgiver?”

          Betwixt the Garden and the Portico,
            Thou vacillating servant, often flittest,
          And when we seek the source of law to know,
            Giv’st us a phrase, “survival of the fittest.”

          Pray who may be the fittest to survive,
            The spark of thought for coming time to kindle,
          The sacred fire of science keep alive?—
            Plato, Agassiz, Humboldt, Huxley, Tyndall?

          If Tyndall’s last word be indeed the last—
            Of Hope and Faith hence with each rag and tatter!
          A black cloud shrouds our future as our past:
            Matter, the wise man’s God; the Crowd’s—no Matter.

Footnote 3:

  (See Report of Professor Tyndall’s Inaugural Discourse to the British

                           _Christmas Chimes_

                Little Penelope Socrates—
                  A Boston maid of four—
                Wide opened her eyes on Christmas morn,
                  And looked the landscape o’er.
                “What is it inflates my _bas de bleu_?”
                  She asked with dignity;
                “’Tis Ibsen in the original;
                  Oh, joy beyond degree.”

                  Miss Mary Cadwallader Rittenhouse,
                    Of Philadelphia town,
                  Awoke as much as they ever do there,
                    And watched the snow come down.
                  “I’m glad that it is Christmas,”
                    You might have heard her say,
                  “For my family is one year older now
                    Than it was last Christmas day.”

                ’Twas Christmas in giddy Gotham,
                  And Miss Irene de Jones
                Awoke at noon and yawned and yawned,
                  And stretched her languid bones.

                “I’m sorry it is Christmas,
                  Papa at home will stay,
                For ’Change is closed and he won’t make
                  A single cent to-day.”

                Windly dawned the Christmas
                  On the city by the lake,
                And Miss Arabel Wabash Breezy
                  Was instantly awake.
                “What’s that thing in my stocking?
                  Well, in two jiffs I’ll know.”
                And she drew a grand piano forth
                  From ’way down in the toe.

                       _The Nestling Shuttlecock_

The amusing verses of Peter Pindar (Dr. John Wolcot) on the King and the
Apple Dumplings have been so much copied in school books and collections
of humorous poetry that most readers are familiar with the monarch’s

          “Strange I should never of a dumpling dream;
          But Goody, tell me, where, where, where’s the seam?”
          “Sir, there’s no seam,” quoth she, “I never knew
          That folks did apple dumplings sew.”
          “No?” cried the staring monarch with a grin,
          “Then how the devil got the apple in?”

But Pindar’s “King of France and the Fair Lady” is seldom, if ever,
found outside of his now scarce poetical works:

                    A king of France upon a day,
                      With a fair lady of his court,
                    Was pleased at battledore to play—
                      A very fashionable sport.

          Into the bosom of this fair court dame,
          Whose whiteness did the snow’s pure whiteness shame,
          King Louis by odd mischance did knock
              The shuttlecock.
          Thrice happy rogue, upon the town of doves,
          To nestle with the pretty little loves!
          “Now, sire, pray take it out,” quoth she,
          With an arch smile. But what did he?
            What? what to charming modesty belongs!
          Obedient to her soft command,
          He raised it—but not with his hand!
              No, marvelling reader, but the chimney tongs.

          What a chaste thought in this good king;
              How clever!
          When shall we hear again of such a thing?
              Lord! never.
          Now were our princes to be prayed
          To such an act by some fair maid,
              I’ll bet my life not one would mind it;
          But handy, without more ado,
          The youths would search the bosom through,
              Although it took a day to find it.

                  _Proverbial Philosophy in New Dress_

              Teach not your parent’s parent to extract
                The golden contents of the egg by suction.
              The good old lady can the feat enact
                Quite irrespective of your kind induction.

              A member of the feathered federation,
                A prisoner by your palm and digits made,
              Is worth at least a couple of his brothers
                Who in your leafy arbor seek the shade.

                         _Theory and Practice_

Doctor (to brother physician)—“Yes, sir, the sovereign remedy for all
ills is fresh air and plenty of it. People don’t let enough air into
their houses. Well, I must hurry off; I’m on an errand.”

Brother Physician—“Going far?”

Doctor—“No; only down to the hardware store to get half a mile of

                       THE HITS OF THE SATIRISTS

                          _Thanks for Victory_

Mr. Punch mercilessly satirized the despatches of a great royal soldier,
a religiously minded man, as follows:

                By the blessing of God, my dear Augusta,
                We’ve had again an awful buster.
                Ten thousand Frenchmen sent below;
                Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

                            _Battle Prayer_

The following has been shrewdly suggested as a good form for a battle

O God, we who are about to plunge into battle pray Thee that Thou wilt
be with us and so direct our guns that we may mow down the enemy like
chaff. May we kill hundreds outright and maim many more, thereby causing
gloom and desperation to settle upon the hearts and the hearthstones of
our enemies.

O Thou God of Battles, enable us to make many widows and orphans; let
there be hundreds of homes desolated; let there be devoted sons left to
mourn the fathers that we shall kill; let there be distracted wives and
mothers to cry unceasingly at the loss of the light of their homes and
the support of their declining years.

O God, if there be good men on the other side who pray to Thee for
success, turn Thou their prayers to empty words.

Let it be given to us to sink more skips and to cause more misery than
our enemy, with all his striving, can do; and this we ask for the sake
of Christ, who labored to bring peace and good-will to earth. Amen.

                       _Silly Newspaper Queries_

Those who are blessed with a keen sense of humor will appreciate the
playful ridicule in a specimen letter published in the New York _Evening


Having for a long time been a reader of your valuable paper, I write to
ask if you will have the kindness to inform me through the columns of
the same who is the author of the following pathetic poem:

                “‘Hard was he up;
                And in the hardness of his upness
                Stole a ham.

                “‘Down on him swooped,
                And swooping, up him scooped,
                The minions of the law.’      NEPTUNE.”

Commenting upon this thrust at silly queries, the editor remarks: “It
shows what a newspaper has practised upon it daily in one form or
another; yet the writers of communications quite as absurd as the
foregoing wear very solemn faces, and enter long complaints against the
editors for declining to print queries which would merely make the
public laugh, or may be answered by consulting the nearest dictionary,
or are of no possible interest to anybody save the querist himself. A
bit of satire like ‘Neptune’s’ is a word to the wise; we almost despair,
however, of its producing any effect upon the foolish.”

                        _Puffery Extraordinary_

A manufacturer of patent medicines wrote to a friend living on a farm in
the West for a good strong recommendation for his (the manufacturer’s)
“Balsam.” In a few days he received the following:

“DEAR SIR,—The land composing my farm had hitherto been so poor that a
Scotchman could not get a living off it, and so stony that we had to
slice our potatoes and plant them edgeways, but hearing of your balsam,
I put some on a ten-acre lot surrounded by a railroad fence, and in the
morning I found that the rock had entirely disappeared, a neat stone
wall encircled the field, and the rails were split into oven wood, and
piled up systematically in my back-yard.

I put half an ounce into the middle of a huckleberry swamp; in two days
it was cleared off, planted with corn and pumpkins, and a row of
peach-trees in full blossom through the middle.

As an evidence of its tremendous strength, I would say that it drew a
striking likeness of my eldest son out of a mill-pond, drew a blister
all over his stomach, drew a load of potatoes four miles to market, and
eventually drew a prize of ninety-seven dollars in a lottery.”


Among the abundant political satires aimed at Beaconsfield was the
following, in which will be recognized his well-known passion for

                “I am the Peerless Premier,
                ’Tis mine to speak and yours to hear.
        Intelligent England! now the time has come,
                As all must own
                And see,
        When you must rally round Me and the Throne—
                Particularly Me:
        Or else the random rage of ruthless Rome,
        The fickle falsehood of fair fawning France,
        Bismarckian braggadocia from Berlin,
        The mystic Muscovite’s most monstrous maw,
        Home-Rulers hoarsely howling hideous humbug, where, smug
        They batten on their melancholy isle,” etc.

                          _Burns’s Impromptu_

A specimen of Burns’s facility in impromptu satire, when provoked by
anything which he considered mean, is one of the memories of Brownhill
Inn. It is related that he was washing at the horse-trough, having
apparently been drinking all night. Just then a black-coated parson, who
had slept at the inn, came out and ordered his horse. Before he mounted
he said to the hostler, taking fourpence out of his pocket, “You see, I
ought to give you all this fourpence, but I shall want to pay threepence
for the ferry hard by, so I can only give you a penny.” Burns, who had
been looking on all the time, roared out,—

                            “Black’s your coat,
                            Black’s your hair,
          And black’s your conscience, of which you’ve damned
                            little to spare.”

He then gave the hostler sixpence.

                          _The Prince Regent_

Byron’s “English Bards and Scotch Reviewers” maintains its place in the
forefront of commingled ridicule and censure, but nothing in that famous
satire, or its sequel, “Hints from Horace,” approaches in caustic
severity his castigation of that royal voluptuary, the Prince Regent,
afterwards George IV. Byron chanced to see him standing between the
coffins of Charles I. and Henry VIII., and thereupon penned the
following epigram:

            “Famed for contemptuous breach of sacred ties,
            By headless Charles see heartless Henry lies;
            Between them stands another sceptred thing;
            It moves, it reigns, in all but name a king.
            Charles to his people, Henry to his wife,
            In _him_ the double tyrant wakes to life.
            Justice and death have mixed their dust in vain,
            Each royal vampire wakes to life again:
            Ah, what can tombs avail? since these disgorge
            The blood and dust of both to mould a _George_.”

                          _The American Eagle_

Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to his daughter, Mrs. Sarah Bache,
written in the seventy-eighth year of his age, regrets, in a
characteristic passage, that the bald eagle had been preferred to the
turkey as the national emblem. “For my own part,” said he, “I wish the
bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he
is a bird of bad moral character; he does not get his living honestly;
you may have seen him perched on some dead tree where, too lazy to fish
for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing-hawk; and when that
diligent has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for
the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him, and
takes it from him. With all this injustice he is never in good case,
but, like those among men who live by sharping and robbing, he is
generally poor and often very lousy. Besides, he is a rank coward; the
little king bird, not bigger than a sparrow, attacks him boldly and
drives him out of the district. He is, therefore, by no means a proper
emblem for the brave and honest Order of the Cincinnati of America, who
have driven all the _King birds_ from our country; though exactly fit
for that order of knights which the French call _Chevaliers
d’Industrie_. I am, on this account, not displeased that the figure is
not known as a bald eagle, but looks more like a turkey. For, in truth,
the turkey is, in comparison, a much more respectable bird, and withal,
a true original native of America. Eagles have been found in all
countries, but the turkey was peculiar to ours. He is besides (though a
little vain and silly, ’tis true, but none the worse for that) a bird of
courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British
guards, who should presume to invade his farm-yard with a red coat on.”

                   _The Drama as an Instrumentality_

The political satirical drama founded by Aristophanes was copied in
England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Greek comic
poet introduced real characters on the stage for the purpose of
satirizing them. His freedom and boldness in depicting corrupt men and
corrupt measures were prominently shown in his caricature of the coarse
and noisy Cleon, when that Athenian leader was at the height of his
power and insolence. In a similar way the first Earl of Shaftesbury was
assailed by Dryden in an opera entitled “Albion and Albanis.” “The
subject of this piece,” as Baker says, in his “Biographica Dramatica,”
“is wholly allegorical, being intended to expose Lord Shaftesbury and
his adherents.” But there is a more violent and virulent satire upon the
same individual in Otway’s play of “Venice Preserved.” In reference to
the former, Baker quotes Dr. Johnson as truly describing those portions
of the play, now never represented, and in which the leading character
was Antonio, as “despicable scenes of vile comedy.” All the vices
assigned to Antonio were intended to depict Anthony, Earl of
Shaftesbury; and it was on account of these very scenes that the play
was a favorite with Charles II. Both political parties, at that period
of English history, were merciless in their treatment of each other, and
made use of the forms of a drama to gratify their detestation of their

                        _Compliments to Boswell_

In a copy of Boswell’s “Tour to the Hebrides,” Horace Walpole wrote the
following stinging lines:

           “When Boozy Bozzy belched out Johnson’s Sayings,
           And half the volume filled with his own Brayings,
           Scotland beheld again before her pass
           A Brutal Bulldog coupled with an Ass.”

                           _Forbidden Fruit_

Among the poems attributed to Lord Byron is one commencing with—

             “What! the girl I adore by another embraced!”

Reference to the sentiments expressed in his poem “The Waltz” makes it
probable that the lines came from his pen. The subject of waltzing
serves as a reminder of an impromptu addressed by an indignant lover to
his betrothed and her partner:

              “You have brushed the bloom from the peach,
                From the rose its soft hue.
              What you’ve touched you may take,
                Pretty waltzer, adieu.”

                      _A Statesman as a Scientist_

In the “Crotchet Castle,” published in 1831, is a merciless exposure of
astonishing inaccuracies in some papers on scientific subjects, written
by Lord Brougham for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.
Among the sarcastic thrusts is the following:

“I suppose the learned friend [Brougham] has written a sixpenny treatise
on mechanics, and the rascals who robbed me have been reading it.

“_Mr. Crotchet_: Your house would have been very safe, doctor, if they
had had no better science than the learned friend’s to work with.”

                    _Lardner’s Mistaken Prediction_

Few men have presented as prominent a target for irony as Dr. Dionysius
Lardner, in view of his alleged statement, in 1836, that steam
navigation for a voyage across the Atlantic was impracticable. What he
said, according to the report of his address in the London _Times_,
August 27, 1836, was that by collation of the amount of coal needed per
horse-power, the speed obtainable, and the number of hours needed for
the distance, no vessel could stow away enough coal to carry her through
a voyage of three thousand miles, and that two thousand miles was the
longest possible run. Brunel, the chief engineer of the Great Western
Railway, pointed out an arithmetical error in the “demonstration” which
vitiated the whole of it, and the learned doctor sat down suddenly
without acknowledgment of his palpable error.

                   _The Lawyers and the Playwrights_

Samuel Hand, Esq., in the course of an address before the New York State
Bar Association said, “It must be confessed that in modern times there
has been strongly impressed upon the world’s imagination a dark view of
the lawyer and his pursuits. Hear Ben Jonson describe us in the age of

            “‘I oft have heard him say how he admired
            Men of your large profession, that could speak
            To every cause, and things mere contraries,
            Till they were hoarse again, yet all be law;
            That with most quick agility, could turn
            And return; make knots and undoe them;
            Give forked counsel; take provoking gold
            On either hand, and put it up; these men
            He knew would thrive with their humility
            And (for his part) he thought he would be blest
            To have his heir of such a suffering spirit,
            So wise, so grave, of so perplexed a tongue
            And loud withal, that would not wag nor scarce
            Lie still without a fee; when every word
            Your worship but lets fall is a zecchin.’

“Turning to the contemporary dramatists, Boucicault and others, we find
the advocate generally handsomely used, but the attorney most
outrageously maltreated and abused. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine
anything more revolting than the figure usually cut by a stage attorney.
He is depicted as meanness itself—vulgar, impudent, prying, without
modesty or veracity, to whom honor is nothing but a word, offering his
person to be kicked and himself to be reviled, if, by that means, any
money can be made. I do not know how it may be with others, but when
this libel on us appears on the stage I can hardly keep my countenance.
It is needless to say that, whatever else may be true of us, these
disgusting pictures are not even good caricatures. They have not the
merit of suggesting the reality. It is difficult to conjecture how they
could have originated, or what circumstances retain them in dramatical
composition, for they have not the most remote resemblance, even in
caricature, to the real average attorney, either English or American.”

                       _Bancroft as a Historian_

In the Critical and Political Essays of Severn Teackle Wallis, in his
day the leader of the Maryland bar, is a severe arraignment of Bancroft
as a historian. Mr. Wallis charges the author of the “History of the
United States” with such trespasses as “misstatement, omission,
garbling, perversion, and suppression;” the indictment is sustained, and
the conviction is complete. A single paragraph will serve as a specimen
of his vigor.

“Every one who knows anything of our revolutionary history is aware of
the feeling which from time to time was manifested in the Continental
Army against some of the troops and officers from New England. The
attempts of modern historians and lecturers in that quarter to conceal
the traces and evade the justice of this feeling are equally notorious.
The controversy between Lord Mahon and Mr. Sparks is familiar to our
readers. Those who have taken the pains to read what Washington did
actually think and write upon the subject will remember how often, in
the bitterness and sadness of despair, and with the fierce indignation
of his own burning and unselfish patriotism, he denounced the trading
spirit, the littleness, the cowardice, the mean cabals and interests by
which the troops in question so frequently imperilled the great cause.
In the face of facts so generally known and incontestable, we confess
our amazement at finding, on page 335 of the volume of his history now
under review, the broad statement by Mr. Bancroft that ‘it was on the
militia of these (the New England) States, that Washington placed his
chief reliance.’ Nor is this inconceivable assertion guarded by
qualifications of any sort, as to time, or place, or occasion. On the
contrary, it is coupled with an observation ascribed to the British
commander-in-chief, that the New England militia, ‘when brought into
action, were the most persevering of any in all North America,’—the
purpose of combining the two statements being, of course, to perpetuate
it as a historical fact, attested by the heads of both armies, that the
troops from New England were the right arm of the one and the terror of
the other. It is the misfortune of criticism that its decorum has no
language by which falsifications of the sort can be properly
characterized. Happily, on the other hand, it is but seldom called to
expose anything so gross. Mr. Bancroft did himself infinite injustice by
not adding to it at once, that John Adams was the unswerving friend and
stay of Washington in the dark hours of doubt; that the Declaration of
Independence was signed in Boston, and the sword of Cornwallis
surrendered on Bunker Hill.”

                          _Unsuspected Turns_

When Charles Lamb was invited, at a public dinner, to say grace, and
responded with the remark, “Is there no minister present? Then let us
thank God!” he was a satirist, and knew it. When a sheriff up in
Vermont, in opening the county court, cried, “All persons having causes
or matters pending therein, draw near, and they shall be heard, and God
save the people!” he was a satirist and didn’t know it.

                            _Plain Speaking_

An elderly resident of a village in Western New York still tells with
glee the story of his aspirations to become justice of the peace many
years ago, when his youthful temper was not always under control. He
says he went to the leader of the dominant party in the town, still well
remembered for his prominence in that locality and with whom he was on
familiar terms, and told him that he would like to get the nomination
for justice of the peace. The answer he got, pronounced with great
deliberation and dignity, was “A——, you are just as fit for justice of
the peace as hell is for a powder house.”


Lord Chesterfield’s “Letters to his Son,” though unrivalled as models
for epistolary style, have incurred strong reprehension on two grounds:
first, because some of their maxims are repugnant to good morals; and,
secondly, as insisting too much on manners and graces instead of more
solid acquirements. What effect these lessons in the art of
dissimulation, these precepts for uniting wickedness and the graces, had
upon Philip Stanhope, for whom they were designed, may be inferred from
the following stanzas:

                  “Vile Stanhope—Demons blush to tell—
                    In twice two hundred places
                  Has shown his son the road to hell
                    Escorted by the Graces;
                  But little did the ungenerous lad
                    Concern himself about them;
                  For base, degenerate, meanly bad,
                    He sneaked to hell without them.”

                         _Pens Dipped in Gall_

Theodore Hook declared that Shelley’s “Prometheus Unbound” was the most
appropriate of titles, rattling off his criticism in the lines:

            “For surely an age would be spent in the finding
            A reader so weak as to pay for the binding.”

Erskine is the author of an ill-natured couplet concerning Sir Walter
Scott’s “On Waterloo’s Ensanguined Field:”

                  “None by sabre or by shot
                  Fell half so flat as Walter Scott.”

Samuel Rogers, the London poet and banker, was the victim of a woman’s
unsparing wit, when Lady Blessington wrote of his exquisitely
illustrated “Italy” that “the work would surely have been dished had it
not been for the plates.” Tom Moore once experienced a savage dislike
for a cross-eyed woman, who was said to be a poetess, and sneeringly
observed that “instead of her gazing at one muse at a time, she had an
eye for the whole nine at once.” Garrick was a relentless critic of Sir
John Hill, who was a doctor and dramatist:

        “Thou essence of dock and valerian and sage
        At once the disgrace and the pest of the age,
        The worst that we wish thee for all thy sad crimes
        Is to take thine own physic and read thine own rhymes.”

The great lake poets, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey, were satirized
by a cynical author, who wrote:

           “They came from the lakes, an appropriate quarter
           For poems diluted with plenty of water.”

It was one of Pope’s observations: “We have just enough religion to make
us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.” Swift, who was the
keenest of English satirists, remarked in the same vein: “A man of
business should always have his eyes open, but must often seem to have
them shut.” Satire has its place, and the foibles of individuals and
races may be dealt with most effectively at times with the pen dipped in
gall, but in general its use is to be deplored, not alone in criticism,
but in all the relationships of life.

                            _Samuel Rogers_

Captain Medwin, in his “Life of Shelley,” copies the following verses on
the poet-banker Rogers, which he attributes, whether justly or not, to

                 “Nose and chin would shame a knocker,
                 Wrinkles that would puzzle Cocker,
                 Mouth which marks the envious scorner,
                 With a scorpion at the corner,
                 Turning its quick tail to sting you,
                 In the place that most may wring you;
                 Eyes of lead-like hue and gummy,
                 Carcase picked up from some mummy,
                 Bowels—but they were forgotten,
                 Save the liver and that’s rotten;
                 Skin all sallow, flesh all sodden,
                 From the devil would frighten Godwin.
                 Is’t a corpse set up for show?
                 Galvanized at times to go?
                 With the Scripture in connection,
                 New proof of the resurrection?
                 Vampire! ghost! or goat, what is it?
                 I would walk ten miles to miss it.”

“The author of the ‘Pleasures of Memory,’” remarks William Howitt, “has
never met with that species of Mohawk criticism, that scalping and
scarifying literary assault and battery, which so many of his
contemporaries have had to undergo.” Nevertheless, it would be hard to
find in the wide range of Satanic literature a scarification as intense
and as sweeping as that in the lines above quoted.

                    _Junius on the Duke of Bedford_

“My lord, you are so little accustomed to receive any marks of respect
or esteem from the public, that if in the following lines a compliment
or expression of applause should escape me, I fear you would consider it
as a mockery of your established character, and perhaps an insult to
your understanding. You have nice feelings if we may judge from your
resentments. Cautious, therefore, of giving offence where you have so
little deserved it, I shall leave the illustration of your virtues to
other hands. Your friends have a privilege to play upon the easiness of
your temper, or probably they are better acquainted with your good
qualities than I am. You have done good by stealth. The rest is upon
record. You have still ample room for speculation when panegyric is

“Let us consider you, then, as arrived at the summit of worldly
greatness; let us suppose that all your plans of avarice and ambition
are accomplished, and your most sanguine wishes gratified in the fear as
well as the hatred of the people. Can age itself forget that you are now
in the last act of life? Can gray hairs make folly venerable? Is there
no period to be reserved for meditation and retirement? For shame, my
lord! Let it not be recorded of you that the latest moments of your life
were dedicated to the same unworthy pursuits, the same busy agitations,
in which your youth and manhood were exhausted. Consider that though you
cannot disgrace your former life, you are violating the character of age
and exposing the impotent imbecility, after you have lost the vigor of
the passions.

“Your friends will ask, perhaps, Whither shall this unhappy old man
retire? Can he remain in the metropolis where his life has been so often
threatened, and his palace so often attacked? If he returns to Woburn,
scorn and mockery await him; he must create a solitude round his estate
if he would avoid the face of reproach and derision. At Plymouth his
destruction would be more than probable; at Exeter, inevitable. No
honest Englishman will ever forget his attachment, nor any honest
Scotchman forget his treachery, to Lord Bute. At every town he enters he
must change his liveries and name. Whichever way he flies, the hue and
cry of the country pursues him.

“In another kingdom, indeed, the blessings of his administration have
been more sensibly felt, his virtues understood; or, at worst, they will
not for him alone forget their hospitality. As well might Verres have
returned to Sicily. You have twice escaped, my lord; beware of a third
experiment. The indignation of a whole people, plundered, insulted, and
oppressed as they have been, will not always be disappointed.

“It is in vain, therefore, to shift the scene; you can no more fly from
your enemies than from yourself. Persecuted abroad, you look into your
own heart for consolation, and find nothing but reproaches and despair.
But, my lord, you may quit the field of business, though not the field
of danger; and though you cannot be safe, you may cease to be
ridiculous. I fear you have listened too long to the advice of those
pernicious friends with whose interests you have sordidly united your
own, and for whom you have sacrificed every thing that ought to be dear
to a man of honor. They are still base enough to encourage the follies
of your age, as they once did the vices of your youth. As little
acquainted with the rules of decorum as with the laws of morality, they
will not suffer you to profit by experience, nor even to consult the
propriety of a bad character. Even now they tell you that life is no
more than a dramatic scene, in which the hero should preserve his
consistency to the last; and that as you lived without virtue, you
should die without repentance.”

                        _Ruskin on the Bicycle_

This is what John Ruskin thought of the bicycle: “Some time since I put
myself on record as an antagonist of the devil’s own toy, the bicycle. I
want to reiterate, with all the emphasis of strong language, that I
condemn all manner of bi-, tri-, and 4–, 5–, 6–, or 7–cycles. Any
contrivance or invention intended to supersede the use of human feet on
God’s own ground is damnable. Walking, running, leaping, and dancing are
legitimate and natural joys of the body, and every attempt to stride on
stilts, dangle on ropes, or wiggle on wheels is an affront to the
Almighty. You can’t improve on God’s appointed way of walking by
substituting an improved cart-wheel.”

                        _A Serious Interruption_

An amusing story about the late Baron James de Rothschild, who was as
sarcastic as he was shrewd, is now going the rounds of the French press.
It is to the effect that the baron was playing whist one night, “a
financier’s game”—for moderate stakes, that is—with the wealthy Marquis
d’Aligre and a party, when the marquis, having let a louis fall on the
floor, insisted on stopping the game until he found it. The baron,
learning the cause of the interruption, exclaimed in a pathetic tone, “A
louis on the floor? Ah! that is a serious matter,” and coolly taking a
hundred-franc note from his pocket, rolled it up, lighted it at a
candle, and held the blazing paper down to the carpet with profound
gravity to help the marquis in his search!

               _Imitation of Shakespeare’s Commentators_

“_Stilton Cheese._”—So, some of the old copies; yet the 4to, 1600, reads
“_Tilton_.” But I confess the word _Tilton_ gives me no idea. I find
Stilton to be a village in Huntingdon, famous for its cheese—a fact
which clearly evinces the propriety of the reading in the old copy, and
justifies my emendation.


Here we have a very critical note! The word Tilton can give Mr. Theobald
no idea. And it is true, words cannot give a man what nature has denied
him. But though our critic may be ignorant of it, it is well known that
in the days of chivalry _Tilting_ was a very common amusement in
England; and I find that, during the performance of these martial
exercises the spectators were frequently entertained with a sort of
cheese, which, from the occasion on which it was made, was called
_Tilting_, and by corruption _Tilton_ cheese. Mr. Theobald’s emendation,
therefore, as needless and truly absurd, ought by all means to be


The emendation, in my opinion, is not more absurd than the remark which
the learned annotator has made upon it. There is, indeed, a stupid error
in some of the old copies. But discordant opinions are not always
nugatory, and by much agitation the truth is elicited. I think Mr.
Theobald’s alteration right.


Stilton is a village in Huntingdon on the great North road. Tilton,
though not so well known, is a village in Leicester. In an old
collection of songs, black-letter, no date, we read “_Tilton’s_ homely
fare,” which all critics will allow can only mean cheese. In an old MS.
of which I remember neither the date nor the title Tilton is said to
abound in rich pasturage; both which circumstances make it highly
probable that our author wrote, not as Mr. Theobald supposes, _Stilton_,
but _Tilton_; though I confess the passage is not without difficulty.


                          _Wordsworth’s Horse_

               Will Wordsworth was a steady man,
                 That lived near Ambleside,
               And much he longed to have a horse,
                 Which he might easy ride.

               It chanced one day a horse came by,
                 Of pure Arabian breed,
               Gentle, though proud, and strong of limb;
                 It was a gallant steed!

               Full many a noble rider bold
                 This gallant steed had borne;
               And every one upon his brow
                 The laurel wreath had worn.

               Those noble riders dead and gone,
                 And in the cold earth laid,
               The gallant steed by Wordsworth’s door
                 Without an owner strayed.

               No more ado; the steed is caught;
                 Upon him Wordsworth gets;
               The generous courser paws and rears,
                 And ’gainst the bridle frets.

               “He’s too high mettled,” Wordsworth says,
                 “And shakes me in my seat;
               He must be balled, and drenched, and bled,
                 And get much less to eat.”

               So balled, and drenched, and bled he was,
                 And put on lower diet;
               And Wordsworth with delight observed
                 Him grow each day more quiet.

               At first he took from him his oats,
                 And then he took his hay;
               Until at last he fed him on
                 A single straw a day.

               What happened next to this poor steed
                 There’s not a child but knows;
               Death closed his eyes, as I my song,
                 And ended all his woes.

               And on a stone, near Rydal Mount,
                 These words are plain to see,—
               “Here lie the bones of that famed steed,
                 High-mettled Poesy.”

                           _A Sylvan Reverie_

  _Scene, Hawarden Park._ [_Mr. Gladstone discovered engaged in felling
    a tree, surrounded by fourteen hundred liberals of Bolton. He
    strikes a few blows; the crowd cheer vociferously. Mr. Gladstone
    pauses from his labors, reflects a few moments, and then sings sotto

         How sweet are the sounds of the popular voice
           In an ex-ministerial ear!
         How surely I know that the national choice
           _Must_ go with the noisiest cheer!
         As I gaze upon votaries faithful as those,
           And their incense of worship ascends,
         I forget for a moment the malice of foes
           And—still better—the coldness of friends.
             I feel I am great, and I know I am good,
               And no longer regret my position
             As statesman who’s taken to chopping of wood
               And abandoned the paths of ambition.

         Is it vanity prompting me? Is it self-love?
           Can I, safe in my conscience, decide
         That it is not such feelings my bosom that move?
           Yes ... I think it’s legitimate pride.
         I am not—or I hope not—a lover of praise;
           I am humble—I hope so at least.
         It will do me no harm—on occasional days—
           Such a rich popularity-feast.
             For perhaps I _am_ great, and I think I am good,
               And it’s surely a mark of submission
             To take, though a statesman, to chopping of wood,
               And abandon the paths of ambition.

   [_He strikes a few more blows with his axe; then again pauses. The
                         cheering is renewed._]

        How simple I look! how unconsciously grand,
          As I rest from my toil for a space,
        With my waistcoat thrown off, and my axe in my hand,
          And humanity’s dew on my face!
        Oh, my brethren in toil, who stand wond’ring around,
          By what ties have I bound you to me?
        An orator, scholar and statesman renowned,
          Condescending to cut down a tree!
            Yes, I know I am great, something tells me I’m good;
              And I feel it’s a lofty position,
            A statesman’s, who’s taken to chopping of wood,
              And forsaken the paths of ambition.

     [_He gazes round him for a few moments with visibly increasing

        The consular woodman! this citizen host!
          Could the old world’s imperial Queen
        In the days of her early simplicity boast
          A more nobly republican scene?
        Let me think, as I watch the admirers who note
          The simple pursuits of my home,
        Of Lucius Quintus summoned by vote
          Of the state from the furrow to Rome.
            Yes, I feel I am great, and I know I am good,
              And I’m greater by far, with submission,
            As statesman, when occupied chopping of wood
              Than when treading the paths of ambition.

        But Rome? Is it Roman or Greek that’s recalled?
          ’Tis the heroes so dear to my pen,
        Pelides, whose war-cry the Trojans appalled,
          Agamemnon the leader of men.
        For have I not led men aright when astray?
          Turned them back from the false to the true?
        And do not the Tories and Turks with dismay
          Recollect what my war-cry can do?
            Yes, yes, I am great, and I surely am good,
              Or I could not endure the position
            Of statesman resigned to the chopping of wood,
              And renouncing the paths of ambition.

        But both Roman dictator and Danaan chief
          In one cardinal point I excel,
        For I am—as I hazard the humble belief—
          Conscientiously Christian as well.
        And content with all this, let detractors repeat—
          As with angry persistence they do—
        That my claim to the homage I p’r’aps might complete
          Were I only an Englishman too.
            Let them rave—I am great; let them sneer—I am good;
              And they vex not the happy condition
            Of statesmen who, taking to chopping of wood,
              Have abandoned the paths of ambition.

                       _Carlyle as a Masquerader_

He was a masquerader of great ability and still greater erudition. If we
read his works with careful scrutiny we find nothing new in them except
his odd and barbarous way of expressing his ideas. His originality is in
his language, which is a miserable model, affording the reader no
improved forms of expression. He assumed the character of a censor; but
he told the public no new truths, and sought to keep alive the public
interest in his writings by his savage personalities. He seems to have
masqueraded in the character of Dr. Johnson; but he could not come up to
his original except in what was offensive. If he was a smasher of idols,
he immediately set them up again for men’s worship after he had cemented
the pieces together in ridiculous shapes.

                         EVASIONS OF AMBIGUITY

                       _The Greek Lexicographers_

Dr. Henry Liddell, who had become celebrated by his Greek lexicon, was
at one time headmaster of Westminster. One day he required the boys in
his class to write an English epigram, each to choose his own subject.
Among those that were handed in was the following:

                      Two men wrote a lexicon,
                        Liddell and Scott;
                      One-half was clever,
                        And one-half was not.
                      Give me the answer, boys,
                        Quick to this riddle,
                      Which was by Scott,
                        And which was by Liddell?

Dr. Liddell, on receiving it, only said, “I think you are rather

                       _The Religion of Wise Men_

John Toland, in his “Clidophorus” (key-bearer), relates an incident
which he was told by a near relation of old Lord Shaftesbury. The latter
conferring one day with Major Wildman about the many sects of religion
in the world, they came to the conclusion at last that notwithstanding
the infinite divisions caused by the interest of the priests and the
ignorance of the people, _all wise men are of the same religion_;
whereupon a lady in the room demanded with some concern what that
religion was? To whom the Lord Shaftesbury straight replied, “Madam,
wise men never tell.”

                              _A Deceiver_

When Johnny was questioned as to why his engagement with Miss H. had
been broken off, he rolled his eyes, looked very much pained, and
groaned, “Oh, she turned out a deceiver.” But he forgot to mention that
he was the deceiver whom she had turned out.

                          _An Acknowledgment_

Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the author of “The School for Scandal,” had a
very ingenious manner of answering applicants for literary notice at his
hands. He generally wrote, “I have received your book and no doubt shall
be delighted after I have read it.” But whether he meant satisfaction
with the volume or satisfaction at the close of a tedious task was what
no one could find out.

                           _An Artful Dodger_

When Talleyrand was Minister for Foreign Affairs, and there was a report
in Paris of the death of George III., a banker, full of speculative
anxieties, asked him if it was true. “Some say,” he replied, “that the
King of England is dead; others say that he is not dead; but do you wish
to know my opinion?” “Most anxiously, Prince.” “Well, then, I believe
neither. I mention this in confidence to you; but I rely on your
discretion: the slightest imprudence on your part would compromise me
most seriously.”

On another occasion, when Talleyrand sat at dinner between Madame de
Staël and Madame Récamier, the celebrated beauty, Madame de Staël, whose
beauties were certainly not those of the person, jealous of his
attentions to her rival, insisted upon knowing which he would save if
they were both drowning. After seeking in vain to evade her, he at last
turned toward her and said, with his usual shrug, “Ah, madame, _vous
savez nager_” (you know how to swim).


St. Francis de Sales being consulted by a lady on the lawfulness of
wearing rouge, replied, “Some persons may object to it, and others may
see no harm in it, but I shall take a middle course, by allowing you to
rouge on _one_ cheek.”

                             _A Difference_

A judge, reprimanding a criminal, called him a scoundrel. The prisoner,
“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 certain lawyer was compelled to apologize to the court. With stately
dignity he rose in his place and said, “Your Honor is right and I am
wrong, as your Honor generally is.” There was a dazed look in the
judge’s eye, and he hardly knew whether to feel happy or fine the lawyer
for contempt of court.

                            _Divine Service_

A lady who greatly admired Dr. Chalmers’s preaching, and was much
addicted to pursuing popular orators, sent him her compliments one
Sunday morning and begged to know if he intended to preach that day at
St. George’s. The worthy doctor answered, “Tell Lady —— that there
certainly is to be Divine Service in St. George’s Church to-day.”

                         _Doubtful Compliment_

At a printers’ festival the following toast was offered: “Woman! second
only to the press in the dissemination of news.” The ladies are yet
undecided whether to regard this as a compliment or otherwise.

                          _King or Pretender?_

The following epigram, though popularly attributed to Jonathan Swift at
the time it appeared, was written by John Byron. On one occasion, during
the rising of 1745, when Manchester had eagerly embraced the cause of
Prince Charles, Byron, in a mixed company, being asked to drink the
king’s health, cautiously replied,—

            God bless the King! I mean our faith’s defender;
            God bless—no harm in blessing—the Pretender;
            But who Pretender is, or who is King,—
            God bless us all! that’s quite another thing.

                           _A Legal Question_

In the Greek Anthology we are told of an unhappy man who went to
Diodorus for advice and instruction about the children of a female
slave. The following metrical version of the case is by Merivale:

               A plaintiff thus explained his cause
               To counsel learned in the laws.
               “My bond-maid lately ran away,
               And in her flight was met by A,
               Who, knowing she belonged to me,
               Espoused her to his servant B.
               The issue of this marriage, pray,
               Do they belong to me or A?”
               The lawyer, true to his vocation,
               Gave signs of deepest cogitation;
               Looked at a score of books, or near,
               Then hemmed and said, “Your case is clear.
               Those children, so begot by B
               Upon your bond-maid, must, you see,
               Be yours or A’s. Now this, I say,
               They can’t be yours, if they to A
               Belong. It follows then, of course,
               That if they are not his, they’re yours.
               Therefore, by my advice, in short,
               You take the opinion of the Court.”

                         _A Judge Like Solomon_

Two cows went astray at Newport News, Virginia. One belonged to a negro,
and the other to a white man named Shields. A cow answering the
description of either of the two animals was purchased by a farmer not
long after. The bereaved men heard of the purchase, and each claimed the
animal and presented proof equally convincing. The case came up before a
judge and the jury heard the evidence, but as the witnesses for each
party described the same cow, they were unable to give a decision. Then
the judge said he would turn the cow out on the green. If she went
toward the negro’s farm she should be his, if she went toward Shields’s
farm she should be his. The cow was turned out, but she found the grass
so satisfying that she went neither way.

                             _The Butchers_

When Napoleon I. came, after a series of victories, to visit annexed
Belgium, he found, on entering Ghent, a triumphal arch erected by the
guild of butchers, inscribed: “The little butchers of Ghent to Napoleon
the great” (butcher). The deacon of the guild had asked a clever
nobleman (who loathed Napoleon) to write the inscription, the sarcasm in
which the worthy deacon did not detect.

                        _Meeting the Difficulty_

Merivale tells a story of a Quaker who lived in a country town in
England. He was rich and benevolent, and always responsive to appeals
for purposes of local charity and usefulness. The townspeople wanted to
rebuild their parish church, which was falling into decay, and a
committee was appointed to raise the funds. It was agreed that the
Friend could not be asked to subscribe towards an object so contrary to
his principles; but then, on the other hand, so true and public-spirited
a friend to the town might take it amiss if he was not at least
consulted on a matter of such general interest. So one of their number
went and explained to him their project; the old church was to be
removed, and such and such steps were to be taken towards the
construction of a new one.

“Thee is right,” said the Quaker, “in supposing that my principles would
not allow me to assist in building a church. But did thee not say
something about pulling down a church? Thee may put my name down for a
hundred pounds.”

                           _A Tough Witness_

Not even a lawyer, however skilful in cross-examination, can make a
witness tell the truth, provided the witness wishes to evade it. It is
impossible to put the question in such exact language that it will
demand the desired answer. It was necessary, on a certain occasion in
court, to compel a witness to testify as to the way in which a Mr. Smith
treated his horse. “Well, sir,” said the lawyer, with a sweet and
winning smile—a smile intended to drown all suspicion as to the ulterior
purposes—“how does Mr. Smith generally ride a horse?” The witness looked
up innocently and replied: “Generally a-straddle, sir, I believe.” The
lawyer asked again: “But, sir, what gait does he ride?” The
imperturbable witness answered, “He never rides any gate at all, sir;
but I’ve seen his boys ride every gate on the farm.” The lawyer saw he
was on the track of a Tartar, and his next question was very
insinuating. “How does Mr. Smith ride when he is in company with others?
I demand a clear answer.” “Well, sir,” said the witness, “he keeps up
with the rest if his horse is able to, or if not he falls behind.” The
lawyer by this time was almost beside himself, and asked: “And how does
he ride when he is alone?” “I don’t know,” was the reply, “I never was
with him when he was alone,” and there the case dropped.

                       _Shifting Responsibility_

There is something of the shrewd humor of the Oriental cadi, says the
_Pall Mall Gazette_, in the decision of a Russian stipendiary
magistrate, a report of which comes from Odessa. It appears that a new
cemetery was about to be opened near that city, and that two Greek
merchants, each anxious to secure the most comfortable or most
distinguished resting-place, were allowed by some official blunder to
buy the same allotment. When the mistake was discovered neither would
yield his claim, and the matter was referred to the district judge.
Greek had met Greek, and the tug of war threatened to be severe, when
the magistrate, with an astuteness worthy of Solomon, arranged the
matter in the simplest way possible, by applying the rule, “First come,
first served,” and suggesting that whichever died first should have the
right to the coveted resting-place. The parties went away reconciled and
happy. It is not stated whether they had to find sureties to guarantee
that neither would take an unfair advantage of the other by committing

                         _Erskine’s Pleasantry_

Lord Erskine was in the habit of making a very effective pause in all
letters replying to solicitation for subscriptions. He wrote:

“Sir: I feel much honored by your application to me, and I beg to
subscribe”—here the reader had to turn over the leaf—“myself your very
obedient servant,” etc. One of the best instances of this form of pause
occurred in a letter received by a popular physician. This gentleman was
pleased with a certain aërated water, and by his recommendations he
managed to secure for it some celebrity. For this he expected neither
reward nor thanks. Imagine his surprise, therefore, when he received one
day from the makers of the aërated water an effusive letter, stating
that his kind recommendations had done so much good that they ventured
to send a hundred—(here the page turned over). “This will never do,”
said the doctor. “It is very kind, but I will never think of accepting
anything.” Here he turned the page and found the sentence ran—“of our
circulars for distribution.”

                          _Mortuary Word-Play_

Equivocal forms of expression find their way into church-yard
literature, as in the following examples:

Maria Brown, wife of Timothy Brown, aged eighty years. She lived with
her husband fifty years, and died in the confident hope of a better

Here lies Bernard Lightfoot, who was accidentally killed in the
forty-fifth year of his age. This monument was erected by his _grateful_

                Here lies —— who died —— aged — years.
              The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.
                    Blessed be the name of the Lord.

                            COMICAL BLUNDERS

                       _Disinfecting a Telegram_

The Milan journal, _Pungolo_, relates that a Turin merchant, who had
correspondents in the French Department of Bouches du Rhône, received at
his private house, at Pinerolo, a telegram from Marseilles. Upon reading
it he discovered, to his great annoyance, that it must have been sent
off some twenty-four hours before it was delivered to him. He called
upon the telegraph clerk to account for the delay, and the honest man at
once confessed that the despatch had indeed lain for a day and a night
in his office. He went on to gravely explain that, as it had come from a
place where cholera was known to be raging, he had felt himself bound,
in compliance with the regulations of the Italian sanitary authorities,
to disinfect it by exposing it to the fumes of burning sulphur!

                      _The Wrong Man Made a Count_

When King Gustavus III., of Sweden, was in Paris, he was visited by a
deputation of the Sorbonne. That learned body congratulated the king on
the happy fortune that had given him so great a man as Scheele, the
discoverer of magnesium, as his subject and fellow-countryman. The king,
who took small interest in the progress of science, felt somewhat
ashamed that he should be so ignorant as never even to have heard of the
renowned chemist. He dispatched a courier at once to Sweden with the
laconic order, “Scheele is to be immediately raised to the dignity and
title of a count.” “His majesty must be obeyed,” said the prime
minister, as he read the order; “but who in the world is Scheele?” A
secretary was told to make inquiries. He came back with very full
information. “Scheele is a good sort of a fellow,” said he; “a
lieutenant in the artillery, a capital shot, and first-rate hand at
billiards.” The next day the lieutenant became a count, and the
illustrious scholar and scientist remained a simple burgher.


M. Bouchitté, a learned Frenchman, has made a curious blunder in “The
Dictionnaire de la Conversation.” He has compiled a biography of Jacob
Böhme, and supplements it by a list of the numerous writings of the
philosophical shoemaker. Among these he cites “Reflections sur les
bottes d’Isaie.” The notion of a shoemaker devoting some time to
reflections on Isaiah’s boots appears sufficiently in accordance with a
well-known axiom invented for the instruction of the craft. But the fact
is that what Jacob wrote was an essay on the theological dissertation of
Professor Isaias Stiefel. Now, Stiefel is German for boots, and to that
extent M. Bouchitté was correct enough in supposing that Jacob Böhme had
been casting reflections on Isaiah’s boots.

                           _A Happy Thought_

At a dinner party in “town,” in August, there were two sisters present,
one a widow who had just emerged from her weeds, the other not long
married, whose husband had lately gone to India for a short term. A
young barrister present was deputed to take the widow in to dinner.
Unfortunately he was under the impression that his partner was the
married lady, whose husband had just arrived in India. The conversation
between them commenced by the lady’s remarking how hot it was. “Yes, it
is very hot,” returned the young barrister. Then a happy thought
suggested itself to him, and he added, with a cheerful smile, “but not
so hot as the place to which your husband has gone.” The look with which
the lady answered this “happy thought” will haunt that unhappy youth
till his death.

                          _Couldn’t Fool Him_

It was in Pittsburg, and Mr. Irving was playing Shylock, when from the
gallery “a voice fell like a falling star,” “Great gosh!” It fell from a
countryman from Moon township, who, when the play was over, went to the
stage door and wanted to thrash the actor. But he didn’t. Later, at a
hotel, he was asked if he saw Shylock. “Yes, I seen him,” said he, “and
it’s not the first time, either.” “When did you see him before?” “Why, I
seen that fellow in Moon township last week peddling notions. It’s the
same Jew, and you can bet a hundred if he ever comes out there again we
will not split hairs with him about a pound of flesh, for Frank McGinnis
and I will skin him alive.” “You are certainly mistaken about the man.”
“No, sir. He was trading cuff-buttons for wool, and he had the same pair
of scales and the same ugly look.” “But that Jew on the stage was Henry
Irving, the celebrated English actor.” “That’s enough; you can’t fool
me. I know my man, and I’ve been in the same fix myself as that young
Antonio. That young fellow, Antonio, had been out ‘log-rolling,’ and
having some fun with the boys, and that sheeny Shylock had lent him some
money and then wanted the earth, and he would have killed the young
fellow with that carver if I hadn’t been right there.” Critics will
please never again say that Mr. Irving’s representations are “not

                            _Gibson’s Venus_

When the Viceroy of Egypt was in London, at the time of the great
exposition, Gibson’s beautiful statue of Venus was on exhibition. The
viceroy stopped in front of the statue one day, and continued for some
time to contemplate its beauties and to study the features. Upon one of
his aides remarking to him that the afternoon was passing away and that
much remained to be seen, the viceroy said: “No, do not disturb me. I
wish to be able to recognize her, for I am going to dine with her this
evening.” It was then revealed that the Egyptian ruler confounded
Gibson’s Venus with the wife of Milner Gibson, a member of the cabinet,
at whose house he was engaged to dine that evening. The nude statue he
took for a life-like representation of the charms of his hostess.


An amusing story is told of the daughter of a well-known London
alderman, who was recently taken in to dinner by a judge who figured
prominently in the Tichborne trial. The conversation turned on the young
lady’s usual place of residence, which happened to be Highgate. “Don’t
you think Highgate pretty?” she asked. Unfortunately, she was slightly
uncertain in her aspirates. His lordship gave her one hurried glance of
intense astonishment. “You _get_ pretty?” he replied, gallantly,
recovering his presence of mind. “No, Miss ——, I think you were _always_
pretty.” However horrified at the compliment, the young lady quite
justified it by her profuse blushes.

                              _Both Sides_

“Was your room on the port or the starboard side of the vessel?” asked
an old traveller of a new one, who had just returned from his first trip
to Europe. “Oh, I had the same room both ways,” was the answer. “It was
on the port side going over, and so of course it was on the starboard
side coming back.”

                           _A Hopeless Case_

A certain Philadelphia gentleman was ordered by his physician to travel
for the benefit of his health. He went to England, and after tiring of
London he decided to hire a trap and see the beauties of interior
England in dignified ease and luxury. Just then he fell in with a
hearty, good-natured Englishman, and as they soon became fast friends
the American invited the other to attend him on his coaching trip.

The son of John Bull accepted, and during the days that followed, each
frequently and in a joking manner improved every occasion to laud his
own country and express his contempt of the other. On the evening of the
fourth day, as they were driving along a dusty road, the American pulled
the horses up suddenly and proceeded to read a sign, “To Manchester 20
miles,” and underneath were the words, “If you cannot read this sign,
apply for information at the blacksmith shop.”

“Well, I’ll be darned,” said the American, “if that isn’t the most
ridiculous sign I ever saw.”

“Jove, old man,” replied the Englishman, “that sign is all right, isn’t
it? I don’t see anything the matter.”

“You don’t, eh? Well, then, you just sleep over it and see what you
think of it in the morning.”

The next morning the Englishman came down beaming.

“I say, old man,” he said, wisely, “that was a funny sign to put up, for
don’t you see the blacksmith might not be in after all, you know.”

                        _A Question of Capacity_

A gentleman in Ireland having built a large house was at a loss what to
do with the rubbish. His steward advised him to have a pit dug large
enough to contain it. “And what,” said the gentleman, “shall I do with
the earth which is dug out of the pit?” To which the steward replied,
“have the pit made large enough to hold all.”

                       _An Unexpected Reception_

One Sunday, during Mass in the chapel of the little village of
Glengariff, three ladies of the Protestant faith were obliged to take
shelter from one of those heavy summer showers which so frequently occur
in the south of Ireland. The officiating priest, knowing who they were,
and wishing to appear respectful to them, stooped down to his attendant,
or clerk, who was on his knees, and whispered to him,—

“Three chairs for the Protestant ladies.”

The clerk, being an ignorant man, mistook the words, stood up, and
shouted to the congregation,—

“Three cheers for the Protestant ladies!” which the congregation
immediately took up, and gave three hearty cheers, while the clergyman
stood dumfounded.


Mr. D., an Irish gentleman, was invited to dinner, on one occasion, by a
well known Scottish resident, at whose generous table he met quite a
number of the host’s countrymen. The conversation turned on Irish bulls,
of which one and another repeated several, until the whole company was
in a roar of laughter. Our Irish friend kept quiet until his patience
was exhausted. Then he blurted out: “Stay, Mr. C., an’ do ye know what I
think?” “Why, indeed, what do you think, Mr. D.?” “Shure, sir, and do ye
know that I think, indade, that not more than one-half of these _lies_
that they tell about the Irish are _true_.” This may be said to have
“brought down” the table.

                   _The Happening of the Unexpected_

A witness was once examined before a Parliamentary Committee with the
following result. Sergeant A. (to witness): “And on Thursday, the
thirteenth, you say you called on Mr. Jones?” Witness: “I did.” Sergeant
A.: “And what did he say?” Sergeant B. objected to this question.
Sergeant A. argued that it could be put, and cited several precedents.
The juniors hunted up all the cases. Sergeant B. replied at length, and
stated his precedents. These arguments lasted two hours. The committee
then retired to consider whether the question should be put or not, and
after an absence of about an hour they returned, and stated that it
might be asked. Up then rose Sergeant A., and said to witness: “And on
Thursday, the thirteenth, you say you called on Mr. Jones?” Witness: “I
did.” Sergeant A. (with an air of triumph): “And what did he say?”
Witness: “He wasn’t at home.” Tableau!

                             _A Great Mind_

There are some curious blunders in indexing books. A seeker of
knowledge, running his eye down an 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


That reverend wag, Sydney Smith, while looking throughout the hot-house
of a lady who was very proud of her flowers, and who had a habit of
inaccurately using a profusion of botanical terms, inquired of her,
“Madam, have you the _Septennis psoriasis_?” “No,” said she, “I had it
last winter, and I gave it to the Archbishop of Canterbury; it came out
beautifully in the spring.” For non-medical readers it maybe noted that
“Septennis psoriasis” is the _seven-year-itch_.

                          _Exchanging Errors_

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.”

                     _Betting on the Lord’s Prayer_

A Western ranchman, as an old story goes, bet a pal five dollars that he
could not repeat the Lord’s Prayer correctly. The bet was accepted, and
after a few moments’ thought, the challenged party repeated the lines,
“Now I lay me down to sleep,” etc. “Well, I swear,” said the loser, as
he handed over the V; “I didn’t think you could do it.”

This story has a very old English counterpart, which was originally told
as follows:

A reprobate fellow once laid an associate a bet of a guinea that he
could not repeat the Creed. It was accepted, and his friend repeated the
Lord’s Prayer. “Confound you,” cried the former, who imagined that he
had been listening to the Creed, “I had no idea you had such a memory;
there’s your money.”

                      _Contradictory Phraseology_

Judge Brackenridge, of Western Pennsylvania, used to relate the

I once had a Virginia lawyer object to an expression in one of the acts
of the Assembly of Pennsylvania, which read, “that the State-house yard
in the city of Philadelphia should be surrounded by a brick-wall, and
remain _an open inclosure_ forever.”

But I put him down by citing one of the acts of the Legislature of his
own State, which is entitled, “A supplement to an act entitled an act
making it penal to alter the mark of an unmarked hog.”


A clergyman in Massachusetts, more than a century ago, addressed a
letter to the General Court on some subject of interest which was then
under discussion. The clerk read the letter, in which there _seemed_ to
be this very remarkable sentence: “I address you not as magistrates, but
as _Indian devils_.” The clerk hesitated and looked carefully, and said,
“Yes, he addresses you as _Indian devils_.” The wrath of the honorable
body was aroused; they passed a vote of censure, and wrote to the
reverend gentleman for an explanation, from which it appeared that he
did not address them as magistrates, but as _individuals_.


One cannot help smiling at the infelicity of the tablet recently set up
in the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York, in memory of Dr.
John Hall. It simply gives the dates of his birth and death, and says
that he was “pastor of this church from November 3, 1867, to September
17, 1898,” and then ends with this singular text, “There remaineth
therefore a rest for the people of God.” That his departure should give
rest to the people of God is what some who remember the dissensions in
that church the last year or two of his life do not like to have
suggested. That is not what the committee meant by the Scripture
passage; neither did Cowper mean by the lines,—

                   “And Satan trembles when he sees
                   The weakest saint upon his knees,”

what the little girl supposed who asked her mother why any saint should
want to get on Satan’s knees.

                      _A “Sufficient” Guide-Post_

Two gushing Boston girls were walking one day in the suburbs of the Hub,
when they stumbled on a little old-fashioned mile-stone, forgotten in
the march of improvement. One of them stooped, and, parting the grass,
discovered the half-effaced inscription “I. m. from Boston,” upon which
she exclaimed ecstatically, “Here is a grave, perhaps, of some young
girl, who wished it written on her tombstone, ‘I’m from Boston.’ How
touching! so simple, and so sufficient!”

                               _Faux Pas_

Rev. Dr. Wolcott Calkins, in _The Congregationalist_, tells an
interesting story of his visit to Mr. McCall, the missionary to the
French. Mr. McCall told him amusing stories, among which was one about
an Englishman who undertook to address a meeting in one of the Salles,
in broken but voluble French. After a while his preparation appeared to
have run out and he faltered, till in desperation he exclaimed, “Mes
chers amis! Je regrette beaucoup de ne pas connaître mieux la belle
Française!” That was the end of the meeting. The smile broke into
laughter and the whole audience, was soon in a tumult. The Englishman
didn’t know that he had expressed regret for his lack of acquaintance
with the beautiful French woman.

                          _One Form of Vanity_

A sturdy peasant from the Tyrol, says the _Fremdenblatt_, was standing
at a shop-window in Vienna, looking at a reproduction of the fine group,
by Rauch, of “The Three Graces.” The peasant did not seem insensible to
the perfection of form, but after awhile he burst forth, “What fools
these girls are! They have not got money enough to buy themselves a suit
of clothes; yet what little they have, they spend to get their
photograph taken.”

                         _“Beats,” Not Turnips_

The angry mother of a small girl, a pupil in a New York grammar-school,
indignantly demanded of the principal that the music-teacher in that
school be discharged. When asked why she wanted the teacher dismissed,
the mother said that in the midst of a lesson the day before, she had
asked the child to tell her how many turnips were in a peck. This, she
added, was probably done to humiliate her daughter.

Thinking this a most peculiar question for the teacher to ask, the
principal sent for her. The astonished teacher could not remember asking
such a question; but on learning the name of the pupil a light dawned on
her. “Oh,” said she, “your daughter misunderstood me. I asked her how
many beats there were in a measure.”

                          _Reasonable Excuse_

The following is said to have been the postscript to a letter received
lately by a sporting nobleman in Lancashire from his steward: “I beg
your lordship will excuse me for having taken the liberty of writing
this in my shirt-sleeves, but the excessive heat has compelled me to be
guilty of this disrespect.”

                         _Sending a Postscript_

The wife of an Irish gentleman having been suddenly taken ill, he
ordered a servant to get a horse ready to go for the doctor. By the
time, however, that the horse was ready, and the note to the doctor
written, the lady recovered from her sudden indisposition. Thereupon he
added the following postscript to his note, and sent the servant off
with it: “My wife having recovered, you need not come.”

                     _Didn’t Understand Quakerese_

There was a queer scene at the home of a Quaker family living in
Philadelphia. The lady of the house had advertised for a servant girl,
and a promising one, lately arrived, applied.

“Whin do ye have your washin’ done?” asked the girl.

“We would wish to have thee do it every Second-day,” answered the

“Ivery second day? May the saints presarve us! Sure it’s not meself that
will wash for ye ivery other day in the week!” said the girl, as she
took her departure.

                           _John the Baptist_

A colored minister of the Baptist persuasion, in order to strengthen and
confirm the faith of his congregation, took as the text of his discourse
the first verse of the third chapter of Matthew: “In those days came
John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea.” “Oh,” said he,
“how I like to read these precious words in the blessed Bible. You don’t
read anywhere in it about John the Presbyterian, or John the Methodist,
or John the Episcopalian. No, it is John the Baptist. Oh, how I like to
read that.”

                          _A German Pickwick_

Germany has a Pickwick indeed, without guile, according to a story told
by the _Schweizerische Dorfkalender_. The antiquarian stood before a
stable-door, in rapt delight, contemplating a stone fixed in the
archway, which bore the inscription 1081. Calling the tenant farmer, he
said, “Am I not right, my friend, in supposing that you procured this
stone from the castle ruin on the hill yonder?” “It may be,” replied the
owner, “that my grandfather fetched it when he built the stable.” The
professor asked what he would take for the stone. “Since you seem to
have a fancy for it,” said the farmer, “pay me down 40 guldens, and I
will leave it at your house.” “That is rather a large sum,” said the
professor; “never mind; bring it to me to-morrow morning, and you shall
have the 40 guldens.” On the next morning, when the peasant brought the
stone upon the truck, the zealous antiquarian eagerly turned it over to
refresh his eyes with a sight of its chronological inscription. “Why,”
cried he in amazement, “what is this? This is not the right stone.
Yesterday I read the date 1081, while this bears the date 1801, which
proves that the other was exactly 720 years older than this.” “The Herr
Professor must not trouble himself about that small matter,” replied the
boor. “You see, sir, the masons turned the stone upside down when they
set it in the doorway, because it fitted better that way. You can turn
it whichever way you like now it is your own, but, of course, I must
have the 40 guldens.” The money was paid.

                          _Not a Chiropodist_

During his first visit to Paris Herr Lasalle, the distinguished German,
presented himself at the house of a well-known lady, to whom he had sent
letters of introduction in advance. When the servant opened the door and
received his card, she conducted him to the boudoir and told him to be
seated, saying, “Madame will come immediately.”

Presently the lady entered. She was in déshabillé, and her feet were
bare, covered only with loose slippers. She bowed to him carelessly, and
said, “Ah, there you are; good morning.”

She threw herself on a sofa, let fall a slipper and reached out to
Lasalle her very pretty foot.

Lasalle was naturally completely astonished, but he remembered that at
his home in Germany it was the custom sometimes to kiss a lady’s hand
and he supposed it was the Paris mode to kiss her foot. Therefore he did
not hesitate to imprint a kiss upon the fascinating foot so near him,
but he could not avoid saying, “I thank you, madame, for this new mode
of making a lady’s acquaintance. It is much better and certainly more
generous than kissing the hand.”

The lady jumped up, highly indignant. “Who are you, sir, and what do you

He gave his name.

“You are not, then, a corn doctor?”

                        _Unfamiliar Familiarity_

Professor Phelps used to tell with glee of the way he gained a
reputation for knowing a thing he hated. He took a walk with Professor
Newton, who lived in the world of the higher mathematics, and started
off at once to discuss an abstruse problem. Mr. Phelps’s mind could not
follow, and wandered off to other things. At last he was called back
when the professor wound up with “which you see gives us X.” “Does it?”
asked Mr. Phelps, politely. “Why, doesn’t it?” exclaimed the professor,
excitedly, alarmed at the possibility of a flaw in his calculations.
Quickly his mind ran back and detected a mistake. “You are right, Mr.
Phelps; you are right,” shouted the professor. “It doesn’t give us X; it
gives us Y.” And from that time Mr. Phelps was looked upon as a
mathematical prodigy, the first man who ever tripped the professor.

                   _Alleged Danger of Rapid Movement_

In the Archives of the Nürnberg Railway at Fürth, which was the first
line constructed in Germany, a protest against railroads has been found,
drawn up by the Royal College of Bavarian Doctors. In it occurs the
following passage: “Travel in carriages drawn by a locomotive ought to
be forbidden in the interest of public health. The rapid movement cannot
fail to produce among the passengers the mental affection known as
_delirium furiosum_. Even if travellers are willing to incur the risk,
the government should at least protect the public. A single glance at a
locomotive passing rapidly is sufficient to cause the same cerebral
derangement; consequently it is absolutely necessary to build a fence
ten feet in height on each side of the railway.”

                            _Aaron and Hur_

Said a well-known clergyman, “Coming home from a service where I had
preached from the words, ‘And Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands,’ one of
the congregation, a prominent man in the town, said to me, ‘I wonder you
don’t touch on the argument in favor of female influence in that text
to-night.’ I replied that ‘I don’t see where it comes in.’ ‘Why,’ said
he, ‘it says _her_ stayed up his hands as much as Aaron did.’ He thought
_Hur_ was the pronoun of _her_ for _she_. I made the best of it by
admitting frankly, ‘I never thought of it before.’ But it taught me to
be very careful to explain terms, if a man who ought to be as
intelligent as any one of my hearers _could_ make such a blunder.”

                      _Twenty Dunkards with an R_

A party of twenty-five Dunkards was en route to the General Conference,
via St. Louis. No agent accompanied them, and a telegram was sent to
Union Depot Passenger Agent Bonner to “meet twenty Dunkards.”

The religious education of the telegraph operator who received the
message had been neglected. He had never heard of the Dunkards, and,
supposing a mistake had been made, he just inserted the letter “r,” and
when Bonner received the message it read “Meet No. 4. Twenty drunkards
aboard. Look after them.”

Bonner was somewhat taken aback. He did not know but that an inebriate
asylum had broken loose, but any way prompt action was necessary. The
twenty drunkards must be desperate men, or the despatch would not have
been sent, and murder might have been committed on the road.

Bonner posted off to police head-quarters, and his story did not lose in
the telling. The chief of police, alive to the exigencies of the
situation, made a special detail of ten policemen and a patrol wagon.

The policemen were drawn up in a line at the depot, and intense
excitement prevailed among the numerous depot loungers, a rumor having
gained currency that a band of desperate train robbers was on the
incoming train.

In due time the train arrived, but no party of roystering drunkards
alighted. The party on the train was composed of several pious-looking
gentlemen with broad-brimmed hats, who stood around as though expecting
some one.

Bonner approached one of them and said, interrogatively,—

“Had any trouble on the road?”

“No, brother,” said the gentleman, “none that I know of. And now I’ll
ask you a question. Do you know a gentleman named Bonner?”

“Yes, I am Mr. Bonner,” was the answer.

“Well, these brethren and myself are Dunkards, and you were to meet us
and put us on the right train. Didn’t you get a telegram?”

Bonner was completely done for. He excused himself, and, calling the
sergeant of police aside, he told him that it was all a mistake, and he
and his men could go back to head-quarters. Then he disposed of his
religious friends, went around and cussed the telegraph operator, after
which he had to “set ’em up” for the whole police force on the promise
to keep mum.

                        _The Economy of Nature_

A young man on a Staten Island boat explained to his fair companion that
Robbin’s Reef Light-house was built upon a rock in the bay.

“Ah, yes,” said she. “Funny that the rock should be just where they
wanted a light-house, wasn’t it?”

                         _Desirable Uniformity_

Mr. Colville was reading to his wife from a newspaper on Saturday
morning, when he saw this paragraph: “Mr. and Mrs. James Clark, of
Pulaski, New York, both came into the world on the same day, both died
on the same day, and both were killed by a cancer.”

“Well, I declare! wasn’t that singular?” observed Mrs. Colville. “Born
on the same day, died on the same day, and with the same disease. Now,
if they’d only been married on the same day, the thing would have been

“What’s that?” suddenly interrogated Mr. Colville, looking curiously at
her over the top of the paper.

“I say,” she repeated, “if they’d both been married on the—why, to be—”
she embarrassingly added, as she caught the amused expression of his
face—“that is—I wonder if I thought to put on the dish-water,” and she
hastened into the kitchen to attend to it.

                            _False Doctrine_

A woman in a village in Kent lost three children from diphtheria, and
when the clergyman’s wife went to condole with her, she railed against
the doctors, and said she couldn’t think how they could go to church,
and say _that prayer_, and then go and practice on the people as they
did. In answer to the question what prayer she meant, she said, “Why
they pray to be delivered from false _doctoring_, heresy, and schism,
and then they go about and do false doctoring, and kill the children.”

                            _Poor Children_

A Mobile paper, speaking of Dan Bryant, says, “Bryant died, and, after a
life of great profit, left his wife and five children as poor as they
were when he was married.” It is a very expressive sentence so far as
the children are concerned.

                           _Help from Above_

The wife of Emile de Girardin had the most absolute faith in his powers.
A few days after the revolution of 1848 a lady who was greatly
distressed about political events and troubled as to the future went to
see Mme. de Girardin, whose parlor was exactly underneath her husband’s
study and workroom. “Oh, my dear friend,” said the visitor, “what
terrible times we live in! What awful events! Who then can extricate us
from them?” “There is only one. He who is above (_là haut_) can do it!”
responded gravely Mme. de Girardin. “Yes, that’s so—the good Lord; you
are right!” “No; I am speaking of Emile!”

                        _Minding One’s Business_

An old dial in the Temple, London, bore the curious motto, “Begone about
your business.” The maker, wishing to know what motto the benchers
required for the dial, sent his lad to ascertain it. The boy applied
while the benchers were dining, and one of them, annoyed at the
unseasonable interruption, said, shortly, “Begone about your business.”
The lad, thinking that this was the desired motto, reported it to his
master, and the dial accordingly bore this novel inscription as long as
the building upon which it was placed remained. The United States cent,
which is usually called the Franklin cent, because its maxim was
suggested by the philosopher, bore another legend, “Mind your business.”
This has often been misquoted and altered to “Mind your own business,”
which, of course, has an entirely different sense.

                          _Direct Information_

The late Mrs. Jane W—— was equally remarkable for kindness of heart and
absence of mind. One day she was accosted by a beggar, whose stout and
healthy appearance startled her into a momentary doubt of the
needfulness of charity in this instance. “Why,” exclaimed the good old
lady, “you look well able to work.” “Yes,” replied the supplicant, “but
I have been deaf and dumb these seven years.” “Poor man, what a heavy
affliction!” exclaimed Mrs. W——, at the same time giving him relief with
a liberal hand. On returning home she mentioned the fact, remarking,
“What a dreadful thing it is to be deprived of such precious faculties!”
“But how,” asked her sister, “did you know that the poor man had been
deaf and dumb for seven years?” “Why,” was the quiet and unconscious
answer, “he told me so.”


A daughter of James Fenimore Cooper once remarked that the translator
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 purpose.

“Much laughter has been raised at a French _littérateur_ who professed
to be ‘_doctus utriusque linguæ_.’ Cibber’s play of ‘Love’s Last Shift’
was translated by a Frenchman who spoke ‘Inglees’ as ‘_La Dernière
Chemise de l’Amour_;’ Congreve’s ‘Mourning Bride,’ by another, as
‘_L’Epouse du Matin_;’ and a French scholar included among his catalogue
of works on natural history essays 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_ Shakespeare, 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 Shakespeare’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 French translator of one of Sir Walter Scott’s novels, knowing
nothing of that familiar name for toasted cheese, ‘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.”

                            _Misplaced Zeal_

“I was once sent to attend a man who had taken laudanum,” said the
doctor. “I hurried to the place and found the would-be suicide being
walked up and down the room as fast as they could walk by two friends of
his. As they put him down on a chair for me to treat him one of them
remarked, ‘Awful glad to see you, doctor; we’ve been walking Jim up and
down for an hour and a half. It’s been terrible hard work to keep him
alive all this time.’

“I made a slight examination; took my hat and started to go, when one of
the pedestrians said, ‘What’s the matter, doctor? Ain’t you going to
give him anything?’ ‘He’s been dead for an hour,’ I replied, and left.”

                           _Before Railroads_

A party of cultivated people were standing before an ancient cathedral
admiring its grandeur, which several centuries of existence had failed
to dim. The noise of the cars in the immediate vicinity so annoyed one
of the ladies that she impulsively said, “I wonder why they built the
cathedral so near the railroad!”

This is on a par with another innocent party’s commendation of the
wisdom of Providence in making rivers flow past the largest towns.

                            _The Wrong Word_

A young Methodist missionary who had been stationed in Brazil long
enough to acquire familiarity with Brazilian Spanish, after a brief
absence in the United States, returned with his bride. She, anticipating
the need of learning the Spanish language, studied diligently, and, for
a time, there was some hesitation and embarrassment, but no trouble.
Thinking she was getting along famously, she soon gained more

So all went well till the young couple set up an establishment and
secured a man-servant with the fine manners of a Spanish grandee. The
reverend gentleman’s wife stood in awe of him from the start. And her
greatest trial was when her husband would be detained from home during
the dinner hour, when she had to dine alone, except for that grand
man-servant. One day that functionary was standing elegant and
impressive, when she had occasion to ask him to hand her the cheese. The
man stood immovable like a lay figure in a clothing-house. She felt sure
that he had heard her, and she became angry when he made no move to do
her bidding.

She repeated her command, as she thought, “Give me the cheese,” This
time the grandee of a man-servant perceptibly laughed, but was
immovable. In indignation, supposing him to be impertinent, or worse
still, crazy, she rushed to the front door to call assistance, when she
met the belated missionary, her husband, and promptly explained the

“What did you say, my dear,” was his smiling query.

“‘Give me the cheese,’ was what I said.”

“Yes, but the word,” he insisted. ·

“I said beso,” replied the wife, still puzzled.

Then the unfeeling missionary fairly roared with laughter. His wife had
begun to think that he, too, had gone mad, when he managed to keep calm
long enough to explain. It was only a mistake in the sound of one letter
that she had made, but it was a funnily fatal one that time. She should
have said “queso” instead of “beso.” And instead of asking the
man-servant for the “cheese” she had asked him without any qualification
for a “kiss.”

                     MISSING THE POINT OF THE JOKES

A gentleman in conversation with his wife at dinner, said, “Mary, I
heard a good conundrum down town to-day. If the devil should lose his
tail, where would he go to get it repaired?” The answer was, “In the
place where they re-tail bad spirits.” In the course of the evening a
lady visitor dropped in, and Mary remarked, “Oh, I must tell you a good
thing my husband got off at dinner. If the devil should lose his tail,
where would he get it repaired?” The lady confessed her inability to
answer, whereupon Mary said, “Why it’s where they sell liquor by the

“I’ve been digging over my garden,” said Brown, “and I’m all worn out.”
“Ah!” remarked Fogg; “a new variety of earthenware, eh?” Fenderson, who
was present, thought it was a good joke, and seeing Smith a short time
afterward, of course he had to tell it. “I say, Smith,” said he, “Fogg
just got off a neat thing. Brown was saying that he was all worn out
digging in his garden, and Fogg asked him if that wasn’t a new kind of
crockery-ware. What do you think of that?” “I don’t see the point.”
“Darned if I do, either, now; but I thought I did when Fogg told it.”

A college professor, on parting with a student who had called on him,
noticed that he had a new coat, and remarked that it was too short.

The student, with an air of resignation, replied, “It will be long
enough before I get another.”

The professor enjoyed the joke heartily, and going to a meeting of the
college faculty just afterwards, he entered the room in great glee and
said, “Young Sharp got off such a good joke just now. He called on me a
little while ago, and as he was leaving I noticed his new coat, and told
him it was too short, and he said, ‘It will be a long time before I get

No one laughed, and the professor, sobering down, remarked, “It don’t
seem as funny as when he said it.”

Sam Ward was once seated opposite a well-known Senator at a dinner in
Washington. This Senator was very bald, and the light shining on the
breadth of scalp attracted Ward’s attention.

“Can you tell me,” he asked his neighbor, “why the Senator’s head is
like Alaska?”

“I’m sure I don’t know.”

“Because it’s a great white bear place.”

The neighbor was immensely tickled, and he hailed the Senator across the

“Say, Senator, Ward’s just got off a very smart thing about you.”

“What is it?”

“Do you know why your head is like Alaska?”


“Because it’s a great place for white bears.”

A few miles beyond Hammersmith, a village on the banks of the Thames, in
England, is another village called Turnham Green. One day at a tavern
the peas were of an unmistakable yellow, and one of the guests said to
the waiter that he ought to send them to Hammersmith.

“Why?” asked the waiter. “Because,” returned the wag, “that’s the best
way to _Turnham Green_.”

This was overheard by Oliver Goldsmith, who, a few days afterwards,
undertook to palm the _bon mot_ off as his own; therefore, calling the
waiter to him, he pointed to the peas, which were very far from green,
and told him to take them to Hammersmith.

“Why?” asked the other. “Because that is the way to _make ’em_ green.”

As the point of the joke was lost, nobody laughed, whereat Goldsmith
said in an angry tone, “Why don’t you laugh? That was an excellent joke
when I heard it a week ago, and I laughed heartily at it.”

An unfortunate attempt at reproducing another’s wit was made by a man
who had more money than education. He did not understand the pun, but
judged from the applause with which it was greeted that it must be
excellent. During the dinner at which he was a guest, a waiter let a
boiled tongue slip off the plate on which he was bearing it, and it fell
on the table.

The host at once apologized for the mishap as a _lapsus linguæ_ (slip of
the tongue). The joke was the best thing at the dinner, and our friend
concluded to bring it up at his own table.

He accordingly invited his company, and instructed a servant to let fall
a roast of beef as he was bringing it to the table.

When the “accident” occurred, he exclaimed: “That’s a _lapsus linguæ_.”

Nobody laughed, and he said again, “I say that’s a _lapsus linguæ_,” and
still no one laughed.

A screw was loose somewhere; so he told about the tongue falling, and
they did laugh.

A red-haired lady, who was ambitious of literary distinction, found but
a poor sale for her book. A gentleman, in speaking of her
disappointment, said: “Her hair is red [read] if her book is not.” An
auditor, in attempting to relate the joke elsewhere, said, “She has red
hair, if her book hasn’t.”

“Why is this,” said the waiter, holding up a common kitchen utensil,
“more remarkable than Napoleon Bonaparte? Because Napoleon was a great
man, but this is a grater.” When the funny man reproduced it in his
circle, he asked the question right, but answered it, “Because Napoleon
was a great man, but this is a nutmeg grater.”

A man who owns a book store facetiously remarked that he couldn’t leave
Chicago this summer because he kept stationery. Smarty heard him, and he
went away to spring a joke. This is the way he sprung it: “Mitchell
can’t go out of town this summer. Why?” “Don’t know.” “Because he sells
books and papers.” And he never can understand why the other fellow
didn’t laugh.

In a certain court in Maine the proceedings were delayed by the failure
of a witness named Sarah Mony to arrive. After waiting a long time for
Sarah the court concluded to wait no longer, and wishing to crack his
little joke, remarked, “This court will adjourn without Sarah-mony.”
Everybody laughed except one man, who sat in solemn meditation for five
minutes, and then burst into a hearty guffaw, exclaiming, “I see it! I
see it!” When he went home he tried to tell the joke to his wife. “There
was a witness named Mary Mony who didn’t come,” said he, “and so the
court said, ‘We’ll adjourn without Mary-mony,’” “I don’t see any point
to that,” said his wife. “I know it,” said he, “I didn’t at first; but
you will in about five minutes.”

It is interesting to observe how the old stories turn up, in brand-new
clothes, but the same old stories. A Boston paper said that Dr. Oliver
Wendell Holmes and the venerable Dr. Peabody, of Cambridge, once had an
appointment to see a statue of Eurydice. Dr. Holmes arrived first, and
when a few moments later his friend drove up in a cab he greeted him
with the very obvious pun: “Ah, you rid, I see.” Dr. Peabody was
wonderfully pleased with this sally, and on his return attempted to
repeat it to his family. “Dr. Holmes was extremely witty this
afternoon,” he said. “We went to see the Eurydice, and when I drove up
he said just as quick as a flash, ‘Ah, Doctor, I see you came in a
buggy.’” The same week that this appeared in print the following
appeared in a New York weekly journal: Speaking of how some people
always misquote, a Southern lady once told the following: “A cavalry
officer, bespattered with mud, entered an opera box during the
representation of ‘Orpheus and Eurydice,’ and exclaimed: ‘Well I have
just ridden ten miles to see Orpheus—’ ‘And Eurydice,’ remarked a young
belle, amid much laughter. Having occasion to visit the opposite box, he
was asked what caused all that laughter, whereupon he laughed heartily
and said, ‘Oh, that Miss Eyre is the wittiest girl I know; when I said I
had come to see Orpheus,’ she said, ‘And I presume that you came on
horseback, Captain.’”

Fenderson heard a good joke the other day about a man who had two cork
legs, the key of the same being that he was born in Cork. Fenderson
determined to spring it at the supper table. And this is how he did it:
“I heard a funny thing to-day. It was about a man who had two cork legs,
and he got along just as well as anybody else, and he suffered with cold
feet, too. They were cork legs, you know, because he was born in Dublin.
Good joke, eh? No? It doesn’t seem to be much of a joke, that’s a fact;
but you’d ought to hear the fellows laugh when they heard it last night.
I laughed myself, but there doesn’t seem to be much in it, after all. I
guess the fun was in the way that chap told it.”

                       EVEN HOMER SOMETIMES NODS

               Quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus.—HORACE.


The effect of Mr. Longfellow’s fine poem, “Jugurtha,” is impaired by a
curious mistake. The first of the two stanzas composing it are as

               “‘How cold are thy baths, Apollo!’
                 Cried the African monarch, the splendid,
               As down to his death in the hollow,
                 Dark dungeons of death he descended,
                 Uncrowned, unthroned, unattended,
               ‘How cold are thy baths, Apollo!’”

As a matter of fact, Jugurtha’s exclamation when thrust into the cold,
dark prison was “Heracles, how cold your [plural, _humon_] bath is!”
(see Plutarch, _Marius_, c. 12). “Heracles” (the Greek form of Hercules)
is the ordinary Greek interjection, not an address to a god. The most
natural explanation of this odd mistake seems to be the following: Mr.
Longfellow substituted the name of one god for another by a slip of the
memory. When Apollo thus replaced Heracles, it was natural to make the
further supposition that he was directly addressed, and that the
ambiguous “your” was singular.

                        _Completing a Sentence_

Senator Hoar of Massachusetts, knew his Bible very well, from cover to
cover, and drew upon it for philosophy and illustration with great
facility. Only once in a great while was he caught tripping in this
field. One such occasion was while the Senate was discussing the Chinese
treaty of 1881. He quoted against the exclusion policy St. Paul’s
declaration, “For God hath made of one blood all the nations of the

Senator Miller, of California, exclaimed,—“Go on—quote the remainder of
the sentence.”

“There is no more of it,” said Mr. Hoar.

“Oh yes there is,” rejoined Miller, “for the Apostle added to the words
which the Senator had just quoted, ‘and hath determined the bounds of
their habitation.’”

                        _Racine_ vs. _Voltaire_

When Louis Napoleon was in temporary exile in New York, he complied with
the request of a young lady for his autograph in her album as follows:

            “Le premier qui fut roi, fut un soldat heureux;
            Qui sert bien son pays n’a pas besoin d’aïeux.
                                    “LOUIS NAPOLÉON BONAPARTE.

    “NEW YORK, 10 June, 1837.”

The Prince and future Emperor thus attributed to Racine a couplet which
should have been credited to Voltaire.

                           _A Chinese Cycle_

A Chinese scholar has pointed out that when Tennyson wrote “Locksley
Hall” he could not have been aware of the exact nature of a Chinese
cycle. “Better,” he exclaimed, “fifty years of Europe than a cycle of
Cathay.” It being granted that Cathay is poetical English for China, it
was stated, with the complete concurrence of an eminent mandarin who was
present, that a Chinese cycle consists, and has for some centuries
consisted, of sixty years. By these cycles the lapse of time has been
computed in China during the whole of the present dynasty. The poet,
therefore, was less complimentary to Europe than he probably intended to
be when he said that fifty years of Europe was only equal to sixty years
of China.

                          _Watts_ vs. _Cowper_

Few hymns are better known than Cowper’s “Light Shining Out of
Darkness,” commencing

                  “God moves in a mysterious way
                    His wonders to perform;
                  He plants his footsteps in the sea,
                    And rides upon the storm.”

In the “Student’s English Literature,” published by Murray in 1901, this
is part of what is said of Isaac Watts:

“His hymns are well known to all Englishmen—few hymns can surpass ‘God
moves in a mysterious way’ for a certain majesty of simple sound.”

This ascription to Watts of Cowper’s stately and sonorous hymn is very
strange, to say the least.

                        _Bret Harte’s Astronomy_

There is a little discrepancy in the poem by Mr. Bret Harte, entitled
“Her Letter,” beginning with the lines:

                “I’m sitting alone by the fire,
                Dressed just as I came from the dance.”

A girl in New York writes to her lover, who is supposed to be a miner in
the far West. Yet, in the concluding stanza, she bids him good night, as

               “Good-night, here’s the end of my paper,
                 Good-night, if the longitude please:
               For, perhaps, while I’m wasting my taper,
                 Your sun’s climbing over the trees.”

It is a little difficult to imagine how it could be sunrise in
California at the conclusion of an evening party in New York, even
though the dancers had prolonged their amusement until compelled to
“chase the glowing hours with flying feet.” And, furthermore, this is
improbable because the writer is represented as writing by artificial
light. Evidently “Old Folinsbee’s Daughter” had had more training in
sentiment than in astronomy.

                          _Wolseley’s Mistake_

Lord Wolseley ends his “Decline and Fall of Napoleon” with the following

“So wrote the finger on the wall about the proud King of Babylon. It
might with equal truth have been written of him whose overthrow at
Waterloo is thus described in verse:

                “‘Since he miscalled the morning star,
                Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far.’”

Wolseley’s assumption that Byron referred to the defeat at Waterloo is
incorrect. The “Ode to Napoleon” was written in 1814, and the date of
Waterloo is June, 1815. The reference is to Napoleon’s abdication in
April, 1814, and the “sullen isle” in stanza xiv, is Elba, not St.

                           _Johnson’s Error_

The great lexicographer in dealing with the word Confection has the

        “Of best things then what world shall yield confection,
        To liken her?”—SHAKESPEARE.

If we may trust the concordances, there is nothing of the sort in the
works of Shakespeare. In Latham’s edition of the Dictionary it is
omitted. Johnson can hardly be charged with inventing quotations; but he
often trusted his memory in a very haphazard fashion.

                           _Milton’s Italian_

Mark Pattison, in his Milton (“English Men of Letters”) series, says,—

“To the poems of the Horton period belong also the two pieces
‘L’Allegro’ and ‘Il Penseroso,’ and ‘Lycidas.’ He was probably in the
early stage of acquiring the language when he superscribed the two first
poems with their Italian titles. For there is no such word as
‘penseroso,’ the adjective formed from ‘pensiero’ being ‘pensieroso.’
Even had the word been written correctly, its signification is not that
which Milton intended,—viz., thoughtful or contemplative, but anxious,
full of cares, carking.”

                         _Milton as a Botanist_

Milton was in error when he wrote,—

    “Thick as Autumnal leaves that strew the brooks in Vallambrosa.”

The trees of Vallambrosa, being pines, do not fall thick in autumn, and
the brooks, consequently, are not strewed with them.

                        _Dante as a Naturalist_

Dante says in the “Inferno” (Canto xvii),—“As at times the wherries lie
on shore, that are part in water and part on land, the beaver adjusts
himself to make his war,” etc.

                “Lo bevero s’assetta a far sua guerra.”

_Bevero_ should be _lontra_, the otter. The latter answers to the
description, seeking his prey half on land and half in water, and living
on the fish he cunningly catches, whereas the subsistence of the beaver
is drawn exclusively from the vegetable kingdom. The otter is
carnivorous; the beaver derives his nutriment from the bark of deciduous
trees, preferably, as shown by their cuttings, birch, poplar, willow,
maple, and ash, together with the roots of the pond lily, and also the
coarse grasses that grow on the margins of their ponds.

                           _Cassio or Iago?_

John Hill Burton, in the _Book-Hunter_, speaking of purloining from
books leaves of whose intrinsic value the owner is ignorant, says,—

“The notions of the collector about such spoil are the converse of those
which Cassio professed to hold about his good name, for the scrap
furtively removed is supposed in no way to impoverish the loser, while
it makes the recipient rich indeed.”

It is not Cassio, but Iago who says that good name in man and woman is
the immediate jewel of their souls, the loss of which enriches not
others, but makes them poor indeed. The error is worth correcting; for
there is no more exquisite touch of art, no finer exhibition of subtle
and profound knowledge of man than the teaching by the lips of this
supreme scoundrel the wide difference between the intellectual
perception of a moral sentiment and its actual possession.

                   _In Time of Peace Prepare for War_

When the honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred by the University of
Pennsylvania upon President Roosevelt, he made an address in
acknowledgment of the distinction, and in honor of the date, which was
Washington’s birthday anniversary, in the course of which he gave out
the subjoined maxim as one of those in which Washington in his Farewell
Address bequeathed to his fellow countrymen for their instruction and

“To be prepared for war is the most effective means to promote peace.”

This maxim appears neither in Washington’s Farewell Address nor in any
other speech or writing of the Father of his Country. The passage which
President Roosevelt probably had in mind, and which he quoted from
memory without verifying either its source or its exact language, occurs
in Washington’s first annual address or message to Congress, delivered
on January 8, 1790, nearly seven years before the Farewell Address was
written. What Washington said about preparation for war was this:

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving

The difference between the foregoing and the incorrect version presented
at Philadelphia by Mr. Roosevelt is not merely verbal. Washington
declared that adequate provision for the common defence was “one of the
most” effective means of preserving peace. Washington as quoted by Mr.
Roosevelt is made to declare unqualifiedly that such provision is the
“most” effective means of promoting peace. The significance of the
misquoted superlative is obvious.

                         _Collins_ vs. _Prior_

When Mr. Lowell was our Minister at the Court of St. James, he made an
address on Coleridge, in Westminster Abbey, in the course of which he
quoted the following couplet, attributing it to Collins,—

               “Abra was with him ere he spoke her name,
               And if he called another, Abra came.”

The lines thus incorrectly quoted are by Prior, and will be found in his
“Solomon.” The monarch is speaking of a female slave who had a real
affection for him,—

               “_And, when I called another, Abra came._”

                          _Gladstone’s Heber_

Mr. Gladstone, in his well-known article, entitled “Kin Beyond Sea,”
misquoted the couplet from Heber’s “Palestine.” Instead of the lines,—

            “No workman steel, no ponderous hammers rung,
            Like some tall palm the stately fabric sprung”—

as incorrectly given by Mr. Gladstone, they should read,—

             “No hammer fell, no ponderous axes rung,
             Like some tall palm the mystic fabric sprung.”


Why is it that well-informed people so persistently forget the name of
the man who first discovered the Pacific Ocean? Keats, “on looking into
a volume of Chapman’s Homer” thought of the oceans and the stars, and

              “Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
              When a new planet swims into his ken,
              Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
              He gazed at the Pacific; all his men
              Gazed at each other with a wild surmise,
                  Silent upon a peak in Darien.”

Next came the German Emperor, crediting Sir Francis Drake with, having
first seen the “great water.” For the benefit of such as fall into this
error, it may be stated that the first European to see the Pacific Ocean
from the American continent was Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, who beheld it
from the eminence now known as Culebra, about half way across the
Isthmus of Panama. Neither Cortez nor Sir Francis Drake, had any share
in its achievement.


A Boston journal quoted from a letter of the Rev. W. C. McCoy on a newly
dedicated monument as follows: “The moss-grown cenotaphs of Ancient
Roman valor held no dust more sacred than do the unmarked graves where
sleep your honored dead to-day.” This would be very fine were it not for
the erroneous and misleading use of one word. A cenotaph happens to be a
monument erected at some place other than the spot where sleep the bones
of him whose valor it illustrates.

                        _Bishop Ken’s Doxology_

A sermon of the late Rev. Dr. T. De Witt Talmage has this glowing

“When Cromwell’s army went into battle, he stood at the head of them one
day, and gave out the long-metre Doxology to the tune of the “Old
Hundred,” and that great host, company by company, regiment by regiment,
battalion by battalion, joined in the Doxology:

              “‘Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
              Praise Him, all creatures here below;
              Praise Him above, ye heavenly host,
              Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’

“And while they sang they marched, and while they marched they fought,
and while they fought they got the victory.”

It seems a pity to destroy a good story, but chronology is very
despotic. Oliver Cromwell died in 1658. Bishop Ken, who has always been
credited with this grand doxology, was born in 1637, and was then,
therefore, only about twenty-one years old. Hymnologists give 1697 as
the year in which Bishop Ken wrote the Doxology as the last verse of his
morning and evening hymns. This would place the composition about half a
century after Cromwell’s last battle in the civil war, and some forty
years after his death.

                      _St. Paul to the Ephesians_

In the first edition of Dombey and Son (ch. xii.), Dr. Blimber, the
master of a select school at Brighton, is made to say to one of his
offending pupils, “Johnson will repeat to me to-morrow morning, before
breakfast, without book, and from the Greek Testament, the first chapter
of the First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Ephesians.” In imposing this
penalty, the pompous pedagogue overlooked the fact that there is but one
Epistle to the Ephesians in the New Testament. Mr. Dickens’s attention
must have been awakened to his error, as it was corrected in subsequent

                            _Byron’s Greek_

In Prof. Albert H. Smyth’s “Life of Bayard Taylor” occurs this sentence:
“At the Piræus Taylor saw Mrs. Black, ‘The Maid of Athens,’ to whom
Byron sang in impossible and ungrammatical Greek.”

The allusion is evidently to the concluding line of the stanzas,

                           Ζωή μου σᾶς ἀγαπῶ,

which means simply, “My life, I love thee.”

Ought not Professor Smyth to have stayed his pen from this unnecessary
impeachment of Byron’s knowledge of Greek, when he remembered that the
poet had lived on familiar terms with Greeks long before he went to
fight and die for the independence of their famous land? The line given
above is colloquial modern Greek, exactly suited to the character of the
poem, and was not intended for ancient classic Greek.

                             _Triple Error_

In the “Heart of Midlothian” (ch. 1.) is the following passage
respecting Effie Deans:

“She amused herself with visiting the dairy, in which she had so long
been assistant, and was near discovering herself to May Hettly, by
betraying her acquaintance with the celebrated receipt for Dunlop
cheese, that she compared herself to Bedreddin Hassan, whom the vizier,
his father-in-law, discovered by his superlative skill in composing
cream-tarts with pepper in them.”

Brewer, in his “Reader’s Hand Book,” points out several errors in these
few lines: (1) “cream-tarts” should be _cheese-cakes_; (2) the charge
was that he made cheese-cakes _without_ putting pepper in them, and not
that he made “cream-tarts _with_ pepper;” (3) it was not the vizier, his
father-in-law, but his mother, the widow of Noureddin, who made the
discovery, and why? For the best of all reasons—because she herself had
taught her son the receipt of Damascus. See “Arabian Nights” Noureddin

Brewer also shows that Thackeray, in “Vanity Fair” (ch. 3) repeated at
second-hand Scott’s allusion to Bedreddin, instead of quoting directly
from the original. He makes Rebecca Sharp say, “I ought to have
remembered the pepper which the Princess of Persia puts in the
cream-tarts in the ‘Arabian Nights.’” Aside from this repetition of
Scott’s blunders, it was not a princess, but Bedreddin Hassan who was
the confectioner. Nor could it have been a princess of Persia, for
Bedreddin’s mother was the widow of the vizier of Balsora, at that time
quite independent of Persia.

                     _Mistakes of Our Best Writers_

Besides the rhetorical blunders and inaccuracies of our best writers,
their pages are sprinkled with violations of the plainest grammatical
rules. Take, by way of illustration, a few specimens from some of the
masters of the English language:

Blair, the rhetorician, says, “The boldness, freedom, and variety of our
blank verse _is_ infinitely more favorable than rhyme to all kinds of
sublime poetry.”

Latham, the philologist, says, “The following facts _may_ or have been
_adduced_ as reasons on the other side.”

Addison says, “I do not mean that I think _any one_ to blame for taking
due care of _their_ health.”

Junius says, “_Both_ minister and magistrate _is_ compelled to choose
between _his_ duty and _his_ reputation.”

Dryden says, “The reason is perspicuous why no French plays when
translated _have_ or ever can _succeed_ on the English stage.”

Gibbon says, “The _use_ of fraud and perfidy, of cruelty and injustice
_were_ often subservient to the propagation of the faith.” And again,
“The _richness_ of her arms and apparel _were_ conspicuous in the
foremost ranks.”

Macaulay says, “The poetry and eloquence of the Augustan age _was_
assiduously studied in Mercian and Northumbrian monasteries.”


In descriptive poems which are written to embalm the story of actual
occurrences, our poets sometimes draw upon their fertile fancies for the
materials they employ, accepting flying rumors of incidents or
experiences, the verification or contradiction of which is within easy
reach. Take, for instance, such as relate to our recent sectional
conflict. Whittier says, in “Barbara Frietchie,” in speaking of the

                “In her attic window the staff she set,
                To show that one heart was loyal yet.”

And farther on he says,—

                “She leaned far out on the window sill,
                And shook it forth with a royal will.”

That there is no semblance of truth in these statements is proved by
numerous witnesses. One of them, a near relative of Dame Barbara,
testifies thus: “As to the waving of the Federal flag in the face of the
rebels by Dame Barbara on the occasion of Stonewall Jackson’s march
through Frederick, truth requires me to say that Stonewall Jackson, with
his troops, did not pass Barbara Frietchie’s residence at all, but
passed up what is popularly called ‘the Mill Alley,’ about three hundred
yards above her residence, then passed due west toward Antietam, and
thus out of the city.” “Again,” continues the witness, “the poem by
Whittier represents the venerable lady (then ninety-six years of age) as
nimbly ascending to her attic window and waving her small Federal flag
defiantly in the face of Stonewall Jackson’s troops. Now what is the
fact? At the period referred to, Dame Barbara was bedridden and
helpless, and had lost the power of locomotion. She could only move as
she was moved, by the help of her attendants.”

So much for one of the best of poets as a chronicler. Mr. T. B. Read, in
describing Sheridan’s ride from Winchester to Cedar Creek, on the
gigantic black horse whose neck, in the language of Job, was clothed
with thunder, and the glory of whose nostrils was terrible, says,—

       “——Striking his spurs with a terrible oath,
       He dashed down the line ’mid a storm of huzzas;
       And the wave of retreat checked its course there, because
       The sight of the master compelled it to pause.”

It is a matter of acceptation among military men that the retreat had
been checked, the lines re-formed, and the tide of battle turned by
General Wright before Sheridan’s arrival on the scene of action. All he
had to do was to encourage with cheering words, and to infuse into the
shattered ranks his own sanguine spirit.

Bret Harte undertook to make a hero of John Burns of Gettysburg, who
“stood there heedless of jeer and scoff, calmly picking the rebels off.”
Gettysburg people, who know whereof they speak, say that so far from
Burns playing the hero in the manner indicated, he was driving his cows,
and unwittingly got within the Confederate lines. Realizing his
unpleasant position, he scampered homeward in such haste that he
scratched his face and tore his clothes in the brambles—the nearest
approach to bullet marks of which he could boast.

Even when our poets turn back to earlier periods for inspiration, their
little discrepancies are not beyond danger of exposure. In Mr.
Longfellow’s beautiful “Hymn of the Moravian Nuns of Bethlehem, at the
Consecration of Pulaski’s Banner,” he says,—

                 “When the dying flame of day
                 Through the chancel shot its ray,
                 Far the glimmering tapers shed
                 Faint light on the cowled head;
                 And the censer burning swung
                 Where, before the altar, hung
                 The blood-red banner, that with prayer
                 Had been consecrated there.
             And the nuns’ sweet hymn was heard the while,
             Sung low in the dim, mysterious aisle.”

After this introduction follows the hymn:

                 “Take thy banner! May it wave,” etc.,

and after the hymn, the couplet:

               “The warrior took that banner proud,
               And it was his martial cloak and shroud!”

There was no sisterhood, properly speaking, at Bethlehem during the
Revolution. The inmates of the Sisters’ House were under the care of a
Mother Superior, but they were bound by no vows, and were free to leave
if they wished. They abounded in good works, were full of the spirit of
devotion, and had morning and evening prayers in the chapel. But there
was no cowled head in that little chapel, no swinging censer, no altar;
these were not in accord with the Moravian mode of worship. Famous
needlewomen were those good sisters, and they excelled in embroidery.
Pulaski, during a visit to Bethlehem, admired their work, and ordered
for his legion a cavalry guidon of crimson silk. When finished, he paid
for it; it was a commonplace business transaction, with no thought, on
either side, of presentation or consecration. The noble Pole was
mortally wounded at the siege of Savannah and was buried in the Savannah
River. Whether the guidon, miscalled a banner, was used as his shroud,
those who have seen it in the rooms of the Maryland Historical Society
in Baltimore, can testify.

Even the novelists claim indulgence in this sort of license. In that
fanciful story of Bulwer-Lytton, “The Last Days of Pompeii,” for
example, he says (Book v. ch. vi.),—

“The air was now still for a few minutes; the lamp from the gate
streamed out far and clear; the fugitives hurried on—they gained the
gate—they passed by the Roman sentry; the lightning hashed over his
livid face and polished helmet, but his stern features were composed
even in their awe! He remained erect and motionless at his post. That
hour itself had not animated the machine of the ruthless majesty of Rome
into the reasoning and self-acting man. There he stood amid the crashing
elements; he had not received the permission to desert his station and

In a foot-note the novelist adds,—

“The skeletons of more than one sentry were found at their posts.”

Very pretty. As Mrs. Browning says, “Beautiful indeed, and worthy of
acceptation.” What a pity that we have to fall back upon the mistrustful
“Se non è vero è ben trovato.” Not that we question the likelihood of
such stern and unflinching obedience of orders in any age of the world,
but we want trustworthy evidence. In the case of the boy “who stood on
the burning deck,” commemorated by Mrs. Hemans, we have such evidence.
It is a feature of British naval history that Casabianca, the young son
of the admiral of the Orient, at the battle of the Nile, stood at his
post, and perished when the flames of the burning ship reached the

Moore says in his “Irish Melodies”:

             “The sunflower turns on her god, when he sets,
             The same look which she turned when he rose.”

Very pretty as a poetic fancy, but as a matter of fact the sunflower
does not turn either to the rising or the setting sun. It receives its
name solely because it resembles a picture sun. It is not a heliotrope
or turnsun.

Female birds in general do not sing, but as poets are not naturalists,
they fall into a common error, as the following quotations show:

           “And in the violet-embroidered vale
           Where the love-lorn Nightingale
           Nightly to thee _her_ sad song mourneth well.”
                                           —MILTON, “Comus.”

            “And Philomel _her_ song with tears doth steep.”
                      —SPENCER, “Shepherd’s Calendar.”

“But the nightingale, another of my airy creatures, breathes such sweet
loud music out of _her_ instrumental throat, that it might make mankind
think miracles had not ceased.”—WALTON, “Angler.”

           “Abandoned to despair _she_ sings
           _Her_ sorrows through the night; and on the bough
           Sole sitting, still at every dying fall,
           Takes up again _her_ lamentable strain.”
                                       —THOMSON, “Seasons.”


The inscription on the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of
St. Paul’s Cathedral, closes with the notice to the reader, “Si
monumentum requiris, circumspice.” In Murray’s “Hand Book of London” is
a blunder of too frequent recurrence elsewhere, the substitution of
_quæris_ for _requiris_.

Bishop Berkeley wrote, “Westward the course of empire takes its way.” In
the epigraph to Bancroft’s “History of the United States” it is “the
star of empire,” a change that is frequently repeated.

In _Measure for Measure_ the Duke Yincentio says,—

                          “My business in this state
                  Made me a looker-on here in Vienna.”

Many people in quoting this, say Venice in place of Vienna.

Gray says in the “Elegy,” “They kept the noiseless tenor of their way,”
usually quoted “the even tenor.”

Pope says, “A little learning is a dangerous thing.” Often misquoted

In his “Satires,” Pope says, “Welcome the coming, speed the going
guest.” But Pope himself, in his translation of the Odyssey, says,
“Speed the parting guest,” so that we are left to take our choice.

In connection with this dual reading may be recalled a quotation which
is a misquotation in one way, but not in another. In Habakkuk it is
written, “Write the vision and make it plain, that he may run that
readeth it.” This is commonly turned into the phrase “that he who runs
may read.” But Cooper says in his “Tirocinium,”—

              “Shine by the side of every path we tread
              With such a lustre, he that runs may read.”

Butler says in “Hudibras,” “He that complies against his will is of his
own opinion still.” Many continue to say, “A man convinced against his
will is of the same opinion still,” regardless of the difference in
sense as well as in words.

_Lorenzo_ says, in the “Merchant of Venice,” “The man that hath no music
in himself,” etc. Commonly changed to “music in his soul.”

The line in Milton’s “Lycidas,” “fresh woods and pastures new,” is
usually misquoted, “fresh fields,” etc.

Prior’s “fine by degrees and beautifully less” is usually rendered
“small by degrees,” etc.

Francis Quarles wrote:

            “Our God and soldier we alike adore,
            E’en at the brink of ruin, not before;
            After deliverance both alike requited,
            Our God’s forgotten and our soldier’s slighted.”

Usually quoted:

                  “God and the doctor we alike adore.”

The latest editor of Burns does a good service by correcting an
absurdity in the most familiar song in the language which has puzzled
every generation since Burns’s death, namely:

                 “We’ll tak’ a right gude willie-waught
                         For Auld Lang Syne.”

He says “willie-waught” is neither Scotch nor sense; that the hyphen is
simply misplaced, and the line should read:

                “We’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught—”

_i.e._, good-will draught. This is obvious when pointed out, for
“gude-willie” and “ill-willie” are familiar compounds. But it is odd
that every other editor should have servilely followed the misprint.

In the “Heart of Midlothian” (ch. 47), Scott says, “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.” The
Master said (Matt. v, 9), “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall
be called the children of God.” It is “the meek” who shall inherit the

Sir Walter Scott says in “The Antiquary” (ch. x), “The philosopher who
appealed from Philip inflamed with wine to Philip in his hours of
sobriety, did not choose a judge so different as if he had appealed from
Philip in his youth to Philip in his old age.” This “philosopher” was a
poor old woman.

                        FALSITIES AND FALLACIES

                           _False Ascription_

Büchmann in his “Geflügelte Worte” (“Winged Words”), Berlin, 1882, says,
“Universally, yet without the least warrant, the following lines are
ascribed to Martin Luther:

                “Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib, und Gesang,
                Der bleibt ein Narr sein Lebenlang.”

                “Who loves not wine, wife, and song,
                Remains a fool his whole life long.”

Weib, wife, was originally written weiber, women. It was changed by Th.
Weyler in his “Thinkers’ and Poets’ Words.”

Even the Luther Room in the Wartburg, says Büchmann, has the couplet on
the wall. Its first appearance in literature was in 1775, in _Der
Wandsbecker Bote_ of Matthias Claudius, a popular German writer, who
incorporated it in a humorous toast or “health.” Roeseler (Berlin, 1873)
credits Claudius with the authorship of the couplet, but according to
Redlich (Hamburg, 1871), the author was John Henry Voss, who cited it in
the _Muses’ Almanac_ (Hamburg, 1777), and repeated it in a published
collection of his poems. When it appeared in the _Almanac_ the Hamburg
pastors were so incensed at Voss’s slur upon Luther that they defeated
his election as a teacher in the Johanneum.

                         _The Lentulus Letter_

The letter alleged to have been sent to the Senate of Rome by Publius
Lentulus, “President of Judea in the reign of Tiberius Cæsar,”
describing the person of Jesus Christ, is now generally admitted to have
been written by a monk in the fourteenth century. In the works of the
Greek historian, Nicephorus, who lived in that century, and whom
Weismann considers a credulous, uncritical writer, is a description of
the personal appearance of Jesus Christ, for which no authority is
given, and which is said to be derived from the ancients. This passage
bears a strong resemblance to the apocryphal letter of Lentulus, and
possibly served as a basis for it. It is most likely that the letter was
a Latin translation or adaptation of the description given by
Nicephorus. Dr. Edward Robinson, after a thorough examination of the
evidence, sums up the case very pointedly as follows: “In favor of the
authenticity of the letter (Epistola Lentuli) we have only the purport
of the inscription. There is no external evidence whatever. Against its
authenticity we have the great discrepancies and contradictions of the
inscription; the fact that no such person as Lentulus existed at the
time and place specified, nor for many years before and after; the utter
silence of history in respect to the existence of such a letter; the
foreign and later idioms of its style; the contradiction in which the
contents of the epistle stand with established historical facts, and the
probability of its having been produced at some time not earlier than
the eleventh century.”

The earliest appearance of the clumsy forgery was in the MS. writings of
St. Anselm, who lived in the eleventh century. No Publius Lentulus can
be identified as “President of Judea” in the reign of Tiberius. Judea
had but two procurators in his reign, Valerius Gratus, from 16 to 27 A.
D., and Pontius Pilate, from 27 to 37 A. D. Not only is there no
contemporary witness in profane history to the appearance of Jesus, but
there is none to his existence, except, perhaps, Josephus
(“Antiquities,” xviii. 3). But even this has certainly been
interpolated, and is regarded as spurious _in toto_ by some of the most
careful scholars. In fact, it is generally acknowledged that there is no
contemporary allusion to Christ in secular history—although some defend
the genuineness of the passage relating to Him in Josephus. The earliest
authentic allusion to the founder of Christianity is in Pliny’s famous
letter to Trajan, and in the “Annals” of Tacitus—both written in the
first quarter of the second century.

                         _Scott’s Fabrications_

Lockhart, in his “Life of Sir Walter Scott,” thus refers to the source
of a large number of the mottoes in the Waverly Novels:

It was in correcting his proof-sheets of the “Antiquary” that Scott
first took to equipping his chapters with mottoes of his own
fabrication. On one occasion he happened to ask John Ballantyne, who was
sitting by him, to hunt for a particular passage in Beaumont and
Fletcher. John did as he was bid, but did not succeed in discovering the
lines. “Hang it, Johnnie,” cried Scott, “I believe I can make a motto
sooner than you will find one.” He did so accordingly; and from that
hour, whenever memory failed to suggest an appropriate epigraph, he had
recourse to the inexhaustible mines of “Old Play” or “Old Ballad,” to
which we owe some of the most exquisite verses that ever flowed from his

                             _William Tell_

Baring-Gould long ago demolished what was left of the Tell myth.
Nevertheless, at the Schiller centennial, in Berlin, it was proposed to
commemorate the occasion by giving to one of the principal streets of
the suburb of Rixdorf the name of that William Tell whom Schiller
contributed so much to glorify by his drama. Whereupon several of the
town councillors arose and called attention to the fact that the Tell of
Schiller and of patriotic Helvetian tradition had been shown to be a
myth, not only by trustworthy investigators outside of Switzerland, but
so acknowledged by Swiss antiquarians themselves.

                         _The Finding of Moses_

Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, the distinguished Anglo-Dutch painter and
Royal Academician in London, has put an end to our illusion that Moses
as a child was found in the bulrushes. Sir Lawrence painted a picture of
“The Finding of Moses,” which proved to be one of the features of the
Royal Academy exhibition, and on attention having been drawn to the fact
that there are no bulrushes in the painting, Sir Lawrence immediately
proved that there were no such things as bulrushes in Egypt, and
especially not on the Nile. Sir Lawrence explains that he had assured
himself of this fact while in Egypt, which he had visited in order to
get the local color before painting the picture, which had already been
purchased by Sir John Arid, the constructor of the great Nile dam. The
picture possesses special interest for Sir John Arid in view of the fact
that it is his own daughter who sat for the figure of Pharaoh’s
daughter. Our illusion about the bulrushes seems to have originated in a
faulty translation of the passage in Exodus xi. 3. The bulrush of Egypt
is the papyrus (_cyperus papyrus_).

                      _A Historic Phrase Disputed_

At a memorable anniversary banquet of the Veterans of the Mexican war,
L. B. Mizner, of Solano, in the course of an eloquent address, took
occasion to correct a fabrication which had passed into history,
attributing to General Taylor, the hero of Buena Vista, the slang
admonition, “A little more grape, Captain Bragg.” Such language was
unworthy of the man and the historic moment when the result of the most
desperate and memorable battle of the war was wavering in the balance,
and nothing, said Mr. Mizner, would have been more foreign to the
character of General Taylor in his manner in trying emergencies than
such an exclamation. “Holding the position of an interpreter on the
staff of General Taylor,” said the speaker, “I was seated on my horse
immediately near him, when Captain Bragg dashed hurriedly up, saluted
the General and reported, ‘General, I shall have to fall back with my
battery or lose it.’ Several of his guns had already been dismounted, a
large part of his horses killed, and about thirty of his men were
prostrate on the heath. On receiving the report General Taylor turned on
his horse and surveyed the situation for a few seconds—he required no
field-glass, for the scene of conflict was not far removed—and the reply
was, ‘Captain Bragg, it is better to lose a battery than a battle.’ This
was the interview on which was based the famous slang phrase that was
never uttered by the General to whom it was imputed. Captain Bragg
returned to his battery with renewed determination, and by the efforts
of that gallant officer and his brave command the tide of battle was
turned, and the greatest victory of the war was won.”

                            _The Maelstrom_

When the elders of the generation now passing away read Schiller’s
tragic story of “The Diver,” they recall the teachings in their
childhood’s geographies of the Maelstrom off the northwestern coast of
Norway. A late report on the fisheries of the Lofoten Archipelago says
that the Maelstrom is only one of many whirlpools between the islands,
and that it is so lightly regarded by the sailors that they pass and
repass it in their little vessels at all stages of the tide, only
avoiding it in fogs or storms. So far from drawing whales into its
vortex, it is a favorite resort of the fish, and the fishermen reap a
rich piscatorial harvest from its bosom. Even in stormy weather the rate
of the tide does not exceed six miles an hour.

                        _Don’t Give Up the Ship_

Among famous battle sayings is the well-known phrase attributed to the
dying Lawrence. Some years ago a daughter of the late Major Benjamin
Russell, for many years editor of the _Boston Centinel_, a bright,
interesting woman and a brilliant raconteur, told numerous anecdotes of
her father, who was a strongly individualized and notable character for
a long period. Among them was the following:

“The battle between the _Chesapeake_ and the _Shannon_ took place just
off the Massachusetts coast, and a sailor in some way got ashore and
hurried to Boston with the news. It was in the night and he went
straight to the _Centinel_ office, where he found Major Russell, to whom
he told the story, including the death of Lawrence. ‘What were his last
words?’ said the major. ‘Don’t know,’ said the man. ‘Didn’t he say,
“Don’t give up the ship?”’ ‘Don’t know,’ said the man. ‘Oh, he did,’
said the major, ‘I’ll make him say it’—and he did—so much for history.”

At the time of the battle of Allatoona Pass, General Sherman sent a
dispatch to General Corse, saying, “Hold Allatoona, and I will assist
you.” But the genius of history, with his facile pen, made Sherman say,
“Hold the fort, for I am coming.”

                           _Specific Gravity_

Considering the vigorous condition of the myth of the Connecticut Blue
Laws, in spite of the repeated exposure of its falsity, this gem from “A
General History of Connecticut,” written by the original Blue Law
manufacturer, the Rev. Samuel Peters, is valuable. It is quoted in
Goodspeed’s catalogue, and is part of the veracious author’s description
of the Connecticut River:

“Two hundred miles from the Sound is a narrow of five yards only, formed
by two shelving mountains of solid rock, whose tops intercept the
clouds. Through this chasm are compelled to pass all the waters which in
the time of floods bury the northern country. Here water is consolidated
without frost, by pressure, by swiftness, between the pinching sturdy
rocks to such a degree of induration that an iron crow floats smoothly
down its current—here iron, lead, and cork have one common weight; here
steady as time and harder than marble, the stream passes, irresistible
if not swift as lightning.”


The rescue of Captain Smith by Pocahontas, according to his assertion,
took place in 1607, when she was a child not quite ten years of age. No
mention was made of it until eight years afterwards, and the first
circumstantial account of it was not published until seventeen years
later, when it appeared in Smith’s “General Historie of Virginia.”
According to the 1624 folio, Smith’s narrative of the tableau in which
he was a central figure runs thus:

“A long consultation was held, but the conclusion was, two great stones
were brought before Powhatan; then as many as could, layd hands on him
[Smith], dragged him to them, and thereon layd his head, and being ready
with their clubs to beate out his braines, Pocahontas, the King’s
dearest daughter, when no intreaty could prevaile, got his head in her
armes, and laid her owne upon his to save him from death; whereat the
Emperor was contented he should live to make him hatchets, and her,
bells, beads, & copper; for they thought him as well of all occupations
as themselves. For the King himselfe will make his owne robes, shoes,
bowes, arrowes, pots; plant, hunt, or doe anything so well as the

Captain Smith’s “True Relation” was published in England in 1608, and
his “Map of Virginia,” with memoranda of his observations, in 1612. In
neither of them, nor in contemporary writings, such as the narrative of
Wingfield, the first President of the Colony, is there any reference to
his deliverance from savage clubbing. Smith’s first reference to it was
in 1816 in a letter addressed to the Queen in behalf of “the Lady
Rebecca,” or Pocahontas. The outward and visible motive of the invention
was commendable enough. In the earnest expression of his regard for her,
and of his acknowledgment of her touching friendship for him, he found
the surest medium for the promotion of her welfare in attracting to her
the special sympathy and attention of the English Court. Whether or not
he was too gallant to seek prestige for himself, it is certain that he
had little need of it, for his whole life was crowded with strange

                           _The Penn Treaty_

Our great painters sometimes usurp the functions of the historian, but
with their anachronisms and audacities they do more to perpetuate the
memory of scenes which never occurred than tradition-mongers and
story-tellers are capable of doing. The apocryphal character of some of
the scenes in the Rotunda of the Capitol at Washington has often been
noted. West’s familiar painting of Penn’s treaty with the Indians under
the elm at Shackamaxon is a notable example of this class. As a mere
work of art it has been subjected to scornful criticism, because of its
improbable groupings, and, as Mr. Bancroft says, “the artist, faithful
neither to the Indians nor to Penn, should have no influence on
history.” As to the conference, it has been utterly demolished by the
Historical Society of Pennsylvania. No treaty of amity was made in 1682.
The earliest formal agreement to live in friendship and peace, on
record, was in 1701, and that was made, not with the Delawares, but with
the interior tribes,—the Susquehannas, Minnequas, and Conestogas. Penn
was a methodical man, and careful to preserve the evidences of his
purchases of lands from the Indians. They are to be found in the minutes
of the Provincial Council and in the books of the Recorders of Deeds in
the various counties of the Province. But the treaty of 1682, if there
had been such an agreement, was of immeasurably more value than any of
them. It was a covenant for quiet possession of those lands which might
thereafter be acquired under covenant of title. Conceding the great
importance of the treaty, it can scarcely be conceived that all proof
connected with it should be allowed to perish. There is nothing to be
found in the Archives of Pennsylvania, in the writings of William Penn
himself, or of his friends and contemporaries, to show that such an
event ever took place. The only plea under which it can be sheltered is
a letter preserved in the State records at Harrisburg, under date of
April 21, 1682, which Penn gave to Lieutenant-Governor Markham previous
to the first voyage, and was addressed to the Indians, offering them
peace, friendship, and protection. There is an endorsement upon this
letter, stating that Thomas Holme, his Surveyor-General, “did read this
letter to the Indians,” and as he lived in the house near the elm which
stood where the monument has since been erected, this circumstance may
have given early currency to the Penn treaty story, which has since been
strengthened by West’s picture. Holme probably did call the Indians
together beneath the great elm, as it was a spot likely to be selected
for the purpose, and there read them the letter from Penn, month of
August following, but this is all there ever was of a treaty.

                          _The Good Old Times_

What fallacies and sophistries are comprehended in that oft-repeated
phrase, “The good old times.” There are still people who sigh for the
grand old days of Good Queen Bess! Glorious days, truly, when the common
people lived like swine and starving wretches were hung for stealing a
loaf; when the filthy rushes on palace floors bred pestilence; when
gluttony and drunkenness and brutality were masked under courtly
manners; when conversation among the highest class was spiced with
profanity and vulgarity; when the coin was clipped and debased; when the
whole kingdom was overrun with thieves and highwaymen; when royal
usurpations and proclamations assumed the force of law; and when the
Crown compelled plunder of church property, iniquitous taxation,
coercion of juries, and arbitrary imprisonment. In our daily life we are
in the enjoyment of material comforts and conveniences, at home, in
business, in travel, in distant communication, in the market, in
commerce, in government, the cheapest of which the royal revenues of
Queen Bess could not have purchased. Edmund Burke lamented that the age
of chivalry passed away with Marie Antoinette. He forgot that her Court
was itself grossly immoral, and the passionate admirers of chivalry seem
to forget that the knights were not all Sidneys or Bayards. St. Palaye
says in his “Memoirs of Chivalry” that never was there greater
corruption of manners than in the times of knight-errantry,—never was
the empire of debauchery more universal. St. Louis discovered a sink of
iniquity close to his own tent in the most holy of the crusades. The
intelligent reader of “Ivanhoe” knows full well that the thrilling scene
between the Templar Bois-Guilbert and Rebecca, as she stood upon the
verge of the parapet ready for the fatal plunge, is not a mere fancy
sketch. How few ever stop to consider why the most honorable order of
British knighthood is called the Order of the Bath. Dean Stanley says
“it is because the knights who enlisted in the defense of right against
wrong, truth against falsehood, honor against dishonor, were laid in a
bath on the evening before they were admitted to the Order, and
thoroughly washed, in order to show how bright and pure ought to be the
lives of those who engage in a noble enterprise.” What gave the symbol
special significance was the fact that it was the one wash of a
lifetime. Dr. Playfair, in speaking of the causes of epidemics, says,
“Think of 33 generations, who, like Oppian, never washed at all!”

              _Shakespeare’s Defiance of Historical Fact_

The audacity of Shakespeare in constructing the plots of certain of his
plays, in “defiance of the possibilities of history and the capacities
of human nature,” has been sharply commented upon by Dr. Van Buren
Denslow and other recent writers. Attention has been drawn to the fact
that at no period in the administration of the civil law in Italy during
the Middle Ages could the validity of the bond given to Shylock by
Antonio, in the “Merchant of Venice,” have been made the subject of
grave judicial investigation. Dr. Denslow thinks that the “literary
audacity” shown in the “Merchant of Venice” pales before the “crude and
barbarous vigor” with which all the legal ideas of the Danes and of
every other race are defied in “Hamlet,” and all the possibilities of
Scotch history, habits, and character are trampled under foot in
“Macbeth.” Concerning “Hamlet” he says,—

It is contrary to the principles of human nature everywhere that the
affection of parents for their brothers and sisters should exceed that
for their children, and especially for their sons. This being true, the
law of inheritance of thrones and rank, which is always fashioned after
the law of descent of lands and goods, would necessarily require that
when Claudius Hamlet, King of Denmark, the father of young Hamlet, died,
leaving a son of full age, the crown should descend directly to the son,
and if young Hamlet were a minor the late queen consort would be regent

But the play of “Hamlet” opens one month after Claudius’s death, with
his brother enthroned instead of his son, and the former queen consort
to Claudius Hamlet is now consort to his surviving brother.

Furthermore, this impossible mis-descent is assumed by all the persons
of the drama to be a mere matter of course, and the younger Hamlet’s
entire calamity is pictured as being his loss of his father, with no
allusion whatever to his loss of a throne.

It is not indicated whether the queen had been a queen jointly regnant
with the elder Hamlet or a queen consort to him; but the assumption of
the text is that her entire dignity had been derived through her
husband, not that she was queen regnant in her own right nor that these
successive husbands were mere kings consort, deriving their positions
through her. The new king assumes all the attributes of a monarch, as if
his brother’s death were absolutely all that was needed to make him
king. He sends commissioners to Norway, and, according to the words of
Rosencrantz, this king was assumed to have power to assure the crown to
Hamlet at his death, and had done so before discovering whether his own
incestuous marriage to his brother’s widow would have issue.

It was impossible that the Ghost should have assumed that his demise
would have devolved the crown on his brother, impossible that young
Hamlet should assume it, impossible that any portion of the people of
Denmark or of any other kingdom on earth should have assumed it, and
therefore impossible that the murder should be assumed to be commissible
with the motive assigned, viz., of succeeding to the throne or the
queen. She would have been only dowager queen and young Hamlet would
have been king.

In “Macbeth” we have the like assumption on the part of a Scottish
captain who has just won in a recent skirmish the title of “Thane,” that
if he can assassinate his king, Duncan, though Duncan’s two athletic
sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, survive and are in full health, yet Macbeth
will then become king. No election or proclamation by the army, no
renunciation by the heirs-apparent, no concurrence of the nobles is
called for. To Lady Macbeth the succession appears assured as soon as
she learns that Duncan is about to sleep under their roof. Nothing but
murder is required to win a crown for a person between whom and the
throne there stand two male heirs, both on the ground, one General
Banquo, as distinguished as himself, and many earls and notables.
Succession by assassination was at all times as foreign to the Scotch
character and history as cannibalism. Hospitality to guests, and
especially at night, is an inborn and deeply felt religion among the
Scotch people. In a country where hospitality is thus sacred and
assassination is a thing unknown, the hideousness of murdering a king by
night to get his throne is a foreign travesty on its face. Such crimes
might occur in Northern Africa or Southern Asia, and even in Italy.
During the invasion of Italy by the Lombards events occurred from which
the criminal atrocity and ferocity of Macbeth might have been drawn. But
to locate them in Scotland at any period is simply to transfer to the
atmosphere of the Highlands a kind and form of depravity which, while it
never existed in its fulness anywhere, never found any type or
suggestion among the Scots.

The tremendous energy of Shakespeare’s tragedies lifts them above
dramatic criticism, and makes them the standard. Their heroes are not
men, their heroines are not women. Both are survivals over into the
modern stage-life of the artist-made gods of the mythological pantheon.
Richard III. is a better Satan than Milton drew. Macbeth is a better
Belial. It is a proof of the moral advance of this age that the good
taste of society revolts from the notion that Shakespeare’s men were
human. It does not greatly care for monstrosities of any kind in
fiction, any more than for tortures in a theory of destiny. It prefers a
drama whose characters are not revolting and do not rape for the
graceful form of History.

The three plays cited furnish strong proofs, if any were needed, that
the author of the plays could not have looked at his plots through a
legalist imagination like that of Lord Bacon, the first lawyer in his
day of the kingdom. They are the product of an imagination in which the
descent of a throne to a brother, or to a successful chieftain in
preference to a son, creates no sense of incongruity.

                           _The Bacon Humbug_

In the course of a newspaper discussion of the authorship of the poems
and plays attributed to Shakespeare, the assertion that present day
scholarship is almost unanimous in discrediting the editors of the First
Folio (1623) brought out from Mr. William Winter, the accomplished
dramatic critic, the following sharp reply:

“There is no disposition on the part of the defenders of Shakespeare to
make use of ‘intemperate language.’ Indeed, considering their
provocation, they have displayed uncommon patience. The most
‘intemperate language’ that has been used in the Shakespeare-Bacon
controversy, has been used by Baconians, such as the late Mr. Donnelly
and the present Mr. W. H. Edwards. A little acerbity, as remarked by
Andrew Lang, is, perhaps, unavoidable in such a discussion. To those who
believe—having every reason to believe, and no reason whatever to
doubt—that the plays were written by Shakespeare, the attempt to ruin
his renown seems nothing less than a criminal desecration.

“It has not been said and it is not thought, by any person acquainted
with the subject, that the First Folio of Shakespeare was thoroughly
edited, or that it is free from defects; but it is confidently
maintained that Heminge and Condell, in their association with that
book, were entirely disinterested and absolutely honest, and that
without compensation and probably at a pecuniary loss, they rendered a
service to literature such as entitles them to everlasting gratitude and

“Certain commentators, like Spalding, Wright, and Madden, have been
pleased to impugn the integrity of Heminge and Condell, but, in so
doing, they have gone much further than there was ever any warrant for
them to go. Heminge and Condell did not ‘fail in their duty;’ the First
Folio is not ‘dishonest;’ and to say, or to insinuate, that it has been
discredited is to use the language of gross injustice and sheer

“The primary defect in the First Folio—the defect to which all modern
editors of Shakespeare have called attention, and the point upon which
so much stress is now laid—is the discrepancy between a few words of the
preface and the contents of the book. In their ‘Address’ or preface,
Heminge and Condell say, ‘We have scarce received from him (Shakespeare)
a blot in his papers.’ It has been found, however, that several of the
plays were, in fact, reprinted from earlier quartos, and that, in some
cases, earlier quartos that were not consulted contain a better text
than the Folio. This is the sum of all the fault that can be imputed to
Heminge and Condell, except, indeed, that the proofs of the Folio were
not carefully read and scrupulously corrected; but Heminge and Condell
were not men of letters.

“The late J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps was an implicit believer in William
Shakespeare as the author of the plays; he never wavered in that belief;
he is acknowledged as ‘the most competent Shakespeare worker who ever
lived.’ The language of Halliwell-Phillipps accordingly, with reference
to the First Folio and to Heminge and Condell, ought to carry some
weight. These are his words,—

“‘These estimable men who are kindly remembered in the poet’s will are
not likely to have encouraged the speculation from motives of gain....
When we find Heminge and Condell not only initiating and vigorously
supporting the design, but expressing their regret that Shakespeare
himself had not lived to direct the publication, who can doubt that they
were acting as trustees for his memory, or that the noble volume was a
record of their affection? Who can ungraciously question their
sincerity?... What plausible reason can be given for not accepting the
literal truth of their description of themselves as ‘a pair so careful
to show their gratitude to the dead?’... Heminge and Condell speak of
themselves as mere gatherers, and it is nearly certain that all that
they did was to ransack their dramatic stores for the best copies of the
plays that they could find, handing those copies over to the printers,
in the full persuasion that, in taking this course, they were morally
relieved of all further responsibility.... Out of the thirty-six dramas
that they collected one-half had never been published in any shape....
There is nothing to show that fair copies were ever made in those days
for the prompters.... So far from being astonished at the textual
imperfections of the Folio, we ought to be profoundly thankful for what
is, under the circumstances, its marvellous state of comparative
excellence. Heminge and Condell did the best they could, to the best of
their judgment. It never could have entered their imagination that the
day would arrive for the comfort of intellectual life to be marred by
the distorted texts of ‘Hamlet’ or ‘Lear.’ There cannot, indeed, be a
doubt that, according to their lights, they expressed a sincere
conviction when they delivered the immortal dramas to the public as
being ‘absolute in their numbers, as he (Shakespeare) conceived
them.’... There is nothing in the writings of Heminge and Condell to
warrant a suspicion that there was a single wilful misrepresentation of
facts.... Statement ... that the entire volume was printed from the
author’s own manuscripts would have been a serious misrepresentation,
but the language of Heminge and Condell does not necessarily, under any
line of interpretation, express so much, and in all probability they are
here speaking themselves in their managerial capacity, referring to the
singularly few alterations that they had observed in the manuscripts
which he delivered to them for the use of the theatre.... Nor, in our
measure of gratitude for the First Folio—the greatest literary treasure
the world possesses—should we neglect to include a tribute to Ben

“The First Shakespeare Folio distinctly and unequivocally declares that
its contents (all the Shakespeare plays except ‘Pericles’), were written
by William Shakespeare—then, 1623, deceased—and it is prefaced with a
noble tribute to him, by his great contemporary Ben Jonson, and with a
portrait of him, authenticated by Jonson’s verses. The authenticity of
that book was not questioned by any person living at the time of its
publication, nor was its validity assailed until many generations had
passed away. It remains authentic; and no amount of pettifogging as to
its defects—all of which are easily comprehensible and explicable—will
ever destroy its force as conclusive evidence of the authorship of

“It is not forgotten (strange if it were, considering how continuously
and strenuously the fact is proclaimed!) that actors and dramatic
authors, in the time of ‘Eliza and our James,’ were legally liable to
severe penalties for satire of ‘the great.’ What of it? Penal
legislation did not make actors less industrious in their vocation, or
authors less prolific, or the theatre less popular. Shakespeare, Greene,
Heywood, Marlowe, Lyly, Nash, Lodge, Ford, Beaumont and Fletcher, and
all the rest, continued to write plays, and continued not to be ashamed
of them or afraid of the law. Nature also has laws; and the product of
the English poetic drama, between 1580 and 1640, surpasses, in wealth,
variety, and splendor, every kindred product in the history of mankind.

“Direct, conclusive, final evidence that Henry Chettle referred to
Shakespeare, in the apology that he made for having published Robert
Greene’s attack on ‘Shakescene,’ does not exist: that is to say, the
name of Shakespeare is not actually mentioned by Chettle; but, if
‘imputation and strong circumstance, which lead directly to the door of
truth,’ are evidence, the rational conclusion is irresistible that the
reference was to Shakespeare. Upon a careful reading of Greene’s
‘Groats-worth of Wit’ and Chettle’s ‘Kind Heart’s Dream,’ no other
conclusion seems possible. Shakespeare scholars have invariably accepted

“Inquiry as to the authenticity of the Beaumont and Fletcher Folio of
1647 need not here be pursued. There might be a time to consider
‘analogy’ between the circumstances of that book and those of the First
Folio of Shakespeare, if, primarily, it could be shown that Beaumont and
Fletcher were actors, that they bequeathed money to two fellow-actors
with which to buy memorial rings, and that those two fellow-actors,
‘careful to show their gratitude to the dead,’ collected and published
their plays, as a duty of affectionate friendship and ‘to do an office
for the dead.’ At present the two books stand before the world in a
totally different light,—for the Beaumont and Fletcher Folio of 1647 (on
its face authentic) was introduced by a stationer who had never known or
seen those authors and knew nothing about them or their works, save what
he had gleaned at second-hand.

“No case can be made for Bacon as the author of Shakespeare by aspersing
the memory of Heminge and Condell, or by assailing the authenticity of
their Folio. The Baconian delusion is not a product of scholarship, but
of perverse incredulity and crazy and mischievous conjecture. Delia
Bacon went mad over it years ago, and since her time there has been a
procession of harmless lunatics steadily moving in the same way. Every
little while some new crank starts up with a theory that something well
known to have happened ‘never could have happened,’ and upon that
gratuitous assumption a prodigious structure of phantasy is very soon
reared. Lately, for example, it has impressed several persons as
remarkable that a scantily educated youth, reared in a little rural
village, and adventurously migrating to the capital to seek his fortune,
should have acquired, so soon and so readily, the correct style that
appears in the poems of ‘Venus and Adonis,’ ‘Tarquin and Lucrece,’ and
the Sonnets. Instances of admirably correct versification made by
novices, illiterate as well as scholastic, throughout the history of
poetical literature, meantime, causes no surprise. The youthful
achievements of Cowley and Pope and Chatterton are taken quite as a
matter of course. James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, who had no education
at all, nevertheless could, and did, write verse as harmonious, as
correct, and as finished as that of Sir Walter Scott, who possessed
every advantage that education could bestow. ‘He lisped in numbers, for
the numbers came.’

“That which has happened to others, however, must not—in the reasoning
of these censors—happen to Shakespeare. He alone, of all men, must be
thought to have developed by rule and line. The dominant fact, all the
same, remains unchanged,—the decisive fact of Shakespeare’s colossal,
transcendent poetic genius, the instantaneous insight and intuition
whereby he grasped all knowledge of human nature, and the faculty of
clear, fluent, illuminative expression, whereby he was able to utter all
things in a language of imperishable beauty. Nothing indeed could be
more preposterous than the wild theory on which the whole Baconian
fabric of detraction reposes,—the theory that because, to prosaic
perception, a certain thing seems unlikely to have happened, therefore
it never did happen. Byron mentions a certain Abbé who wrote a treatise
on the Swedish Constitution, proving it to be indissoluble and eternal,
just as Gustavus III. had destroyed it: ‘Sir,’ said the Abbé, ‘the King
of Sweden may overthrow the Constitution, but not my book.’ Shakespeare,
of course, ought not to have been able to write the ‘Venus,’ or the
‘Lucrece,’ or the Sonnets, or the Plays, or anything else, and he would
not have been had he possessed a properly respectful prescience of the
doubts of Mr. Hallam, the mental perplexities of the portentous Owen,
and the excruciating divinations of Mrs. Gallup—that oracular dame whose
fiery-footed steeds are just now prancing over the mangled remains not
merely of the philosopher Bacon, but of Queen Elizabeth and all her
‘spacious times.’ But, unhappily for these distressed beings,
Shakespeare did write all those things, and the fact of his authorship
of them remains as solid and permanent as any fact ever was, since the
beginning of recorded time.

“All the ciphers that ever a perturbed ingenuity has read into
Elizabethan literature cannot shape the uncontroverted and
incontrovertible truth that is written in marble over that sacred tomb
in Stratford Church: ‘Shakespeare, with whom quick Nature died; Nestor
in wisdom, Socrates in genius, Virgil in art.’ And if anything were
needed utterly to discredit and finally to explode the Bacon humbug, it
would be supplied by the monstrous story that Mrs. Gallup’s reckless and
mischievous fancy has evolved, and that Mr. Mallock later has had the
astounding effrontery in some sort to countenance,—a story that covers
Queen Elizabeth with shame, that makes Essex and Bacon her children
(their father being Leicester), so that Bacon becomes practically the
murderer and defamer of his own brother, and while darkening Bacon’s
already tarnished reputation with unspeakable infamy, capsizes all
authentic records of Elizabeth’s time, taxes even the credulity of
ignorance, makes common sense ridiculous, and turns all knowledge to
laughter and contempt.”


A London editor, in commenting upon the work of the Stratford
iconoclasts, says it is deplorable to have doubts started as to whether
the Shakespeare Museum contains a single genuine relic; whether Anne
Hathaway’s cottage is not, after all, a simple fraud; and Mary Arden’s
farm a disreputably unhistorical building. Anne Hathaway’s cottage is a
place which every Shakespeare-loving visitor to his native town makes a
point of inspecting. It has been good enough for all the myriad tourists
of all nationalities that have flocked to see it; yet a dark rumor has
been going about seriously affecting its _bona fides_ as a genuine
article. Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps, the Shakespearian critic, we are told,
is of opinion that the probabilities are decidedly against the so-called
cottage ever having contained the woman who, at the age of twenty-seven,
married William Shakespeare when the latter was only nineteen. Here is a
pleasing illusion dissipated at once. Those who have visited the spot
can no longer, as they recall that lowly cot nestling among its trees
and ascend again in fancy the creaking wooden staircase, picture to
themselves the May mornings when the Bard of All Time must have gone the
same round on a courting expedition, and probably sat under the eaves
with his arm round his future bride. The sighing tourist will whisper,
What next? Well, the next surprise in store for him is the
disestablishment and disendowment of the old farmhouse still shown as
that in which the poet’s mother, Mary Arden, lived. Its history is now
said to be altogether inconsistent with the theory that any of the
ancestors of the Shakespeare stock ever resided there. In addition to
the attack on the Bard’s wife, his mother too meets with this tragic
fate. We are on the high road to having it proved that no such person as
Mary Arden ever lived; that, in fact, Shakespeare was such a wonderful
man that he never had a mother at all. This about the cottage and
farmhouse is distinctly bad news for those who some time ago spent their
money on the “Shakespeare Fund,” which went to purchasing for the good
of the nation all the spots considered to be traditionally connected
with the life of the master-poet. It is also bad news for the tourists
and pilgrims. Will they care to go to the shrine of the great dramatist
if a cloud of doubt surrounds some of its most cherished monuments?

The people of the little old market-town on the quiet Avon are resentful
over this scepticism. The Stratfordians would be the last people in the
world to admit the truth of the story about Anne Hathaway’s cottage or
Mary Arden’s farm, even when backed up by such a competent critic in
these matters as Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps. They have hitherto found the
fame of the Prince of Poets exceedingly useful to their small borough.
Shakespeare represents bread-and-butter to many of the excellent
burghers and burgesses. They owe to him their winter’s stock of coals
and their weekly supply of cabbages and candles and household matches.
Should any ruthless hand remove from them this source of legitimate
gain, then the contiguous workhouse would soon feel the result. This
idea, therefore, about Anne Hathaway’s cottage must be regarded simply
with disgust by every loyal citizen of the good Warwickshire town. In
private they all probably wish to goodness that these pestilent critics
were at the bottom of the sea, with their destructive doubts and
depressing hypotheses. With one accord, no doubt, the Stratford folk
would combine to duck the unfortunate author of the latest Shakespearian
heresy in the reedy Avon if they could lay hands on him. Such theories,
they think, ought to be put down with a strong hand. What is Parliament
about that it allows honest people’s bread to be thus taken out of their
mouths? They would boycott the theory-mongers if they could. It would,
indeed, be an evil day were the last of the tourists to appear at
Stratford. What, no more American enthusiasts? No more smoke-dried
pedants and musty students of “First Folios?” No more excursions to the
local shrine and personally-conducted mobs of open-mouthed worshippers
all gone “away in the ewigkeit?” Such an idea is enough to cause an
effusion of blood on the brain of those who have lived all their lives
in the shadow of the church where the poet’s dust rests, and where the
remarkable effigy is to be seen which is still considered to be one of
the best portraits extant of the sublime genius.

When a theory like this is once started, no human being can tell how far
the stone will roll, or what will be the ultimate result. What would be
the effect on the Shakespeare-worshipping tourist if everything at
Stratford were shown to him as being only doubtfully connected with the
Bard? For example, instead of the guide-post pointing the way to Anne
Hathaway’s cottage, it might be sadly truthful to say, “To the reputed
cottage of Anne Hathaway,” and Mary Arden’s farm ought to be ticketed as
an “uncertain” building. Shakespeare’s tomb in the church would have to
be pointed out as the tomb “either of Shakespeare or somebody else;” and
if Shakespeare never wrote his own plays, it really does not much matter
whose sepulchre it may be. That famous curse on the person who moves his
bones would pass unnoticed; for who would care for a curse launched by
somebody who was not Shakespeare, but a local versifier who flourished
three hundred years ago, or perhaps the tombstone man himself, who may
have charged a little more if he carved a quatrain of his own invention
on the stone? Then, supposing the Shakespeare Museum were to experience
a breath of the same critical spirit, where would the ring be that the
Bard wore, the chair, the books that he might have used, and so on? That
ancient chair was described by Washington Irving years ago. He says it
is the most favorite object of curiosity in the whole of the house. He
draws a picture of how Shakespeare may have sat in it when a boy,
watching the slowly-revolving spit with all the longing of an urchin; or
of an evening “listening to the gossips and cronies of Stratford,
dealing forth church-yard tales and legendary anecdotes of the
troublesome times of England.” Yes, no doubt he may have done so; and it
is because of that delightful possibility that everybody used to sit
down in his chair, to its great detriment. Americans are particularly
anxious, the custodian asserts, to take a seat where the Bard of Avon
had once sat. No sooner did they get into the room than they raced for
the chair. After a severe scuffle one proud man succeeded in being the
first to sit down in it; but after this sort of thing had gone on for
some time, the chair was found to be so rickety that henceforth nobody
was allowed to touch it. Washington Irving rather cruelly remarks that
the chair partook of the volatile nature of the Santa Casa of Loretto or
the Flying Chair of the Arabian Enchanter, for “though sold some time
ago to a Northern Princess, it has found its way back again to the old
chimney-corner.” This is one of those critical calumnies which need to
be indignantly refuted. To doubt Shakespeare’s chair means a depression
in the relic and tourist trade at Stratford; and, after all, what does
it matter if the chair is a modern one, supposing that everybody
believes it to be that in which Shakespeare sat while he composed
“Macbeth”? The ordinary tourist does not ask for doubts—he wants
certainty. Dogmatism is what is required at literary shrines; not a
halting, hesitating statement that “Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps thinks
this,” and “Mr. Somebody Else thinks that,” but a downright positive
assertion of fact. Anne Hathaway’s cottage will lose half its
attractions if the miserable carping spirit of a regard for historic
accuracy comes in. There is nothing like resolute, good-humored
credulity in such matters.

                      _L. E. L. Assumes a Virtue_

William Howitt remarks, “I met Letitia E. Landon in company at a time
when there was a report that she was actually though secretly
married.[4] Mrs. Hofland, on entering the room, went up to her in her
plain, straightforward way, and said, ‘Ah, my dear, what must I call
you, Miss Landon, or whom?’ After well-feigned surprise at the question,
Miss Landon began to talk in a tone of merry ridicule at this report,
and ended by declaring that as to love or marriage, they were things she
never thought of. ‘What then have you been doing with yourself this last

Footnote 4:

  In later years, when L. E. L. married Governor Machan, of Cape Coast
  Castle, West Africa, she was thirty-six years of age, and died a few
  months afterwards.

“‘Oh, I have been puzzling my brain to invent a new sleeve; how do you
like it?’ showing her arm.

“‘You never think of such a thing as love!’ exclaimed a sentimental
young man; ‘you, who have written so many volumes upon it?’

“‘Oh, that’s all professional, you know,’ exclaimed she, with an air of
merry scorn.

“‘Professional!’ said a grave Quaker who stood near; ‘why dost thou make
a difference between what is professional and what is real? Dost thou
write one thing and think another? Does not that look very much like

“To this the astonished poetess made no reply, but by a look of genuine
amazement. It was a mode of putting the matter to which she had
evidently never been accustomed. And, in fact, there can be no question
that much of her writing was professional. She had to win a golden
harvest for the comfort of others dear to herself; and she felt, like
all authors who have to cater to the public, that she must provide, not
so much what she would of her free-will choice, but what they expected
of her.”

                     _The Burning of Rome_, A.D. 54

None of the stereotyped falsities of history have been reiterated with
more persistence than that which represents the Emperor Nero on the
summit of the tower of Mæcenas fiendishly fiddling and singing his
verses while Rome was burning. Aside from the anachronism as to
fiddling—the violin only dates from the middle of the sixteenth
century—and admitting that the classic lyre of antiquity was meant, we
have the authoritative statement of Tacitus that at the time of the fire
Nero was at his villa at Antium, fifty miles from Rome. There is little
doubt that Nero was the most depraved representative of pagan
sensuality, but on the occasion of a conflagration which was planned and
prompted by him for a wise purpose, he exhibited qualities greatly to
his credit. Lanciani says that Nero conceived the gigantic plan of
renewing and rebuilding the city, and as it was “crowded at every corner
with shrines and altars and small temples which religious superstition
made absolutely inviolable, and as the work of improvement was fiercely
opposed by private owners of property, and gave occasion to an endless
amount of lawsuits, and appraisals, and fights among the experts, he rid
himself of all these difficulties in the simplest and easiest way.” Of
the fourteen regions or wards into which Rome had been divided by
Augustus, three were completely destroyed, and seven for the greater
part, without any loss of life. In the work of reconstruction, the
architects, Severus and Celer, were ordered to draw their plans in
accordance with the best principles of hygiene and comfort. In
anticipation of the lengthy period that would be required for clearing
and rebuilding, Nero caused an enormous number of tents and wooden
booths to be secretly prepared for the houseless multitude, and ordered
fleets of grain-laden Mediterranean vessels from Sardinia, Sicily,
Numidia, and Egypt to be conveniently near to prevent famine. This
comprehensive provision for material improvement was made by a
broad-minded, public-spirited man, who was in advance of his age, and
who transformed narrow lanes into broad avenues, filthy slums into
shaded squares and fountains, and shabby houses into magnificent public
and private buildings.

                             _Mummy Wheat_

In how many sermons has the indestructibility of truth been illustrated
by the wheat wrapped up with an Egyptian mummy and germinating after
thousands of years! Yet this pleasing story has met with well-founded
refutation. Sir J. D. Hooker, of London, an eminent authority on growth
in the natural world, being appealed to, says: “The story of Egyptian
mummy wheat having germinated has never been confirmed, and is not
credited by any one who is warranted by knowledge and experience in such
matters to give an opinion. Innumerable attempts to stimulate mummy
wheat into vitality have each and all failed.”

                      _Anglo-Saxon as a Race Term_

The term Anglo-Saxon as descriptive of Englishmen or Americans, is as
incorrect as the use of the word Gothic in differentiation of pointed
architecture. Mr. S. D. O’Connell, of the Bureau of Statistics,
Washington, in a letter on the misuse of the term, says that among
ethnologists the phrase Anglo-Saxon is never used as descriptive of a
race, or of English institutions. Hence, he remarks, “no well-educated
person of the present generation can be excused for using it
descriptively of the English-speaking peoples; because there never was
an Anglo-Saxon race nor an Anglo-Saxon institution to impart dominating
influences to our civilization. The dominating influences must be traced
to some other source than that of barbarian Teutonic tribes, even if we
should grant the development of our civilization to the dominating
influences of the people of the British Isles, who, in the early
settlements of this part of the continent, so largely colonized it. Our
British ancestors, after the invasion of the Romans, adopted the
civilizing influences of the more civilized peoples of Europe, and
whatever dominating influence the English-speaking peoples have to-day
is due, to some extent at least, to that civilization, and to the vigor
of the people, which no distinct race can claim as its own.

“‘The truth is,’ as the _Chicago Tribune_ has said, ‘that to plume
ourselves upon our Anglo-Saxon extraction is ridiculous. Compared with
us, the Romans, who first comprised all the vagabonds of Italy, and
finally incorporated into the empire all the semi-barbarians of Europe,
were a homogeneous race.’ That paper humorously cites Defoe’s ‘True-Born
Englishman’ of his day:

          “‘A true-born Englishman’s a contradiction—
          In speech an irony, in fact a fiction;
          A metaphor invented to express
          A man akin to all the universe.

                 *       *       *       *       *

          Forgetting that themselves are all derived
          From the most scoundrel race that ever lived,
          A horrid crowd of rambling thieves and drones,
          Who ransacked kingdoms and dispeopled towns.
          The Pict, and painted Briton, treacherous Scot,
          By hunger, theft, and rapine hither brought;
          Norwegian pirates, buccaneering Danes,
          Whose red-haired offspring everywhere remains;
          Who, joined with Norman-French, compound the breed,
          From whence your ‘Free-born Englishmen’ proceed.’

“Anything more motley and heterogeneous than the English people, even
before the Norman invasion, made up as they were from the veins of
ancient Britons, Romans, Picts, Scots, Danes, Angles, and Saxons, it
would be hard to conceive. This mixture of races and bloods shows
plainly that the idea of an Anglo-Saxon race is sheer nonsense. How much
more nonsensical it is to use the term ‘Anglo-Saxon’ in race
classification of the American people, when they have compounded and are
daily more and more compounding the confusion of its British blood with
infusions from the veins of all other nations.

“Of course we have an Anglo-Saxon strain in our blood, as we have the
Norman, a mixture of the Teutonic and Celtic, the old British—that is,
the Celtic—the Germanic, and the Latin, so called. But which strain is
the predominant one it is difficult to say. The best ethnologists
incline to the opinion that it is the Celtic.

“Out upon this cant about ‘races,’ and especially the gabble about
‘Anglo-Saxon institutions,’ which we hear so often from persons who know
little or nothing of the forefathers and forerunners of the
English-speaking people, and less of their own, or of the science which
is concerned with the natural history of man.

“The fiction that credits to Anglo-Saxon blood all the enterprise,
progress, and best institutions of the centuries past has been the cause
of more persecution in the name of religion, and bloodshed in the name
of God, than the most malevolent influences that have ever caused
brethren to imbrue their hands in the blood of brothers since the first
murder. It has created and still sustains the most bitter and unjust and
unfounded prejudices against the people of Ireland and their descendants
everywhere among English-speaking peoples. Leaders of thought and
educators should teach the English-speaking people of this land of
liberty and constitutional equality—as the great leaders of thought in
Great Britain and Ireland are now doing—that there is no distinction of
race or blood or origin among the English-speaking peoples of to-day,
nor has there been for long centuries past; that the great landmarks of
our civilization were erected upon and the foundations of our political
institutions laid in the Christian religion; and that to its benign and
dominating influence are to be attributed the greatness and progress of
the English-speaking peoples among the nations of the earth.”


It is a remarkable instance of the vitality of a popular error that
Thackeray, who was well acquainted with French history should, in his
“Philip,” chapter XVI, have fallen into the mistake of supposing that
Dr. Guillotin perished by the instrument which bears his name, but which
he did not, as Thackeray says, invent. Thackeray does not actually
assert that Guillotin died on the guillotine, but he puts it in the form
of a question, the answer to which is, of course, intended to be yes:
“Was not good Dr. Guillotin executed by his own neat invention?” Now
nothing is more certain than that Guillotin survived the great
revolution many years, and died a natural death in 1814.

                             LEGENDARY LORE

                              _Ilium Fuit_

There is a radical change of opinion with regard to the Iliad. Those who
have regarded Homer as a mere myth-collector, and the story of the siege
of Troy as a figment of a fertile fancy, have learned that not only do
the later critics concede that Homer was a true poet, but that Dr.
Schliemann has conclusively proved that he sang of a real Troy and an
actual war. How comprehensive the work of critical research has been may
be seen in a single incident. A Glasgow surgeon, named Wolfe, reinforced
by Mr. Gladstone, has shown that Homer had an ocular defect, that form
of amblyopia known as color-blindness, the evidence of which is gathered
from the treatment of colors in the Iliad.

                           _A Marred Destiny_

At Pevensey is the beach on which the Norman Conqueror landed. The
castle on the cliff of Hastings marks the spot where he first planted
his standard. From that place it is easy to trace his line of march till
he saw Harold with the English army facing him on the fatal hill of
Senlac. The battle-field is as well-marked as that of Waterloo, and
fancy can recall the charges of the Norman cavalry up the hillside
against the solid formation and the shield wall of the Saxon precursors
of the British infantry. The ruins of Battle Abbey, the religious trophy
of the Conqueror, are still seen, and the site of the high altar exactly
marks the spot where the fatal arrow entering Harold’s brain slew not
only a king, but a kingdom, and marred the destiny of a race. We are on
the scene of one of the great catastrophes of history. Had that arrow
missed its mark, Anglo-Saxon institutions would have developed in their
integrity, the Anglo-Saxon tongue would have perfected itself in its
purity, Anglo-Norman aristocracy would never have been, or have left its
evil traces on society, the fatal connection of England and France, and
the numerous French wars of the Plantagenets would have been blotted out
of the book of fate.

                           _Robinson Crusoe_

Dr. Edward Everett Hale has observed a curious feature in “Robinson
Crusoe.” He says: “Readers who are curious in English history must not
fail to observe that Robinson Crusoe was shipwrecked on his island on
September 30, 1659. It was in that month that the English Commonwealth
ended and Richard Cromwell left the palace at Whitehall. Robinson lived
in this island home for twenty-eight years. These twenty-eight years
covered the exact period of the second Stuart reign in England. Robinson
Crusoe returned to England in June, 1687; the Convention Parliament
which established William III. met in London at the same time. All this
could not be an accidental coincidence. Defoe must have meant that the
‘true-born Englishman’ could not live in England during the years while
the Stuarts reigned. Robinson Crusoe was a ruler himself on his own
island, and was never the subject of Charles II. or James II.”

                 _Macaulay in the Role of a Pickpocket_

In clever sketches of social life in Rome, Mr. T. Adolphus Trollope
repeats a story that was told during “A Moonlight Visit to the
Coliseum,” showing how Lord Macaulay had once robbed a man there of his
watch. One night, while strolling under the dark arches, all of a sudden
a man in a large cloak brushed past him rather rudely, as Macaulay
thought, and passed on into the darkness. Macaulay’s first impulse was
to clasp his hand to his watch-pocket; and sure enough he found that his
watch was not there. He looked after the man, who he doubted not had
stolen his watch as he brushed past him, and peering into the darkness
could just distinguish the outline of a figure moving farther away.
Macaulay without the loss of a second rushed after him, overtook him,
and seizing him by the collar demanded his watch. Macaulay could at that
time speak very little Italian, and understood none when spoken. So he
was obliged to limit his attack on the thief to a violent shaking of him
by the collar and an angry repetition of the demand, “Orologio!
orologio!” The man thus attacked poured forth a torrent of
rapidly-spoken words, of which Macaulay understood not one syllable. But
he again administered a severe shaking to his captive, stamping his foot
angrily on the ground, and again vociferating “Orologio! orologio!”
Whereupon the detected thief drew forth a watch and handed it to his
captor. Macaulay, satisfied with his prowess in having thus recaptured
his property, and not caring for the trouble of pursuing the matter any
further, turned on his heel as he pocketed the watch, and saw nothing
more of the man. But when he returned to his apartment at night, his
landlady met him at the door, holding out something in her hand, and
saying, “Oh, sir, you left your watch on the table, so I thought it
better to take care of it. Here it is.” “Good gracious! What is this,
then? What is the meaning of it?” stammered Macaulay, drawing from his
pocket the watch he had so gallantly recovered in the Coliseum. It was a
watch he had never seen before. The truth was plain: he had been the
thief! The poor man he had so violently attacked and apostrophized in
the darkness and solitude of the Coliseum arches had been terrified into
surrendering his own watch to the resolute ruffian who, as he conceived,
had pursued him to rob him. The next morning Macaulay, not a little
crestfallen, hastened to the office of the _questor_ with the watch and
told his story. “Ah, I see,” said the _questor_; “you had better leave
the watch with me. I will make your excuses to the owner of it; he has
already been here to denounce you.”

                _A Minister’s Messenger and What He Saw_

At the moment when his soldiers were entering Strasburg, the _Roi
Soleil_ started out from Fontainebleau to take possession in person of
his new conquest. The day before—that is to say, on the 29th of
September, 1681—Louis XIV. had announced to his court in the presence of
the German Ambassador that he had made up his mind to go to Strasburg,
in order to receive the oath of fealty which the treaty of Nimègue gave
him the right to exact from the city. It was a _coup de théatre_ and no
mistake. But how happened it that the king was so well informed as to
the actual condition of affairs at so distant a point? Well, the story
runs as follows:

One evening the Minister Louvois sent for a young man who had been
recommended to his good graces and said,—“Sir, you will get into a
post-carriage which you will find at my door. My servants have exact
instructions what to do. You will proceed to Bâle without stopping and
you will reach there about two o’clock to-morrow. You will proceed
immediately to the bridge which crosses the Rhine. You will remain there
until four o’clock. You will carefully notice all that you may see
there. You will then again get into the carriage, and without losing a
minute will return and report to me what you may have seen.” The young
man bowed and started at once. The day after the next day at two o’clock
he reached Bâle, and at once hastened to take up his station on the
bridge. Nothing extraordinary attracted his attention. It was
market-day, and some peasants were passing and repassing, bringing
vegetables and taking back their empty carts. A squad of militia passed.
Townfolk crossed the bridge, talking of the news of the day, and a
little man, wearing a yellow coat, leaned over the railing and amused
himself by dropping stones into the water, as if to create circling
eddies, which he watched with a satisfied look. Four o’clock struck, and
the Minister’s messenger started on his return to Paris. Very late in
the evening the young man, greatly disappointed at the result of his
mission, arrived at the house of Louvois. The Minister was still awake
and rushed to meet his protégé.

“What did you see?” he asked.

“I saw peasants going and coming; a squad of militia passed over the
bridge; citizens who walked along discussing the day’s news, and a
little man wearing a yellow coat, who was amusing himself by dropping
stones into the water.”

The Minister had heard enough, and he hurried to the king. The little
man in yellow was a secret agent, and the stones dropped into the water
was a signal that all difficulties had been overcome, and that Strasburg
belonged to France.

                         _Tobacco in Diplomacy_

The “herb of peace” has played an important rôle in politics and
diplomacy during the last two hundred years in the history of the world,
and its influence upon the course of public events has been almost
invariably of a beneficial character. Not only have its narcotic
properties tended to soothe the angry passions of those intrusted with
the conduct of international relations, but it has also afforded them
the opportunity of thinking before they spoke, and allowed time for
those second thoughts which in statecraft, at any rate, are always best.
People are often disposed to make fun of the so-called “pipe of peace”
and to regard it as a mere form of speech originating with the red
Indians. But tobacco, whether taken in the form of a pipe, a cigar, a
cigarette or snuff, has proved a powerful and effective aid to peace,
and as such its use deserves to be fostered and propagated by all
patriotic and law-abiding citizens, in lieu of being condemned as
noxious. The value placed by people in the eighteenth century and in the
early part of the nineteenth upon snuff as a preventive of violence is
shown by the German historian Jacoby, who, writing of his times,
declares: “Whenever any one displays signs of temper the snuff-box is
handed to him, and we all have too much self-control, even under the
most trying circumstances, ever to resist the power.”

Even women in those days who did not take snuff kept boxes for the
purpose of averting quarrels among their admirers, and it was
universally regarded as one of the most efficacious aids to the
maintenance of friendly and agreeable intercourse. Nowadays snuff has
gone out of fashion, and, as a rule, cigarettes have supplanted tobacco
in its powdered form in what has been described as “diplomatic
machinery.” The statesman or the ambassador who could formerly conceal
his embarrassment and collect his thoughts for an appropriate answer
during the slow and stately process of taking a “prise,” is now enabled
to do so while breathing out nicely distanced rings of fragrant Turkish
tobacco. Indeed, the cigarette proves perhaps a more effective ally in a
moment of difficulty than the pinch of snuff. For whereas you cannot
indefinitely prolong the process of inhaling the latter, it is always
possible to gain time with a cigarette by letting it go out and then
having to relight it. To-day there is scarcely any foreign minister or
diplomat who is not provided with his cigarette-box, which he regards,
not in the light of an object of personal luxury, but as part and parcel
of the most indispensable paraphernalia of his office. It is worthy of
note that the Russians, who devote more attention and importance to the
study of diplomacy than any other Western nation, are always provided
with finer cigarettes than any of their foreign colleagues, while one of
the reasons why the late Khedive was subject to so much bullying and
badgering by the various ministers and consuls accredited to his court
was because his cigarettes were so execrable that it required the
strongest dose of courtesy possible to make even a pretence of smoking
them, the result being that he had to bear the full brunt of every
disagreeable first thought that came into the mind of his foreign
visitors, his cigarettes offering no inducement for them to reflect
before speaking, and tending, moreover, to irritate rather than to
soothe their tempers.

It is a peculiar fact that all women who have achieved fame in
diplomacy, such as Princess Pauline Metternich, Princess Lise
Troubetskoi, the late Princess Leopold Croy, Mme. de Novikoff, etc.,
have all been inveterate consumers of cigarettes, and each of those just
mentioned has availed herself with signal advantage of the opportunity
afforded by toying with a fragrant papilletto to reflect before
speaking, which women, as a rule, alas! so seldom do. Apparently it is
with the hope of encouraging women who are not, like Mme. de Novikoff
and Princess Lise Troubetskoi, professed diplomats, to think before
speaking, and thereby avert a goodly portion of the trouble which
befalls man, that several of the governments of Continental Europe are
encouraging the use of tobacco among the fair sex by providing smoking
apartments for women on all the state railroads. And we even find that
solemn and august functionary, the Speaker of the British House of
Commons, the living embodiment of all that is most time-honored,
old-fashioned, and ultra-respectable in the English Parliament, turning
a deaf ear to the protest raised of late years in certain of the London
newspapers against the now frequent spectacle offered on summer nights
of women in full evening dress sitting out on the riverside terrace of
the palace of Westminster puffing at their post-prandial cigarette. “The
First Commoner of the Realm” is, like his predecessor, Lord Peel,
apparently of the opinion that the weed, first dedicated to England’s
“Virgin Queen,” is infinitely more effective and less injurious to
high-strung feminine nerves than chloral, morphine or alcohol. The
easiest-tempered and most tractable women of the universe are those of
the Orient, who smoke all day long, and the same may be said of the
women of Southern Europe. With the exception of the present Czarina of
Russia, Queen Alexandra, and the Queen of the Netherlands, nearly all
the women of the reigning houses of the Old World smoke.

                      _The Mystery of the Dauphin_

The story, according to which the Dauphin, son of King Louis XVI. and
Queen Marie Antoinette, was done to death in the Temple prison by his
brutal jailer Simon and the latter’s wife, has long since been exploded.
It has been definitely established on the most incontrovertible evidence
that the Dauphin did not die in the Temple at the hands of the Simons.
The latter were not ignorant brutes, but well-to-do people, Simon being
a member of the “Conseil Général” of the Seine, and, moreover, he
resigned his guardianship of the Dauphin in January, 1794, eighteen
months before the royal lad’s alleged death. There is abundant evidence
to show that the Prince escaped, and that several members of the
Royalist party were concerned in his flight.

The Dauphin eventually, after all sorts of adventures, when the star of
Napoleon was on the wane, went to Berlin—he was about twenty-nine years
old at the time—with a view of putting forward his claims for
recognition as a member of the house of Bourbon. His uncles, the Comte
de Provence (afterward King Louis XVIII.) and the Comte d’Artois
(subsequently King Charles X.) were in receipt of handsome allowances
from the Prussian, Russian, and English governments, and the Dauphin
hoped that he, too, might be provided for in a similar way. The Prussian
government, however, was committed to the Comte de Provence, and the
chief of the Berlin police forced the Dauphin to surrender to him all
the papers establishing his identity, and then furnished him with a
passport describing him as a native of Weimar. These papers were never
returned to him, in spite of all his efforts to recover them, and they
remain at Berlin to this day. Eventually he made his way to Holland. The
Dutch authorities, who are the most strict in the world in all matters
relating to the assumption of unauthorized names and titles, not only
permitted him to figure on the marriage and death registry at Delft as
“Louis of Bourbon, son of King Louis XVI. and Queen Marie Antoinette,”
but likewise allowed his sons and grandsons to serve under the royal
name of Bourbon in the Dutch Army.

True, the Duke of Orleans, like his father before him, denounces the
claims of these Dutch Bourbons, now established at Paris in the wine
business, as ridiculous, and stigmatizes the alleged Dauphin as having
been an impostor. Yet, in spite of all the efforts, and the large amount
of money spent by Louis XVIII., Charles X., King Louis Philippe, and the
Comte de Paris, no one has ever succeeded in finding out who the alleged
Dauphin could possibly have been, if not the son of the ill-fated Queen
Marie Antoinette.

It was natural that the brothers of Louis XVI. refused to recognize the
alleged Dauphin as their nephew, since by their recognition he would
have become an obstacle in the way of their accession to the throne of
France on the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty. Moreover, they had
always been among the most bitter enemies of Marie Antoinette, insisting
that her children were the offspring of another man instead of their
eldest brother. There is, however, evidence to the effect that they
provided for the lad’s maintenance after his escape from the Temple, on
the understanding that he should be kept in the background, being
unwilling that any personage should be appealed to in the matter. But
when he grew up, they denounced him as a fraud.

It may be remembered that the Vatican, when asked in 1826 for a permit
of consecration of the Chapelle Expiatoire at Paris, erected over what
was understood to be the remains of King Louis XVI., of his queen, and
of their son, only granted it on the condition that the name of the
Dauphin was removed, taking the ground, set forth in an official
dispatch, which is on record, that it could not lend itself to the
comedy of consecrating a memorial chapel to a living person.

That the Prussian government or the Prussian crown have among their
archives papers proving the usurpation of the French throne by Louis
XVIII., the escape from prison of the Dauphin, and his identity with
that Louis Bourbon who died at Delft, and to whom the president of the
Berlin police had given a passport as “Naundorff,” a citizen of Weimar,
where, by the by, no such person had ever been born or lived, has long
been known. The Russian imperial archives and those of the Vatican are
likewise known to possess equally conclusive documentary evidence upon
the subject, and the attitude of the papacy toward the Dutch Bourbons
has always been particularly considerate.

                 _The Sistine Madonna and La Fornarina_

People who are not content to accept the old-fashioned traditions
concerning pictures and artists will be pleased with some recent
discoveries about Raphael made by the art critics. These ingenious
persons have practically exhausted Leonardo da Vinci, who for many years
was their favorite quarry, having proved to their own satisfaction that
nearly every picture ascribed to him was painted by some one else. They
have now turned upon Raphael, and in the merciless but scientific
dissection of his works and his life not only the authenticity but the
fame of his Sistine Madonna has been placed in question. The chain of
circumstantial evidence, it is true, seems incomplete in parts, but the
missing links will be supplied by that faith which science often demands
no less than legend.

Raphael has the unusual distinction of having had an excellent
reputation among his contemporaries. He was a hard worker, and his
private life was so uneventful as to excite no comment. This was hardly
artistic, so, fifty years after his death, Vasari supplied him with a
nameless mistress, a baker’s daughter, “La Fornarina,” whom the painter
saw and loved in her father’s garden, near the Church of Santa Cecilia,
in the Trastevere quarter at Rome. In another fifty years this story had
grown into the well known tale of the painter’s passionate love bringing
about his early death, and the beautiful, sensuous face of “La
Fornarina” in the Uffizi Gallery at Florence made it credible.
Sentimental persons looked on her portrait and then on Raphael’s own,
and had no doubts.

Then came the critics. They proved that it was not Raphael but Sebastian
del Piombo who had painted the portrait, and that it represented not “La
Fornarina” but an entirely different woman, a beauty of Bologna. Their
scepticism, however, stopped short of rejecting the whole story. They
cling to that in all its details, and one of them, Signor Valeri, of
Rome, has just confirmed it by discovering “La Fornarina’s” name. His
method is interesting.

First, he found in somebody’s manuscript life of Goethe that “La
Fornarina’s” Christian name was Margarita; next, in a census of Rome
made in 1518, two years before Raphael’s death, kept in the Vatican
library, he discovered that a baker named Francesco, from Siena, kept a
bakery near the Church of Santa Cecilia; finally, he searched in the
registers of the nunnery of Santa Apollonia, and found there under the
date August 18, 1520, four months after Raphael’s death, the name of
“Margarita, daughter of the late Francesco Luti of Siena,” as having
been received into the convent as a nun. Therefore this Margarita Luti
or Luzzi must necessarily be “La Fornarina.”

This demonstration was hardly needed by the art critics, whose faith in
the existence of the Fornarina was unshaken. Having discredited the
Uffizi portrait, they looked around among Raphael’s other paintings for
her features. For a time they inclined to the “Veiled Woman” in the
Pitti Gallery, but finally settled on the Sistine Madonna as
representing the painter’s beloved. The evidence for the identification
is of the slightest, and surely the simple peasant girl, whose innocence
and loveliness alone the painter has transmitted to us, might have been
left unsmirched. Such as it is, however, the identification is shaken by
another art critic. A lynx-eyed young German iconoclast has cast doubts
on the authenticity of the Dresden Gallery’s treasure, and declares
boldly that the picture is not the “Madonna di San Sisto,” and that in
all likelihood Raphael never painted it. His attack is backed by such a
display of erudition that the director of the gallery went to Italy to
find out if there might not be some foundation of truth in it.

While critics wrangle over unessentials, however, the Sistine Virgin,
the loveliest creation of Raphael’s genius, will grace our homes, the
most overpowering figure known to the tablets of art.

                             _The Letter M_

Napoleon I. was a fatalist, and among his superstitions was a
firmly-rooted notion that places and persons whose names began with the
letter M possessed immense power over his fortunes for good or for evil.
An ingenious Frenchman, evidently inclined to believe that there was
some good ground for Napoleon’s faith, makes up the following strange
list of M’s: Six Marshals—Massena, Mortier, Marmont, Macdonald, Murat,
and Moncey—without counting twenty-six division Generals. Moreau
betrayed him. Marseilles was the place where he encountered the greatest
difficulties at the commencement of his career. Marbœuf was the first to
suspect his genius and to shove him ahead. His most brilliant battles
were Montenotte, Mantua, Millesimo, Mondovi, Marengo, Malta, Mont
Thabor, Montmirvil, Mormans, Montereau, Méry, Montmartre (assault),
Mont-Saint-Jean, the last at Waterloo. At the siege of Toulon his first
point of attack was Fort Malbousquet. There he singled out Muiron, who
covered him with his body on the bridge of Arcole. Milan was the capital
of his new kingdom. Moscow was the last town that he took. Menon made
him lose Egypt. Miollis was selected to capture Pius VII. Malet
conspired against him. Metternich beat him diplomatically. Maret was his
secretary and his confidant. Montalivet was his Minister, and Montesquin
his first Chamberlain. In March, 1796, he married Josephine, and in
March, 1810, he married Marie Louise. In March, 1811, the King of Rome
was born. Malmaison, a well-named unlucky house, was his last residence
in France. He surrendered to Captain Maitland. At Saint Helena,
Montholon was his companion in captivity and Marchand his valet de
chambre. He died in May, 1821. The letter M also comes to the front in
the career of Napoleon III. He married the Countess de Montijo. Morny is
not forgotten. In the war of the Crimea we find Malakoff and Mamelon. In
the Italian campaign we find Montebello, Marignon, Magenta, Milan,
Mazzini. Toward the close of his career Mexico appears with Maximilian,
Méjia, and Miramon. In the war with Germany he pinned his faith upon the
mitrailleuse, and the names of Moltke and Metz are conspicuous enough in
the history of that campaign.

                           _The Iron Maiden_

The “Torture Chamber” in the five-sided tower of the old burgh was for
many years one of the show-places of Nuremberg. The collection of
instruments of fiendishness, made by a Franconian nobleman, numbered
between five and six hundred. There were all sorts of repulsive
contrivances,—racks, wedges, hammers, clubs, pulleys, thumb-screws, iron
boots to crush the limbs, metal collars for the neck, brass masks for
the head, copper boilers for scalding water, and headsmen’s axes. Their
removal, by purchase, has served as a reminder of the wisdom of the
clause in the Constitution of the United States (Art. viii.) forbidding
the infliction of “cruel and unusual punishments.”

The central jewel, the Kohinoor of the relics of barbarism and
diabolism, is one of the most awful graven images it ever entered into
the heart of men to conceive, the world-infamous _Eiserne Jungfrau_, the
“Iron Maiden,” of Nuremberg. This monstrous invention was an improvement
in ferocity upon the brazen bull into which the ancient tyrant, after
heating it red hot, was wont to thrust his naked victims. Many Americans
have seen the Iron Maiden; all Americans ought to see her. The sight of
the hideous figure is an excellent tonic for young Yankees of both sexes
suffering from “over-culture,” and seduced into a fit of moonlit
mediævalism by the picturesque and romantic attractions of such “quaint
old towns of art and song” as the city of Hans Sachs and Albert Dürer.
For the Iron Maiden was no ingenious toy devised to amuse the idle and
frighten the thoughtless into good behavior. Clasped in her stifling
embrace, pierced in all parts of the human body not absolutely vital by
the sharpened spikes set into the steel valves which had closed upon
him, a living man, many a wretch yielded up the ghost in torments not to
be conceived of adequately save by the imagination of an Edgar Poe. And
this not by the edict of a despot mad with unbridled power, but in the
normal course of justice, or of religious persecution, as justice and
religion were understood and administered during the “good old times.”

                   _The Value of Practical Knowledge_

In the piazza before St. Peter’s, at Rome, stands the most beautiful
obelisk in the world. It was brought from the circus of Nero, where it
had lain buried for many ages. It was one entire piece of Egyptian
marble, seventy-two feet high, twelve feet square at the base, and eight
feet square at the top, and is computed to weigh above four hundred and
seventy tons, and it is supposed to be three thousand years old. Much
engineering skill was required to remove and erect this piece of art;
and the celebrated architect, Dominico Fontane, was selected and engaged
by Pope Sixtus V. to carry out the operation. A pedestal thirty feet
high was built for its reception, and the obelisk brought to its base.
Many were the ingenious contrivances prepared for the raising of it to
its last resting place, all of which excited the deepest interest among
the people. At length everything was in readiness, and a day appointed
for the great event. A great multitude assembled to witness the
ceremony; and the Pope, afraid that the clamor of the people might
distract the attention of the architect, issued an edict containing
regulations to be kept, and imposing the severest penalties on any one
who should, during the lifting of the gigantic stone, utter a single
word. Amidst suppressed excitement of feelings and breathless silence
the splendid monument was gradually raised to within a few inches of the
top of the pedestal, when its upward motion ceased; it hung suspended,
and could not be lifted further; the tackle was too slack, and there
seemed to be no other way than to undo the great work already
accomplished. The annoyed architect, in his perplexity, hardly knew how
to act, while the silent people were anxiously watching every motion of
his features to discover how the problem would be solved. In the crowd
was an old British sailor, who saw the difficulty and how to overcome
it, and with stentorian lungs he shouted, “Wet the ropes!” The vigilant
police pounced on the culprit and lodged him in prison; the architect
caught the magic words; he put this proposition in force, and the cheers
of the people proclaimed the success of the great undertaking. Next day
the British criminal was solemnly arraigned before his Holiness; his
crime was undeniably proved, and the Pope, in solemn language,
pronounced his sentence to be—that he should receive a pension annually
during his lifetime.

                           _The Marseillaise_

Rouget de l’Isle wrote only six of the seven verses of the
“Marseillaise,” the last being the work of the Abbé Antoine Pessonneaux,
in a moment of patriotic ecstacy. In its completed form the hymn was
first sung at the opera in Paris, the members of the Convention being
present. After the verses of Rouget de l’Isle had been sung a group of
children appeared on the stage and gave the last verse, beginning “Nous
entrerons dans la carrière,” which was wildly applauded. Not long after
this the Abbé came near being guillotined at Lyons. One of the
historians relates the event as follows: “The committee met in the Town
Hall, which resembled a ‘funeral chapel,’ and sat round a table covered
with black cloth. There was the president, who had three judges on each
side of him. They all wore a little silver hatchet round the
neck,—terrible emblem of their functions. There was a stool for the
prisoner, and behind this a rank of armed soldiers awaiting the sign
which decided the fate of the accused. If the judges spread out their
hands on the black cloth, that signified acquittal; if they raised their
hands to their foreheads, that meant that the prisoner was to be shot;
if they touched the silver hatchet, he was to be guillotined. Few
questions were asked, and the fate of the accused was generally known
beforehand. The sentence of the court was immediately executed amid
cries of anguish, despair, ‘Vive la République,’ and the howling of the
‘Marseillaise.’ A citizen, pale, but calm, in presence of almost certain
death, had just been brought before the tribunal. His crime was
flagrant; he was a priest. The president asked, ‘Who art thou?’ The
accused drew himself proudly up, and said, ‘I am the Abbé Pesonneaux,
author of the last stanza of the ‘Marseillaise.’’ There was a good deal
of commotion in the court, and after some hesitation the judges
stretched their hands out on the black cloth, which was the _pollice
verso_ of the Republic. Without saluting or thanking, the Abbé slowly
withdrew. Forty years afterwards the Government of Louis Philippe gave
Rouget de l’Isle a pension of £4 a month, and the Abbé Pessonneaux had
some idea of applying also for aid, but he changed his mind, and died
peacefully in Dauphiny in 1835.”

                       _Shakespeare and Burbage_

In that old book, “A General View of the Stage,” we are told that one
evening when Richard III. was to be performed, Shakespeare observed a
young woman delivering a message to Burbage in so cautious a manner as
to excite his curiosity, and prompt him to listen. It imported that her
master was gone out of town that morning, and her mistress would be glad
of his company after the play; and to know what signal he would appoint
for admittance. Burbage replied, “Three taps at the door, and, it is I,
Richard the Third.” She immediately withdrew and Shakespeare followed
till he observed her go into a house in the city; and inquiring in the
neighborhood he was informed that a young lady lived there, the favorite
of a rich old merchant. Near the appointed time of meeting, Shakespeare,
anticipating Burbage, went to the house, and was introduced by the
concerted signal. The lady was very much surprised at Shakespeare’s
presuming to act Burbage’s part, but as he who had written Romeo and
Juliet, we may be certain, did not want wit or eloquence to apologize
for the intrusion, she was soon pacified, and they were mutually happy,
till Burbage came to the door, and repeated the same signal; but
Shakespeare, popping his head out of the window, bade him begone; for
that William the Conqueror had reigned before Richard III.

                         _A Circassian Legend_

A man was walking along one road, and a woman along another. The roads
finally united, and the man and woman reaching the junction at the same
time, marched on from there together. The man was carrying a large iron
kettle on his back; in one hand he held by the legs a live chicken, in
the other a cane, and he was leading a goat. Just as they were coming to
a deep, dark ravine, the woman said to the man,—

“I am afraid to go through that ravine with you; it is a lonely place
and you might overpower me and kiss me by force.”

“If you were afraid of that,” said the man, “you shouldn’t have talked
with me at all. How can I possibly overpower and kiss you by force when
I have this great iron kettle on my back, and a cane in one hand, and a
live chicken in the other, and am leading this goat? I might as well be
tied hand and foot.”

“Yes,” replied the woman, “but if you should stick your cane into the
ground and tie the goat to it, and turn the kettle bottom side up and
put the chicken under it, then you might wickedly kiss me in spite of my

“Success to thy ingenuity, oh, woman!” said the rejoicing man to
himself. “I should never have thought of this expedient.”

And when he came to the ravine he stuck his cane into the ground and
tied the goat to it, gave the chicken to the woman, saying, “Hold it
while I cut some grass for the goat;” and then, lowering the kettle from
his shoulders, imprisoned the fowl under it, and wickedly kissed the
woman, as she was afraid he would.

                     _General Grouchy at Waterloo_

The question, “What part had Grouchy in Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo?”
or, “was his failure to arrive in time the reason why the battle was
lost?” is not satisfactorily answered in “Grouchy’s Memoirs.” The battle
of Ligny was fought June 16, between the French and the Prussians under
Blücher; on the same day the French manfully engaged the English at
Quatre Bras; June 18, the battle of Waterloo was fought, which ended, by
the timely arrival of Blücher on the battle-field, in the total rout of
the French. It is claimed that Grouchy, who commanded the French right
wing of 32,000, might either, by engaging the Prussians, have prevented
them from appearing in time on the battle-field and wresting the
hard-fought victory from the hands of Napoleon, or that he might have
appeared on the battle-field himself in time to crush Wellington before
Blücher could possibly be on the battle-field. Let us hear now what the
French General says in his “Memoirs,” which is, in substance, as
follows: “The French victory over the Prussians at Ligny had filled
Napoleon with the greatest joy and a false feeling of security. He
looked on the Belgian campaign as virtually won. Instead of turning his
victory at Ligny to account and preparing for all eventualities, he rode
to Fleure, about three miles back of Ligny, and went to bed, leaving
Grouchy, the commander of the right wing, behind, without any positive
orders. Grouchy followed Napoleon to Fleure, in order to call his
attention to the critical state of affairs. He arrived early in the
morning of the 17th in Fleure, but as Napoleon had given the strictest
orders not to awaken him under any circumstances, he was not admitted to
an audience of the Emperor before 1 o’clock P. M. of that day. The
Emperor paid no attention to the General’s protestations, but repeated
his orders to pursue and watch the Prussians. But this was simply
impossible, because Blücher was ahead of him by a sixteen hours’ march,
and had an array of 80,000 fresh troops. Moreover, in order to pursue
Blücher, it would have been necessary for the right wing of the French
army to withdraw far from the point where a conflict might come at every
moment. All these reasons were strongly urged by the Marshal, but to no
purpose; the Emperor repeated his orders to march toward Namour, saying
that he knew that the Prussians would take their position on the Muse
(_Maas_). With these instructions the Marshal retired, and the roar of
cannon the next day satisfied him that a great battle was in progress.
To hasten to the field of action was actually impossible, as his
positive instructions had taken him to Namour, southeast of Ligny and
farther off from Waterloo or Belle Alliance by fifteen English miles.
Moreover, the terrain between Namour and Waterloo was marshy and without
any passable roads, so that he could not have arrived on the
battle-field before the action was over. Again, his avant guard had
already engaged the Prussians, and to attempt to pass with 32,000 men,
worn out by long marches, an enemy of 80,000 fresh troops, seemed to the
Marshal too hazardous an enterprise; hence he did not make the attempt.”

So far the Marshal. If he tells the truth, if every statement made by
him is according to facts, every unprejudiced reader will readily admit
that the Marshal’s reasons for non-action were sufficient to justify his
conduct, even in the absence of treasonable designs.

But where did the real fault lie? Who committed it? Even if the battle
of Waterloo had remained indecisive, or even if it had been won by
Napoleon, it might have retarded the sinking of his star, but would not
have prevented it. Napoleon had taught the nations of Europe his own
tactics; the French Republicans had filled all Europe with an abhorrence
of their professed principles, and Napoleon had shown himself during his
whole reign an unmitigated despot, whose only god was ambition, and who
stooped short of nothing in order to carry out his designs.

But if the battle of Waterloo was lost through any one’s fault, that
fault was Napoleon’s. He overrated his own victory, looking upon the
Prussian army as crippled, disabled for the time being, while it had
merely been pushed by sheer force from the battle-field. The French army
was as much used up as the Prussian, being unable to pursue, while the
Prussian army took all its baggage and wounded away and retired with
such dispatch and order that Napoleon, sixteen hours after the close of
the battle, did not even know which direction Blücher had taken.

Napoleon had said of the Bourbons that they had not learned anything nor
forgotten anything; the same remark may be applied to himself with equal
justice. He knew neither the newly awakened spirit of the different
German peoples nor the wants and desires of France. All the battles he
fought after his Russian campaign, even those he won, were hotly
contested, for him bare of fruits; had he understood the signs of the
times, he would have known that a nation manifesting such patriotism as
the Prussians did in 1813 could, indeed, be annihilated, but not
conquered; he would have known that Blücher was his most formidable
opponent, and as a wise man he would neither have called him the drunken
huzzar nor treated him as such. Of all Generals that fought Napoleon,
Blücher seems to have been the only one that was not afraid of him; this
Napoleon either knew not or was too proud to admit, hence his defeat and

Victor Hugo settles the question in very laconic and magisterial
fashion. After his glowing description of Waterloo in “Les Misérables,”
he says,—

“Was it possible that Napoleon should win this battle? We answer no.
Why? Because of Wellington? Because of Blücher? No. Because of God.

“For Bonaparte to be conqueror at Waterloo was not in the law of the
nineteenth century. Another series of facts were preparing in which
Napoleon had no place. The ill-will of events had long been announced.
It was time that this vast man should fall.

“Napoleon had been impeached before the Infinite, and his fall was

“He vexed God.

“Waterloo is not a battle; it is the change of front of the universe.”


The first successful attempt at colonization in Nova Scotia was made in
1633, when Isaac de Razilly and Charnisay brought out some families from
France. These were the progenitors of the Acadian race. Very capable
people they were,—though for a time they suffered much during the
winters. Yet they kept up bravely, and barred out the sea, and felled
the forests, and cultivated the marshes. They increased and multiplied,
so that by-and-by we find them holding all the valley from Port Royal to
Piziquid. They spread also round the head of the Bay of Fundy. Their
great achievement was reclaiming thousands of acres where formerly the
salt waves ranged at will. Their system of dike-building was remarkable
for strength and durability. They did not pay much attention to things
extraneous, and could not at all understand the inexorable law of
race-conflict which brought the English against them.

This struggle, and the events connected therewith, forms the most
striking period of Nova Scotian history. The whole subject is shrouded
with a mist of controversy, of which the end is not yet. But this is of
small consequence to the romancer. Of course we have had the great
romance of the Acadians,—the tale of “love that hopes, and endures, and
is patient.” Evangeline is a very charming (if very unhistorical)
heroine, and the poem shows how much can be made by an artist out of
good material. Yet Longfellow’s work has by no means exhausted the
possibilities of that exciting period. There is a strong dramatic value
in the opposition of the Acadians and English, and the vast background
of the Anglo-French war.

That war presents many opportunities to the story-writer. The time was
pregnant with fate; the destiny of three nations hinged upon the
outcome. A striking work of fiction lies in the power of him who can
read and weigh musty archives, who has an eye for effective incident and
the skill of a literary craftsman. Beauséjour, Grand Pré and Louisbourg
call up memories that loom large and are lit with battle-fires.

Francis Parkman, in his account of the Acadian exile, says:

“In one particular the authors of the deportation were disappointed in
its results. They had hoped to substitute a loyal population for a
disaffected one; but they failed for some time to find settlers for the
vacated lands. The Massachusetts soldiers, to whom they were offered,
would not stay in the province, and it was not till five years later
that families of British stock began to occupy the waste fields of the
Acadians. This goes far to show that a longing to become their heirs had
not, as has been alleged, any considerable part in the motives for their

“New England humanitarianism, melting into sentimentality at a tale of
woe, has been unjust to its own. Whatever judgment may be passed on the
cruel measure of wholesale expatriation, it was not put in execution
until every resource had been tried in vain. The agents of the French
court—civil, military, and ecclesiastical—had made some act of force a
necessity. With their vile practices they produced in Acadia a state of
things intolerable and impossible of continuance. They conjured up the
tempest, and when it burst on the heads of the unhappy people, they gave
no help. The government of Louis XV. began with making the Acadians its
tools, and ended with making them its victims.”

                           _Wolfe at Quebec_

On the 12th of September, 1759, General Wolfe’s plans for the investment
and attack of Quebec were complete, and he issued his final orders. One
sentence in them curiously anticipates Nelson’s famous signal at
Trafalgar. “Officers and men,” wrote Wolfe, “will remember what their
country expects of them.” A feint on Beauport, five miles to the east of
Quebec, as evening fell, made Montcalm mass his troops there; but it was
at a point four miles west of Quebec the real attack was directed.

This point, near the village of Sillery, was a ravine, since called
Wolfe’s Cove, running from the shore of the St. Lawrence up to the
Plains of Abraham, and guarded on the heights by a company of
Bougainville’s men. It was selected under the advice of Major Robert
Stobo (the name given by Gilbert Parker, in “The Seats of the Mighty,”
is Moray), who, five years before, as Parkman says, in “Montcalm and
Wolfe,” had been given as a hostage to the French at the capture of Fort
Necessity, arrived about this time in a vessel from Louisbourg. He had
long been a prisoner at Quebec, not always in close custody, and had
used his opportunities to acquaint himself with the neighborhood. In the
spring of this year he and an officer of rangers named Stevens had made
their escape with extraordinary skill and daring; and he now returned to
give General Wolfe the benefit of his local knowledge.

At two o’clock at night two lanterns appeared for a minute in the
main-top shrouds of the “Sunderland.” It was the signal, and from the
fleet, from the Isle of Orleans and from Point Levis, the English boats
stole silently out, freighted with some three thousand seven hundred
troops, and converged towards the point in the wall of cliffs agreed
upon. Wolfe himself was in the leading boat of the flotilla. Suddenly,
from the great wall of rock and forest to their left, broke the
challenge of a French sentinel: “Qui vive?” A Highland officer of
Fraser’s regiment, who spoke French fluently, promptly answered the
challenge: “France.” “A quel regimént?” “De la Reine,” answered the

On the day before, two deserters from the camp of Bougainville had given
information that at ebb tide a night convoy of provisions for Montcalm,
to meet the necessities of the camp at Beauport, would be sent down the
river. As the men stationed at the various outposts were expecting fresh
supplies, it was easy to deceive the guard at Sillery, and, after a
little further dialogue, in which the cool Highlander completely blinded
the French sentries, the British were allowed to slip past in the
darkness. The cove was safely reached, the boats stole silently up,
twenty-four volunteers from the Light Infantry leaped from their boat
and led the way in single file up the path, that ran like a thread along
the face of the cliff. Wolfe sat eagerly listening in his boat below.
Suddenly from the summit he saw the flash of the muskets and heard the
stern shout which told him his men were up. A clear, firm order, and the
troops sitting silent in the boats leaped ashore, and the long file of
soldiers, like a chain of ants, went up the face of the cliff, Wolfe
amongst the foremost, and formed in order on the plateau, the boats
meanwhile rowing back at speed to bring up the remainder of the troops.
Wolfe was at last within Montcalm’s guard!

When the morning of the 13th dawned, the British army, in line of
battle, stood facing the citadel. Montcalm quickly learned the news, and
came riding furiously across the St. Charles and past the city to the
scene of danger. He rode, as those who saw him tell, with a fixed look,
and uttering not a word. The vigilance of months was rendered worthless
by that amazing night escalade. When he reached the slopes Montcalm saw
before him the silent red wall of British infantry, the Highlanders with
waving tartans and wind-blown plumes—all in battle array. It was not a
detachment, but an army.

The discord and jealousies of divided authority were at once apparent.
Vaudreuil, the governor, failed to send reinforcements to the support of
Montcalm, to meet the crisis, and the struggle was soon ended. Fifteen
minutes of decisive fighting transformed New France into British

                            _The Chien d’Or_

On the Rue Buade, a street commemorative of the gallant Frontenac—says
Kirby, in his “Romance of the Days of Louis Quinze in Quebec”—stood the
large imposing edifice newly built by the Bourgeois Philibert, as the
people of the colony fondly called Nicholas Jaquin Philibert, the great
and wealthy merchant of Quebec, and their champion against the odious
monopolies of the Grand Company favored by the Intendant. The edifice
was of stone, spacious and lofty; it comprised the city residence of the
Bourgeois, as well as suites of offices and ware-rooms connected with
his immense business. On its façade, blazing in the sun, was the gilded
sculpture that so much piqued the curiosity of every seigniory in the
land. The tablet of the _Chien d’Or_—the Golden Dog—with its enigmatical
inscription, looked down defiantly upon the busy street beneath, where
it is still to be seen, perplexing the beholder to guess its meaning,
and exciting our deepest sympathies over the tragedy of which it remains
the sole, sad memorial.

Above and beneath the figure of a couchant dog, gnawing the thigh bone
of a man, is graven the weird inscription, cut deeply in the stone, as
if for all future generations to read and ponder over its meaning,—

                 Je suis un chien qui ronge l’os,
                 En le rongeant je prends mon repos;
                 Un temps viendra, qui n’est pas venu,
                 Que je mordrai qui m’aura mordu.

Or in English,—

                  I am a dog that gnaws a bone,
                  I couch and gnaw it all alone;
                  A time will come, which is not yet,
                  When I’ll bite him by whom I’m bit.

                       _Maximilian at Queretaro_

On the 10th of June, 1864, an assembly of notables in the city of Mexico
tendered the crown to Maximilian, the Archduke of Austria. On the 12th
he was crowned Emperor. On the 3d of October Maximilian, at the instance
of Bazaine, made the fatal mistake of publishing a decree declaring all
persons in arms against the Imperial Government bandits, and ordering
them to be executed. On the 21st, under this cruel decree, Generals
Felix Diaz, Arteaga, Salazar, and Villagomez were shot at Uruapam. Time,
which at last “makes all things even,” proved by its reprisal that this
was “a game that two could play at.”

On November 6, 1865, the United States, through Secretary Seward, sent a
dispatch to Napoleon III. protesting against the presence of the French
army in Mexico as a grave reflection against the United States, and
notifying him that nothing but a Republic would be recognized. In
November, 1866, Louis Napoleon ordered the evacuation of Mexico by his
troops, and their departure meant the withdrawal of support from
Maximilian. In the face of formidable resistance to his usurpation he
refused to abdicate. With the restoration of the authority of Juarez,
and the rising of the Mexican people, he was confronted with an empty
exchequer and dwindling followers. He made his last stand against the
Mexican army at Queretaro, where he was basely betrayed by Colonel
Lopez, a Spaniard and an officer in his own army. Through this treachery
General Escobedo gained access to the city at night, and captured
Maximilian as he attempted to escape from his head-quarters in the old
convent of La Cruz, and with him Generals Miramon and Mejia.

The date of this arrest was May 15, 1867. On June 14th, a court-martial
was convened at 10 o’clock, A. M., based on the law which provided for
the execution on the spot of capture of all caught bearing arms against
the government. At 10 o’clock, P. M., on the 15th, sentence of death was
pronounced, and at once approved by General Escobedo, who ordered the
execution to take place next day, but a telegram from Juarez, at San
Luis Potosi, postponed it till the 19th.

The morning of the execution dawned bright and beautiful, and Maximilian
remarked, “I always wished to die on such a day.” With Father Soria he
left the convent at 6 A. M., in a carriage, and was driven to Cerro de
las Campañas, beyond the western limits of the city, Mejia and Miramon
following in other carriages. Arrived at the “Hill of Bells,” the
prisoners were placed against a low wall of adobe erected for the
purpose. Maximilian was expected to occupy the centre, but he stepped to
the right and placed Miramon in the centre, saying, “A brave soldier
must be honored by his monarch even in his last hour; therefore, permit
me to give you the place of honor.” An officer and seven men stood only
a few yards away. The Emperor went to them, took each soldier by the
hand, gave each a piece of gold, saying: “Muchachos (boys), aim well,
aim right here,” pointing to his heart. Then stepping back to his place
in the line, he expressed the hope that his blood might be the last to
be shed. Truly, a sad end for a prince of the house of Hapsburg, and a
weary life of mental alienation for Carlotta.

                         _The Thieves’ Market_

Tradition has it—and most happily for romance in this fascinating
Mexican land, traditions in most cases are still as good coin as
fact—that the “Thieves’ Market,” in the City of Mexico, stands on the
grounds of what was once a part of the spacious gardens of the “new
house” of Montezuma. In the days long gone by, this garden, of spacious
proportions, was the scene of many dark and dismal crimes, and many were
the robberies and acts of violence that occurred there, for it was on a
highway much used, and when night had fallen was very dark and

The tale goes of the murder by a powerful officer of the sweetheart of
one of his retainers, a crime that rankled in the breast of the poor
Indian until, not long afterward, he took his revenge, and his master
lay dead, killed in a drunken stupor by the wronged servant. The wronged
man, rifling the master’s pockets, carried away with him from the house
all the trinkets and valuables on which he could lay his hands. Then he
hied himself to the protecting shade of Montezuma’s gardens, where he
hid himself under the trees until the coming day should waken the city
and he could pass beyond the guard without molestation. But when he had
been hidden only a short while, the alarm having spread, a servant more
zealous in his own interests than to revenge his master’s murder, found
the guilty man and quickly and thoroughly dispatched him.

A neighboring gully, which had perhaps served a similar purpose before
in these thrilling days, concealed the body, and the third murderer made
away with the goods, this time to keep them safe and secure until the
excitement had blown over.

Then, on the very spot which he had stained with the blood of his fellow
servant, the wretch set up a tiny stand, with the twice stolen goods as
the basis of a little stock, which he sold to the tourists of that day
as they passed by the stand in their visits to the famous gardens.

From this rather thrilling beginning grew a classic market, until to-day
there is the world-famed “Volador,” where things fly in and out, once
and for many long centuries truly a “thieves’ market.” It is not so many
years ago that one counted this market as one of places wherein to look
for goods that had flown away from the house in some mysterious fashion,
but that day is past.

                        _Amulets and Talismans_

The amulet, and its astrological expression, the talisman, may be traced
far back in the mists of antiquity to the prehistoric flint arrowhead.
The one, wrought in a great variety of significant and suggestive forms
out of precious gems, and of amber, agate, jasper, and carnelian; or
metal, particularly gold, oxidized silver, and bronze, or wood, or
parchment, is worn as a remedy for or a preservative against disease, or
poison, or accident, or calamity, or bad luck, or the evil eye, or
witchcraft, and is supposed to exert a constant protective power while
suspended from the neck, affixed to the bosom, or other part of the
body, or carried in a pocket. The other is a charm consisting of a
magical image, usually of a planet engraved under carefully regulated
observations of the configuration of the twelve constellations forming
the circuit called the Zodiac, the sign, seal, or figure of the heavenly
body being supposed to receive benign influence therefrom, and thereby
produce under special conditions desired results for the wearer,
especially in averting evils, such as disease or sudden death. Unlike
the amulet, it was not usually worn on the person, but deposited in a
safe place. Many of the varied forms of the amulet were credited with
specific virtues. The old abracadabra, for instance, (the name of the
supreme deity of the Assyrians), written on parchment, and suspended
around the neck by a linen thread, was regarded as an infallible cure
for intermittent fevers, dysentery, and toothache. Certain gems were
believed to possess specific powers. The emerald, for example, was an
antidote to poison and a preventive of melancholy, and the amethyst was
a security against intoxication. The coins of St. Helena, the mother of
Constantine, were reputed in the Middle Ages to be efficacious in
epilepsy. A piece of paper on which the names of the Seven Sleepers of
Ephesus and their dog were inscribed, pasted on the wall of the house,
was believed to afford protection against ghosts and demons. In one of
Sir Walter Scott’s tales of the Crusaders, called “The Talisman,” we are
gravely told that the famous talisman which in the hands of the Sultan
wrought such marvellous cures, is “still in existence, having been
bequeathed to a brave Knight of Scotland, the Laird of Lee, in whose
ancient and honored family it is still preserved; and although charmed
stones (continues Sir Walter) have been dismissed from the modern
pharmacopœia, its virtues are still applied to for arresting hemorrhage,
and as an antidote to hydrophobia.” A charm made of heliotrope, or
bloodstone, was also used to stop hemorrhage, and in some countries,
including England, it is still used to check bleeding of the nose. A
favorite signature on the parchment to counteract the bite of a mad-dog
was _pax_, _max_, and _adimax_. This was considered quite irresistible.
For a fracture or a dislocation, the magic restorative was _araries_,
_dandaries_, _denatas_, and _matas_. The absurd theory known as the
“doctrine of signatures” is traced back to the Chaldeans. It is based
upon external natural markings or symbolical appearances of a plant,
mineral, or other substance, indicating its special medicinal quality or
appropriate use. Boyle says in his Style of the Holy Scriptures,
“Chemists observe in the book of Nature that those simples that wear the
figure or resemblance (by them termed _signature_) of a distempered part
are medicinal for that part of that infirmity whose signature they
bear.” Butler says in “Hudibras,”—

                 “Believe mechanic virtuosi
                 Can raise them mountains in Potosi;
                 Seek out for plants with signatures,
                 To quack (boast) of universal cures.”

The amulet appears to have been a favorite charm in the early periods of
the history of Assyria, Egypt, Arabia, Persia, and Judea. Judging by the
multitudinous collections in European museums, as well as by the
traditions of centuries, it must have been universally worn in ancient
times. In the Pompeiian section of the National Museum, at Naples, many
thousands of the charms worn in the first century of the Christian era
are preserved. Their use is still prevalent in Asiatic countries and in
some of the South American republics. In Rio Janeiro the jewelers keep
them for sale in large numbers and in great variety. Some of the old
favorites show remarkable vital tenacity. There is the three-pronged red
coral, for instance, which was considered possessed of the power of
keeping off evil spirits, and neutralizing the malignity of the evil
eye. Paracelsus directed it to be placed around the necks of infants as
a protective against convulsions, sorcery, and poisons. We still find
coral necklaces encircling the necks of infants in evidence of the
abiding faith of fond mothers and cautious nurses. In the West Indies
the negroes wear strings of red coral as a guard against the mischievous
influence of the fetish known as Obi or Obiism. In other cases we see
necklaces of amber or of white bryony on the little ones as a preventive
or remedy for inflamed eyes. In the old days it was a frequent custom to
enclose the amulet in the shell of a hazel-nut as a preservative. May we
not trace to that usage the modern fashion of stowing in an inside
pocket a buckeye or horse-chestnut? Or to go further, the habit of
carrying a potato for its alleged power of absorption in rheumatic
conditions? Those who treasure the rattles of a snake, or a rabbit’s
left hind foot, which is a favorite mascot, especially if the rabbit is
killed at midnight in a country graveyard, may find prototypes three
thousand years old. Among the German people may often be noticed a ring
of brass on the middle finger, or a ring of steel on the little finger,
worn, as they say, to prevent cramps.

In a recently published little volume entitled, “What They Say in New
England,—a book of old signs, sayings, and folk-lore,” will be found a
chapter devoted to this sort of absurdity. Half a dozen citations will
serve as specimens. To keep off rheumatism, wear an eel-skin around the
waist. To prevent cramps, wear an eel-skin around the ankle. Another
preventive of rheumatism is to wear a red string around the neck. To
prevent cramps in a child, tie a black silk cord around its neck. To
avoid the itch, wear sulphur in a bag around the neck. To prevent fits,
carry an onion in the pocket.

                        _Christmas Observances_

Out of the customs, practices, and ceremonies in the observance of the
Feast of the Nativity, for hundreds of years, we have sifted and saved
what is worth keeping. In the changes that have been wrought, the new
Christmas is better than the old, better in itself, better for the time
in which we live. It is not so picturesque, but it is imbued with more
of the spirit of charity and fraternity, of the love that warms and the
kindness that cheers, of thoughts and things that win us from ourselves
to human fellowship, of peace on earth and good will to men. From hall
to hovel, from childhood’s playthings to the touching pledges of later
life, its passing moments are the brightest of the year. From the
stately temple, with its “long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,” its
“gules and or and azure on nave and chancel pane,” to the little
meeting-house with its severe simplicity and lack of adornment alike, as

               “* * beautiful as songs of the immortals,
               The holy melodies of love arise.”

Reference is often made to Walter Scott as by far the best of the
descriptive poets of the Old Christmas. Says he, in closing his lines in

              “England was merry England, when
              Old Christmas brought his sports again.
              ’Twas Christmas broached the mightiest ale;
              ’Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
              A Christmas gambol oft would cheer
              The poor man’s heart through half the year.”

But when it comes to delightful description of the later Christmas, our
own Washington Irving is the Laureate. In the Sketch Book he shows in
his admirable way how this kindliest of seasons is pervaded and
irradiated with the brotherhood which is the essential spirit of
Christianity. In its gifts, its symbols, its gracious influences, its
blessings, and benedictions, he sees nothing doctrinal, or dogmatic, or
theological, but only mouldings to newer forms of the old faith; only
the message which leads men and women and children to step aside from
their own paths of pleasantness and peace, and go out on a mission of
love and mercy into a world which knows more of the darkness of
adversity than of the sunshine of happiness. In a letter written by
Charles Dickens to Irving, in 1841, it is apparent that Bracebridge Hall
made a very strong impression upon him, and it was manifest afterwards
that Irving’s sketches served as the prototype of the Christmas scenes
at Dingley Dell in the Pickwick Papers, and the forerunner of a series
of Christmas stories commencing with the Christmas Carol in prose. The
elders who, years ago, when Mr. Dickens visited this country, heard him
read with dramatic force the closing chapters of the Carol, detailing
the softening influences which metamorphosed the miserly Scrooge into a
benefactor, and lifted Bob Cratchit’s family with his crippled boy, Tiny
Tim, out of the depths of depressing poverty, will never forget the
pathos which he threw into the last line, the invocation of Tiny Tim,
“God bless us, every one.” These stories, however, started a flood-tide
of Christmas editions of daily papers, pictorial papers, class papers,
and monthly magazines, to the point of wearisome superfluity. They
contain nothing pertaining to the Christmas season, and in respect to
such absence are like Thackeray’s “Christmas Books.” In the Kinkleburys,
Thackeray himself says, “Christmas Books are so called because they are
published at Christmas.” As to the bibliography of Christmas, with the
embodiment of songs, hymns, carols, legends, stories, comedies, myths,
sermons, customs and usages, its magnitude is such that a reviewer would
hardly know where to begin or where to end.

Art has found no higher expression than in its perpetuation of the
portraiture of the Madonna and the Child. The great masters who thus
immortalized the trust committed to them, found no more inspiring
subject than the Motherhood and the Childhood whose sacredness appeals
to all hearts through the never-ending, still-beginning succession of
the ages. As we gaze on these spiritual faces, with their transcendent
beauty, their unclouded serenity, their heaven-reflected radiance, on
the canvas of Raphael and Angelo and Guido and Murillo and Rubens and
Titian and del Sarto and Carlo Dolce, we are reminded that though there
was no room for the mother in the inn, she was exalted above all women,
and though there was no cradle but a feeding-trough for the child, that
manger, in the divinely-appointed time, was transformed into an
everlasting throne.

                    _What Language did Jesus Speak?_

Dr. Gustav Dalman, Professor of Theology in the University of Leipzig,
one of the most distinguished Orientalists of Europe, in a recently
published work begins by setting forth the reasons for believing that
Jesus spoke the Galilean dialect of the Aramaic language, and then
proceeds to discuss from this point of view the meaning of the
utterances attributed to Jesus in the synoptic Gospels. The evidence for
the primary hypothesis is of several kinds. Professor Dalman adduces,
for example, the custom which in the second century after Christ was
represented as very ancient, of translating into Aramaic the text of the
Hebrew Pentateuch in the synagogues of the Hebraists of Palestine. By
Hebraists the author desires to distinguish from the Hellenistic Jews
who spoke Greek, those who spoke, not Hebrew, but Aramaic. Attention is
next directed to the Aramaic title for classes of the people in
Palestine, and for feasts—titles that are attested by Josephus and the
New Testament. Thus the words for pharisee, priest, high priest,
Passover, Pentecost, and Sabbath used by Josephus and by the authors of
the New Testament, are not Hebrew, but Aramaic. Then, again, there are
traditions dating from a period considerably antecedent to Christ that
John Hyrcanus heard in the sanctuary a divine voice speaking in the
Aramaic language, and that in the temple the legends on the tokens for
the drink offerings and on the chests in which the contributions of the
faithful were deposited were in Aramaic. Moreover, there are old
official documents in the Aramaic language.

These include, first, the “Roll Concerning Fasts,” a catalogue of days
on which fasting was forbidden, first compiled in the time of the rising
against the Romans, 66–70 A.D., and, secondly, the Epistles of Gamaliel
II. (about 110 A.D.) to the Jews of South Judea, Galilee, and Babylon.
Both of these documents were destined for the Jewish people, and
primarily, indeed, for those of Palestine. A like inference as to the
use of Aramaic in Palestine may be drawn from the language of the public
documents relating to purchase, lease-tenure, debt, conditional
betrothal, refusal of marriage, marriage contract, divorce, and
renunciation of levirate marriage. The Mishna gives the decisive formulæ
of these documents, which were important for securing legal validity for
the most part, though not always in Aramaic, thus implying that this was
the language commonly in use. Cumulative testimony is furnished by the
unquestioned adoption, in the time of Jesus, of the Aramaic characters
in place of the old Hebrew in copies of the Bible text. The change of
character naturally presupposes a change of language. Stress is laid by
Professor Dalman on the facts that the Judaism of the second century of
our era possessed the Bible text only in “Assyrian,” _i.e._, Aramaic
handwriting, and that even the Alexandrian or Septuagint translation had
been based upon Hebrew texts in this character. It has further been
observed by students of the Talmud that the syntax and the vocabulary of
the Hebrew of the Mishna proved themselves to be the creation of Jews
who thought in Aramaic. We observe, finally, that it was customary in
the first century of our era for writers to call the Aramaic “Hebrew.”

Josephus, indeed, showed himself quite capable of distinguishing the
language and written character of the “Syrians” from those of the
“Hebrews.” Nevertheless, between Hebrew and Aramaic words he makes no
difference. The “Hebrew” in which Josephus addresses the people of
Jerusalem—the incident is recounted in his history of the Jewish war
against the Romans—is even called by him his paternal tongue, though in
the circumstances nothing but Aramaic can have been used. Again, in the
Johannine Gospel, the Aramaic terms Bethesda, Golgotha, and Rabbouni are
called “Hebrew.” Aramaic, too, must be meant by the “Hebrew tongue” in
which Paul spoke to the people of Jerusalem (Acts xxi., 40; xxii., 2),
and in which Jesus spoke to Paul (Acts xxvi., 14). Hellenistai and
Hebraioi were the names, according to Acts vi., 1, of the two parts of
the Jewish people as divided by language. But, if it were possible to
characterize Aramaic as Hebrew, it is clear that Aramaic was the
every-day speech of the Jewish people in the first century of our era;
in so far, at least, as it was not Greek.

In Professor Dalman’s opinion the facts adduced do not justify us in
drawing a distinction between Judea and Galilee, as if Hebrew was at
least partially a spoken language in the former region. That Aramaic had
at least a distinct predominance in Judea may be inferred with certainty
from the place names in Jerusalem and its environs. The author of this
book can find no ground for the belief expressed by another Orientalist
that Hebrew was the language of the mother of Jesus, inasmuch as she
belonged to South Palestine.

There is even less ground for supposing that Hebrew was the vernacular
in Galilee. During the rising of the Maccabees the Jewish population in
Galilee was so inconsiderable that Simon, about 163 B.C., had no other
means of protecting them from their ill-disposed neighbors than by
transporting them to Judea. John Hyrcanus (B.C. 135–105) appears later
to have conquered Galilee and to have forced its inhabitants into
conformity to Judaism; but, under the circumstances, the Hebrew language
was not to be looked for. What is true of Galilee in general is true of
little Nazareth in particular, to which has been wrongly attributed an
isolation from intercourse with the outer world. As a matter of fact,
Nazareth had on the one side Sippori (Sepphoris), the then capital of
Galilee, and on the other, in close proximity, the cities of Yapha and
Kesaloth, and it lay on the important highway of commerce that led from
Sepphoris to the plain of Megiddo and onward to Cæsarea. Dalman points
out that the actual discourses of Jesus in no way give the impression
that He had grown up in solitude and seclusion. It is merely true that
He, like the Galileans generally, would have little contact with
literary erudition. The fact implies that from this side he did not come
into contact with the Hebrew language. The Aramaic was the mother tongue
of the Galileans, as of the people of Gaulonitis; and, according to
Josephus, natives of Syria were able to understand it. From all these
considerations the conclusion is drawn that Jesus grew up speaking the
Aramaic tongue, and that He would be obliged to speak Aramaic to His
disciples and to the people in order to be understood. Of Him, least of
all, who desired to preach the Gospel to the poor, or, in other words,
to people that stood aloof from the pedagogic methods of the scribes, is
it to be expected that He would have furnished His discourse with the
superfluous and, to his hearers, perplexing embellishment of the Hebrew

                        _Royalty’s Family Names_

The English royal family are frequently spoken of as Guelphs, just as
the Russian imperial family are known as Romanoffs, the Portuguese as
Braganzas, etc. Such statements are founded in error. Queen Victoria,
for example, was originally Miss Azon von Este. She was descended, as
were the other members of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Hanover,
from Azon, Margrave of Este. King Edward VII, the son of Prince Albert
of Saxe-Cobourg, has naturally his father’s family name. Descended from
the Wettins, a line founded in the 12th century, his actual name is
Albert Edward Wettin.

                           PARALLEL PASSAGES

  One of the most elegant of literary recreations is that of tracing
  poetical or prose imitations and similitudes; and there are few men of
  letters who have not been in the habit of making parallel passages, or
  tracing imitation in the thousand shapes it assumes.—D’ISRAELI.

              She fair, divinely fair, fit love for gods.
                                MILTON, “Paradise Lost.”

                 A daughter of the gods, divinely tall,
                   And most divinely fair.
                     TENNYSON, “Dream of Fair Women.”

                Auld Nature swears the lovely dears
                  Her noblest work she classes, O;
                Her ‘prentice han’ she tried on man,
                  And then she made the lasses, O.
                              BURNS, “Green Grow,” etc.

This thought was anticipated in “Cupid’s Whirligig,” a play by Edward
Sharpham, first printed in 1607: “Man was made when Nature was but an
apprentice, but woman when she was a skilful mistress of her art.”

                     “But, oh! eternity’s too short
                     To utter all Thy praise.”

So wrote Addison, in the well-known hymn. Young writes in the “Christian

               “Eternity, too short to speak Thy praise!
               Or fathom Thy profound of love to man!”

These writers were contemporaries. Did the same thought occur to each
independently, or did one borrow from the other?

In Dr. Johnson’s epitaph on Goldsmith, in Westminster Abbey, occurs the
expression, “Nihil tetigit quod non ornavit.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, in drawing a comparison between the
eloquence of Cicero and that of Demosthenes, says, “He adorns everything
he touches.”

                 Authority melts from me.
                       “Antony and Cleopatra,” iii, 2.

                    Authority forgets a dying king.
                          TENNYSON, “Mort d’Arthur.”

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

             Woe to the land that’s governed by a child.
                                     “Richard III.,” ii, 3.

Falstaff, in the Second Part of “King Henry IV.,” act i, scene 2, says,
“I am not only wit in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men.”

If Plato may be believed, Socrates made use of a similar expression
about two thousand years before Shakespeare was born. Speaking to
Protagoras, Socrates says, “For who is there but you? who not only claim
to be a good man, for many are this, and yet have not the power of
making others good. Whereas you are not only good yourself, but also the
cause of goodness in others.”—_Jowett’s Translation._

Time flies, my pretty one! These precious hours are very sweet to thee;
make the most of them. Now, even now, as thou twinest that brown curl on
that finger—see! it grows gray!

                                     FREDERICK LOCKER, “My Confidences.”

I will not argue the matter; time wastes too fast. Every letter I trace
tells me with what rapidity Life follows my pen; the days and hours of
it, more precious—my dear Jenny—than the rubies about thy neck, are
flying over our heads like light clouds of a windy day, never to return
more; everything presses on—whilst thou art twisting that lock,—see! it
grows gray!

                                              STERNE, “Tristram Shandy.”

Sir, for a quart d’ecu[5] he will sell the fee simple of his salvation,
the inheritance of it, and cut the entail from all remainders.

                                    “All’s Well that Ends Well,” iv., 3.

Footnote 5:

  The fourth part of the smaller French crown, about sixteen cents.

                Who, if some blockhead should be willing
                To lend him on his soul a shilling,
                A well-made bargain would esteem it,
                And have more sense than to redeem it.
                                CHURCHILL, “The Ghost.”

Many witty authors compare the present time to an isthmus or narrow neck
of land, that rises in the midst of an ocean, immeasurably diffused on
either side of it.

                                                      —_Spectator_, 590.

                Lo, on a narrow neck of land,
                ’Twixt two unbounded seas I stand
                Secure, insensible.             WESLEY.

             This narrow isthmus ’twixt two boundless seas,
             The past, the future, two eternities.
                                     MOORE, “Lalla Rookh.”

     Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
     Only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness;
     So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
     Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.
                          LONGFELLOW, “Elizabeth.”

               Like driftwood spars which meet and pass
                 Upon the boundless ocean-plain,
               So on the sea of life, alas!
                 Man nears man, meets, and leaves again.
                   MATTHEW ARNOLD, “Terrace at Berne.”

                            O, my friend!
          We twain have met like ships upon the sea,
          Who hold an hour’s converse, so short, so sweet;
          One little hour! and then away they speed
          On lonely paths, through mist, and cloud, and foam,
          To meet no more.              ALEXANDER SMITH.

The Rev. John Beecher, who may be remembered in connection with a
criticism upon one of Lord Byron’s poems, was the author of this
passage: “As ships meet at sea a moment together, when words of greeting
must be spoken, and then away again in the darkness; so men meet and
part in this world.”

           The increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes,
           Hills peep o’er hills, and Alps on Alps arise.
                                           POPE, “Criticism.”

            And climb the Mount of Blessing, whence, if thou
            Look higher, then perchance thou mayest—beyond
            A hundred ever-rising mountain lines,
            And past the range of Night and Shadow,—see
            The high heaven dawn of more than mortal day.
                                    TENNYSON, “Tiresias.”

Cowley, in his “Davideis,” says of the Messiah:

          Round the whole earth his dreaded name shall sound,
          And reach to worlds that must not yet be found.

And Pope, in his “Essay on Criticism,” referring to the Grecian and
Roman poets, says:

             Nations unborn your mighty name shall sound,
             And worlds applaud that must not yet be found.

In the ballad of Lochinvar, in “Marmion,” are the following lines:

                      She looked down to blush,
                        And she looked up to sigh,
                      With a smile on her lips,
                        And a tear in her eye.

In Samuel Lover’s song, “Rory O’More,” we also find this:

                      Now Rory be aisy,
                        Sweet Kathleen would cry;
                      Reproof on her lip,
                        But a smile in her eye.

In the Greek “Anthology” is an epigram by an unknown writer, which is
thus translated:

                  Two evils, poverty and love,
                    My anxious bosom tear;
                  The one my heart would little move,
                    But love I cannot bear.

Burns reproduces this thought in a song sent to his friend Thomson:

                  O poortith cauld, and restless love,
                    Ye wreck my peace between ye;
                  But poortith a’ I could forgie,
                    An ‘twerna for my Jeanie.

Douce, in his “Illustrations of Shakespeare,” quotes from Marlowe’s
translation of Ovid’s “Art of Love:”

                For Jove himself sits in the azure skies
                And laughs below at lovers’ perjuries,

and says that from these lines of the “Ars Amatoria” Shakespeare took

                           At lovers’ perjuries,
               They say, Jove laughs.—“Romeo and Juliet.”

Christopher Marlowe died in 1593, and the earliest quarto edition of
Romeo and Juliet appeared in 1597.

             Happy the man who his whole time doth bound
             Within the enclosure of his little ground.
                                       COWLEY, “Claudian.”

              Happy the man whose wish and care
                A few paternal acres bound,
              Content to breathe his native air
                In his own ground.      POPE, “Solitude.”

Eve, in “Paradise Lost,” addressing Adam, says:

                 With thee conversing I forget all time
                 All seasons and their change,

Wesley echoes this couplet, hymn 214, in addressing Christ:

                     With thee conversing we forget
                     All time, all toil, all care.

Cowley, in a paraphrase of one of Horace’s Epodes, says:

           Nor does the roughest season of the sky
           Or sullen Jove all sports to him deny.
           He runs the mazes of the nimble hare;
           His well-mouthed dogs’ glad concert rends the air.

These lines appear in Pope’s “Windsor Forest” thus modified:

            Nor yet, when moist Arcturus clouds the sky,
            The woods and fields their pleasing toils deny;
            To plains with well-breathed beagles we repair,
            And trace the mazes of the circling hare.

In Thomson’s “Seasons” we find in Winter the expression, “contiguous
shade,” and in Summer the line,

                  A boundless deep immensity of shade.

Cowper, in “The Task,” has a line which he evidently owes to Thomson,

                  Some boundless contiguity of shade.

Churchill says in “The Farewell”:

              Be England what she will,
              With all her faults she is my country still.

Cowper, who admired Churchill’s poetry as strongly as he detested his
principles, says in “The Task”:

            England, with all thy faults I love thee still.

But several years before Churchill wrote “The Farewell,” the profligate
Bolingbroke concluded a letter to Dean Swift as follows: “Dear Swift,
with all thy faults I love thee entirely; make an effort and love me
with all mine.”

          With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb’st the skies!
          How silently and with how wan a face!
                                        SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.

                 With what a silent and dejected pace
               Dost thou, wan Moon, upon thy way advance—
                           HENRY KIRK WHITE, “Angelina.”

There is a well-known anecdote of Marshal Blücher, who, on his progress
through London, is recorded to have expressed his wonder and cupidity at
the wealth of the metropolis in some such words as “Was für Plunder.” In
Malcolm’s “Sketches of Persia” is the following:

Seeing my [Afghan] friend quite delighted with the contemplation of this
rich scene [Calcutta], I asked him, with some exultation, what he
thought of it. “A wonderful place to plunder,” was his reply.

              One to destroy is murder by law,
              And gibbets keep the lifted hand in awe;
              To murder thousands takes a specious name,
              War’s glorious art, and gives immortal fame.
                                  YOUNG, “Love of Fame.”

                       One murder makes a villain,
               Millions a hero; kings are privileged
               To kill; and numbers sanctify the crime.
                       BISHOP PORTEUS, “Essay on Death.”

          Hereditary bondsmen! know ye not,
          Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow?
          By their right arms the conquest must be wrought.
                                  BYRON, “Childe Harold.”

            ’Tis well! from this day forward we shall know
            That in ourselves our safety must be sought;
            That by our own right hands it must be wrought.
                                WORDSWORTH, “Sonnets.”

The purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is
to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature.

                                                       “Hamlet,” iii, 2.

True, said the knight, the ornaments of comedy ought not to be rich and
real, but feigned and artificial, like the drama itself, which I would
have thee respect, Sancho, and receive into favor, together with those
who represent and compose it; for they are all instruments of great
benefit to the commonwealth, holding, as it were, a looking-glass always
before us, in which we see naturally delineated all the actions of life.

                                               CERVANTES, “Don Quixote.”

Pitiful enough were it, for all these wild utterances, to call our
Diogenes wicked. Unprofitable servants as we all are, perhaps at no era
of his life was he more decisively the Servant of Goodness, the Servant
of God, than even now when doubting God’s existence.

                                             CARLYLE, “Sartor Resartus.”

I am not unmindful of the saying of an eminent Presbyterian, Dr. Norman
Macleod, that many an opponent of dogma is nearer to God than many an
orthodox believer; or of the words of Laertes on the dead Ophelia and
the priest:

               “A ministering angel shall my sister be
               When thou liest howling.”
                   W. E. GLADSTONE, “Religious Thought.”

                Evil is wrought by want of thought
                As well as want of heart.
                                  HOOD, “Lady’s Dream.”

                 Time to me this truth has taught
                   (’Tis a treasure worth revealing),
                 More offend from want of thought
                   Than from any want of feeling.
                                         CHARLES SWAIN.

              One crowded hour of glorious life
              Is worth an age without a name.
                                  SCOTT, “Old Mortality.”

              A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty
              Is worth a whole eternity in bondage.
                                          ADDISON, “Cato.”

The life of a man of virtue and talent, who should die in his thirtieth
year, is, with regard to his own feelings, longer than that of a
miserable, priest-ridden slave who dreams out a century of dulness.

                                          SHELLEY, “Notes to Queen Mab.”

The most striking scene in “Ivanhoe” is where Rebecca, pursued by Front
de Bœuf on the tower of the castle, threatens to throw herself from the
battlement saying, that “the Jewish maiden would rather trust her soul
with God than her honor to the Templar.” Sir David Dundas tells a story
of a Scotch laird who, to escape a criminal indictment, disappeared in
1715. Thirty years afterwards, 1745, he returned, and was arrested and
tried for his life. The prosecution relied on the evidence of an
ex-bailiff of the laird, who had undertaken to identify him. After
gazing at him, he told the judge that he was “verra like his maister,”
but on looking at him “weel he doubted, indeed he felt sure that he was
not his maister at all,” and as there were no other witnesses, the case
broke down. The Presbyterian minister of the place vented his
indignation on the witness in the strongest terms,—

“Where, you perjured villain, do you expect to go after death, lying to
God as you have done to-day?”

“Weel, weel, meenister,” was the reply, “what you say may be a’ verra
true, but you see I’d raither trust my soul with my Maker than my
maister with thae fellows.”

In the altercation between Dr. Johnson and Beauclerk (April 16, 1779) as
reported by Boswell, Beauclerk said:

“Mr. —— (Johnson’s friend Fitzherbert), who loved buttered muffins, but
durst not eat them because they disagreed with his stomach, resolved to
shoot himself; and then he ate three buttered muffins for breakfast
before shooting himself, knowing that he should not be troubled with

In “Pickwick Papers,” chap, xiv, Sam Weller says:

“‘How many crumpets at a sittin’ do you think ‘ud kill me off at once?’
says the patient.

“‘I don’t know,’ says the doctor.

“‘Do you think half a crown’s worth ‘ud do it?’ says the patient.

“‘I think it might,’ says the doctor.

“‘Three shillins’ worth ‘ud be sure to do it, I s’pose,’ says the

“‘Certainly,’ says the doctor.

“‘Wery good,’ says the patient.

“‘Good night.’

“Next mornin’ he gets up, has a fire lit, orders in three shillins’
worth o’ crumpets, toasts ’em all, eats ’em all, and blows his brains

Washington Irving’s “Pride of the Village,” in his “Sketch Book,” has
for its backbone the pathetic story of a blasted life and a broken
heart, which, it seems likely, may have afforded to Tennyson the
suggestion for his exquisite May Queen, inasmuch as Irving’s “Pride of
the Village” was also “Queen of the May,” “crowned with flowers and
blushing and smiling in all the beautiful confusion of girlish
diffidence and delight.” And then in a later scene we see her wasted and
hectic. “She felt a conviction that she was hastening to the tomb, but
looked forward to it as a place of rest. The silver cord that had bound
her to existence was loosed, and there seemed to be no more pleasure
under the sun.” The Laureate’s May Queen is touched by the sweetness “of
all the land about and all the flowers that blow;” and the “Pride of the
Village” would “totter to the window, where, propped up in her chair, it
was her enjoyment to sit all day and look out upon the landscape.” The
May Queen of the poet exults in the honeysuckle that “round the porch
has woven its wavy bowers,” and she is anxious when she is gone little
Effie should “train the rose-bush that she set about the parlor window,”
and to Irving’s “Pride of the Village” “the soft air that stole in
[through the lattice] brought with it the fragrance of the clustering
honeysuckle which her own hands had trained round the window.” The May
Queen reaches forward to view her grave “just beneath the hawthorne
shade” and wills that Effie shall not come to see her till it be
“growing green,” and in Irving’s sketch “evergreens had been planted
about the grave of the village favorite, and osiers were bent over to
keep the turf uninjured.”

               Ah, Christ, that it were possible
                 For one short hour to see
               The souls we loved that they might tell us
                 What and where they be.
                                     TENNYSON, “Maud.”

           Oh that it were possible we might
           But hold some two days’ conference with the dead!
           From whom I should learn somewhat I am sure
           I never shall know here.
                               WEBSTER, “Duchess of Malfy.”

               The dead! the much-loved dead!
                 Who doth not yearn to know
               The secret of their dwelling place,
                 And to what land they go?
               What heart but asks, with ceaseless tone,
               For some sure knowledge of its _own_.
                                             MARY E. LEE.

The trapper had remained nearly motionless for an hour. His eyes alone
had occasionally opened and shut. Suddenly, while musing on the
remarkable position in which he was placed Middleton felt the hand which
he held grasp his own with incredible power, and the old man, supported
on either side by his friends, rose upright to his feet. For a moment he
looked around him as if to invite all in presence to listen (the
lingering remnant of human frailty), and then, with a fine military
elevation of the head, and with a voice that might be heard in every
part of that numerous assembly, he pronounced the word “Here.”

                                         FENIMORE COOPER, “The Prairie.”

At the usual evening hour the chapel bell began to toll, and Thomas
Newcome’s hands outside the bed feebly beat a tune, and just as the last
bell struck, a peculiar sweet smile shone over his face, and he lifted
up his head a little and quickly said, “Adsum,” and fell back. It was
the word we used at school when names were called, and lo, he, whose
heart was as that of a little child, had answered to his name, and stood
in the presence of the Master.

                                              THACKERAY, “The Newcomes.”

       And as he looked around, she saw how Death the consoler,
       Laying his hand upon many a heart, had healed it forever.
                             LONGFELLOW, “Evangeline.”

In the Greek Anthology, likening Death to a healer of pain and sorrow is
expressed in an epigram of Agathias:

              Why fear ye Death, the parent of repose,
                That puts an end to penury and pain?
              His presence once, and only once, he shows,
                And none have seen him e’er return again.
              But maladies of every varying hue
              In thick succession human life pursue.

I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. NATHAN
HALE, “Last Words,” Sept., 1776.

                    What pity it is
            That we can live but once to serve our country!
                                            ADDISON, “Cato.”

               Have sight of Proteus coming from the sea,
               Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
                                   WORDSWORTH, “Sonnets.”

               From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
               Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn.
                                 DR. HOLMES, “Nautilus.”

                ’Tis said with Sorrow Time can cope;
                  But this I feel can n’er be true;
                For by the death-blow of my Hope
                  My Memory immortal grew.
                    BYRON, “Written Beneath a Picture.”

          They said that Love would die when Hope was gone,
          And Love mourned long, and sorrowed after Hope;
          At last she sought out Memory, and they trod
          The same old paths where love had walked with Hope,
          And Memory fed the soul of Love with tears.
                            TENNYSON, “The Lover’s Tale.”

The following paraphrase is from the German of Lessing:

           While Fell was reposing himself on the hay
           A reptile concealed bit his leg as he lay;
           But all venom himself, of the wound he made light,
           And got well, while the scorpion died of the bite.

Similar is the last stanza of Goldsmith’s “Elegy on the death of a Mad
Dog” in the “Vicar of Wakefield:”

                  But soon a wonder came to light,
                    That showed the rogues they lied,
                  The man recovered of the bite,
                    The dog it was that died.

            Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of death.
                                  YOUNG, “Night Thoughts.”

              Virtue’s a bridge (near the Cross whereby
              We pass to happiness beyond the spheres)
              Whose arches are faith, hope, and charity,
              And what’s the water but repentant tears?
                                          THOMAS BANCROFT.

              I saw fair Cloris walk alone,
              When feathered rain came softly down,
              And Jove descended from his tower
              To court her in a silver shower.
              The wanton snow flew to her breast,
              Like little birds into their nest,
              And overcome with whiteness there,
              For grief it thawed into a tear,
              Thence falling on her garment’s hem,
              To deck her froze into a gem.        STRODE.

              Those envious flakes came down in haste,
                To prove her breast less fair;
              Grieving to find themselves surpassed,
                Dissolved into a tear.            DODSLEY.

             There are a thousand doors to let out life;
             You keep not guard of all: and I shall find,
             By falling headlong from some rocky cliff,
             Poison, or fire, that long rest.
                           MASSINGER, “Parliament of Love.”

             At once give each inquietude the slip,
             By stealing out of being when he pleased,
             And by what way; whether by hemp or steel:
             Death’s thousand doors stand open.
                                       BLAIR, “The Grave.”

 Her cheek [the Sultana Gulbeyaz] began to flush, her eyes to sparkle,
 And her proud brow’s blue veins to swell and darkle;
 She stood a moment as a Pythoness
   Stands on her tripod, agonized, and full
 Of inspiration gathered from distress.
                               BYRON, “Don Juan.”

The Countess [Amy Robsart] stood in the midst of her apartment like a
juvenile Pythoness, under the influence of the prophetic fury. The veins
in her beautiful forehead started into swollen blue lines—her cheek and
neck glowed like scarlet—her eyes were like those of an imprisoned

                                                    SCOTT, “Kenilworth.”

           Of some for glory such the boundless rage
           That they’re the blackest scandal of their age.

            On Butler, who can think without just rage?
            The glory and the scandal of the age.    OLDHAM.

Drayton, in one of his Elegies, says:

            Next these learn’d Johnson in this list I bring,
            _Who had drunke deepe of the Pierian spring_.

And the bard of Twickenham tells us

              A little learning is a dangerous thing; ·
              Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring.

                   Then, warmly walled with books,
           While my wood-fire supplied the sun’s defect,
           Whispering old forest-sagas in its dreams,
           I take my May down from the happy shelf
           Where perch the world’s rare song-birds in a row,
           Waiting my choice to open with full breast,
           And beg an alms of spring-time ne’er denied
           Indoors by vernal Chaucer, whose fresh woods
           Throb thick with merle and mavis all the year.

With hands clasped before him, and forefingers pressed against his lips,
he travelled slowly with his eye along the great rows of shelved volumes
on the walls, as though seeking temporary company in their familiar
forms and titles.

Many another lonely man, unable to enjoy that strangely soothing
companionship for the solitary, which nature gives in the murmuring and
music of the woods, has found in his library a forest as tranquilizing
to the fevered mind, and discovered between its unfading leaves the
birds that make tenderest music for the soul.

                                                        ORPHEUS C. KERR.

Among the epigrams of Leonidas of Tarentum, in the Greek Anthology, is
one which becomes especially interesting if we take into account the
writer’s history, and bear in mind that he had experimental knowledge of
exile, from having been carried away captive by Pyrrhus. Its subject is
“Home, sweet home.”

             Cling to thy home! if there the meanest shed
             Yield thee a hearth and shelter for thy head,
             And some poor pot with vegetables stored
             Be all that heaven allots thee for a board,
             Unsavory bread, and herbs that scatter’d grow
             Wild on the river bank or mountain brow,—
             Yet e’en this cheerless mansion shall provide
             More heart’s repose than all the world beside.

No one can help comparing this with Goldsmith’s “Traveller”:

        Thus every good his native wilds impart
        Imprints the patriot passion on his heart;
        And e’en those hills that round his mansion rise,
        Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies.
        Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms,
        And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms, etc.,

and with the even more familiar lines of the same poem, commencing with

               The shuddering tenant of the frigid zone.

The attention of Prof. Blackie and other literary and patriotic
Scotchmen has been called to the following communication addressed by
Mr. J. A. Neale to _Notes and Queries_: A somewhat extensive study of
English literature has revealed to me many instances of imitation and
plagiarism; but I have never met with a more remarkable example than
this afforded by the following epitaph, published in an old edition of
“Camden’s Remains,” and a poem by Burns entitled “The Joyful Widower.” I
give the epitaph and the poem in full.

One, to show the good opinion he had of his wife’s soul departed, who in
her lifetime was a notorious shrew, writes upon her this epitaph:

                  We lived near one-and-twenty year
                    As man and wife together:
                  I could not stay her longer here,
                    She’s gone, I know not whither.
                  But did I know, I do protest
                    (I speak it not to flatter)
                  Of all the women in the world,
                    I swear I’d ne’er come at her.
                  Her body is bestowed well,
                    This handsome grave doth hide her;
                  And sure her soul is not in hell,
                    The devil could ne’er abide her.
                  But I suppose she’d soar’d aloft,
                    For in the late great thunder
                  Methought I heard her very voice,
                    Rending the clouds asunder.

                       THE JOYFUL WIDOWER.

               I married with a scolding wife
                 The fourteenth of November;
               She made me weary of my life,
                 By one unruly member.
               Long did I bear the heavy yoke,
                 And many griefs attended:
               But, to my comfort be it spoke,
                 Now, now her life is ended.

               We liv’d full one-and-twenty years
                 As man and wife together:
               At length from me her course she steer’d,
                 And gone I know not whither:
               Would I could guess, I do profess,
                 I speak and do not flatter,
               Of all the women in the world,
                 I never could come at her.

               Her body is bestowed well,
                 A handsome grave does hide her,
               But sure her soul is not in hell,
                 The de’il would ne’er abide her;
               I rather think she is aloft,
                 And imitating thunder;
               For why—methinks I hear her voice
                 Tearing the clouds asunder.

                      _Shakespeare’s Repetitions_


         _Lysander._ Brief the lightning in the collied night,
         Which ere a man hath power to say “Behold!”
         The jaws of darkness do devour it up.
                         “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” i, 1.

          _Juliet._ It is too rash, too unadvis’d, too sudden:
          Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be,
          Ere one can say—“It lightens!”
                                    “Romeo and Juliet,” ii, 2.


         _Capulet._ Wife, we scarce thought us bless’d,
         That God had sent us but this only child;
         But now I see this one is one too much.
                                   “Romeo and Juliet,” iii, 5.

            _Leonato._ Griev’d I, I had but one?
            Chid I for that at nature’s frugal frame?
            Oh! one too much by thee.
                            “Much Ado About Nothing,” iv, 1.


         _Duke._ No might nor greatness in mortality
         Can censure scape; back-wounding calumny
         The whitest virtue strikes.
                                 “Measure for Measure,” iii, 2.

_Hamlet._ Be thou chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape

                                                       “Hamlet,” iii, 4.


      _Bassanio._ How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
      As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
      The beards of Hercules, and frowning Mars:
      Who, inward search’d, have livers white as milk!
                            “Merchant of Venice,” iii, 2.

        _Rosalind._ We’ll have a swashing and a martial outside,
        As many other mannish cowards have,
        That do outface it with their semblances.
                                      “As You Like It,” i, 2.


         _Macbeth._ They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly,
         But, bear-like, I must fight the course.
                                               “Macbeth,” v, 5.

    _Gloster._ I am tied to the stake, and I must stand the course.
                                            “Lear,” iii, 7.

                         _Effect of Ill News._

         _Constance._ Fellow, begone; I cannot brook thy sight;
         Thy news hath made thee a most ugly man.
                                         “King John,” iii, 1.

         _Cleopatra._ Though it be honest, it is never good
         To bring bad news. Go, get thee hence;
         Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
         Thou wouldst appear most ugly.
                             “Antony and Cleopatra,” ii, 6.


         _York._ Things past redress are now with me past care.
                                         “Richard II.,” ii, 3.

          _Lady Macbeth._ Things without remedy,
          Should be without regard.        “Macbeth,” iii, 2.

                     _Allusion to an Old Proverb._

_Gonzago._ I have great comfort from this fellow; methinks he hath no
drowning mark upon him. If he be not born to be hanged, our case is

                                                        “Tempest,” i, 1.

        _Proteus._ Go, go, begone, to save your ship from wreck,
        Which cannot perish having thee on board,
        Being destin’d to a drier death on shore.
                          “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” i, 1.


        _Angelo._ When I would pray and think, I think and pray
        To several subjects; heaven hath my empty words,
        While my invention, hearing not my tongue,
        Anchors on Isabel.      “Measure for Measure,” ii, 4.

         _Claudius._ My words fly up, my thoughts remain below;
         Words, without thoughts, never to heaven go.
                                           “Hamlet,” iii, 4.

                             _Early Hours._

_Sir Toby Belch._ To be up after midnight, and to go to bed then, is
early; so that to go to bed after midnight, is to go to bed betimes.

                                                    “Twelfth Night,” ii.

          _Capulet._ Light to my chamber, ho!
          ‘For me, it is so very late, that we
          May call it early by and by.
                                  “Romeo and Juliet,” iii, 4.


           _Leonato._ ’Tis all men’s office to speak patience
           To those that wring under the load of sorrow;
           But no man’s virtue, nor sufficiency,
           To be so moral, when he shall endure
           The like himself.
                             “Much Ado about Nothing,” v, 1.

_Benedick._ Every one can master a grief but he that has it.

                                                        _Ibid._, iii, 2.

                           _Posthumous Fame._

_Benedick._ If a man do not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies,
he shall live no longer in memory than the bell rings and the widow

                                         “Much Ado about Nothing,” v, 3.

_Hamlet._ There’s hope a great man’s memory may outlive his life half a
year, but, by’r lady, he must build churches then, or else he shall
suffer not thinking on.

                                                       “Hamlet,” iii, 2.


         _Isabel._ Not the king’s crown, nor the deputed sword,
         The marshal’s truncheon, nor the judge’s robe,
         Become them with one half so good a grace
         As mercy does.      “Measure for Measure,” ii, 2.

         _Portia._ The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
         It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
         Upon the place beneath—It becomes
         The throned monarch better than his crown.
                               “Merchant of Venice,” i, 1.


            _Duke._ By mine honesty,
            If she be mad (as I believe no other),
            Her madness hath the oddest frame of sense,
            That e’er I heard in madness.
                                “Measure for Measure,” v, 1.

           _Edgar._ O, matter and impertinency mix’d!
           Reason is madness!                  “Lear,” iv, 6.

_Polonius._ Though this be madness, yet there’s method in it.

                                                        “Hamlet,” ii, 2.

                           _The King’s Name._

_King Richard._ Is not the king’s name forty thousand names? Arm, arm,
my name.

                                                  “Richard II.,” iii, 2.

_King Richard._ Besides, the king’s name is a tower of strength, which
they upon the adverse faction want.

                                                   “Richard III.,” v, 3.

                         _Object of Imitation._

       _Ophelia._ O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown,
       The courtier’s, scholar’s, soldier’s, eye, tongue, sword,
       The expectancy and rose of the fair state,
       The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
       Th’ observed of all observers.      “Hamlet,” iii, 1.

          _Lady Percy._——He was indeed the glass
          Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves.
          ——In speech, in gait.
          In diet, in affections of delight,
          He was the mark and glass, copy and book,
              That fashion’d others.    “2d Henry IV.”, ii, 3.


           _Gloster._ Was ever woman in this humor woo’d?
           Was ever woman in this humor won?
                                       “Richard III.,” i, 2.

         _Suffolk._ She’s beautiful, and therefore to be woo’d,
         She is a woman, therefore may be won.
                                       “1st Henry VI.”, v, 3.

          _Demetrius._ She is a woman, therefore may be woo’d,
          She is a woman, therefore may be won.
                                    “Titus Andronicus,” ii, 1.

                    “_Bad Epitaph and Ill Report._”

        _Anthony._ The evil that men do lives after them;
        The good is often interred with their bones.
                                        “Julius Cæsar,” iii, 2.

      _Griffith._ Men’s evil manners live in brass; their virtues
      We write in water.          “Henry VIII.,” iv, 2.

                      _Remembrance of Past Feats._

           _Othello._——I have seen the day,
           That, with this little arm, and this good sword
           I’ve made my way through more impediments
           Than twenty times your stop.      “Othello,” v, 2.

      _Lear._ I have seen the day, with my good biting faulchion,
      I would have made them skip.      “Lear,” v, 2.

                          _Perverted Reason._

         _Hamlet._ Frost itself as actively doth burn,
         And reason panders will.            “Hamlet,” iii, 4.

          ——O, strange excuse!
          When reason is the bawd to lust’s abuse.
                                          “Venus and Adonis.”


  _Duchess of York._ Oh, that deceit should steal such gentle shapes,
  And with a virtuous visor hide deep vice.
                                “Richard III,” ii, 2.

         _Juliet._ Was ever book, containing such vile matter,
         So fairly bound? Oh, that deceit should dwell
         In such a gorgeous palace.
                                   “Romeo and Juliet,” iii, 2.

                        _Thereby Hangs a Tale._

In “Othello,” act iii, scene 1:

_Clown._—O, thereby hangs a tail.

_First Musician._—Whereby hangs a tale, sir?

In “Merry Wives of Windsor,” act i, scene 4, _Mrs. Quickly_ remarks:

Well, thereby hangs a tale; good faith, it is such another Nan.

In “As You Like It,” act ii, scene 7, in the middle of _Jaques’s_ first

             And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe.
             And then, from hour to hour, we ripe and rot.
             And thereby hangs a tale.

And in the “Taming of the Shrew,” act iv, scene 1:

_Grumio._ First, know, my horse is tired; my master and mistress have
fallen out.

_Curtis._ How?

_Grumio._ Out of their saddles into the dirt. And thereby hangs a tale.

                    DUO CHE INSIEME VANNO.—_Dante._

In that collection of pleasant stories entitled “Count Lucanor,” whose
composition enlivened the chivalric leisure of the Prince Don Juan
Manuel, perhaps the pleasantest and certainly the quaintest, is that
which tells how Don Alvar Fañez won his wife and how implicitly she
obeyed him. The most noticeable feature in it, however, is the curious
resemblance it bears to a scene in “The Taming of the Shrew,” as the
reader will see from the following passages:

“Alvar Fañez was a very good man, and was much honored. He colonized the
village of Ysca, where he resided, together with Count Pero Anzurez, who
had with him three daughters.

One day Don Alvar Fañez paid an unexpected visit to the Count, who,
nevertheless, expressed himself much gratified, and, after they had
dined together, desired to be informed the cause of his unexpected
visit. Don Alvar Fañez replied that he came to demand one of his
daughters in marriage, and requested permission to see the three ladies,
that he might speak to each of them separately, when he would select the
one he should desire in marriage. Now the Count, _feeling that God would
bless that proposition, agreed to it_.

Thereupon Don Alvar presents his case to the eldest daughter, premising
that he is old, enfeebled by wounds, and with a bad habit of getting
drunk and kicking up an awful row, which, however, he very sincerely
regrets when he gets sober. The young lady, not greatly dazzled by this
alluring prospect, refers him to her pa, to whom in the meantime she
imparts with much fervor her resolution rather to die than marry the
good Don. The same result occurs with the second daughter; when
Vascuñana, the youngest of course, “_thanking God very much that Don
Alvar Fañez desired to marry her_,” accepts him. Then Don Alvar in turn
“thanks GOD very much that he had found a woman with such an
understanding,” and after this mutual thanksgiving they get married and
live happily, Vascuñana, as a good wife should, thoroughly believing in
her husband, and letting him have his own way always. In this state of
affairs, it happened one day when Don Alvar Fañez was at home, there
came to visit him a nephew of his who was attached to the king’s
household. After he had been in the house some days, he said to Don
Alvar Fañez, “You are a good and accomplished man, but there is one
fault I find with you.” His uncle desired to know what it was. To which
the nephew replied, “It may be but a small fault, but it is this, you
study your wife too much, and make her too great a mistress of you and
your affairs.”

“As to that,” Don Alvar Fañez replied, “I will give you an answer in a
few days.”

After this, Don Alvar Fañez made a journey on horseback to a distant
part of the country, taking with him his nephew, where he remained some
time, and then sent for his wife, Vascuñana, to meet him on the road as
he returned. When they had journeyed some time without conversing, Don
Alvar Fañez being in advance, they chanced to meet a large drove of
cows, when Don Alvar said to his nephew, “_See what famous mares we have
in this country_.”

The nephew, on hearing this, was surprised, and thought he said it in
jest, and asked him how he could say so when they were but cows. At this
his uncle feigned to be quite astonished, saying, “You are mistaken or
have lost your wits, for they certainly are mares.” The nephew, seeing
his uncle persist in what he had said, and that, too, with so much
energy, became alarmed, and thought his uncle had lost his
understanding. The dispute, however, continued in this manner until they
met Doña Vascuñana, who was now seen on the road approaching them. No
sooner did Don Alvar Fañez perceive his wife than he said to his nephew,
“Here is my wife, Vascuñana, who will be able to settle our dispute.”

The nephew was glad of this opportunity, and no sooner did she meet them
than he said, “Aunt, my uncle and I have a dispute. He says that those
cows are mares; I say that they are cows. And we have so long contended
this point, that he considers me as mad, while I think he is but little
better. So we beg you will settle our dispute.”

Now, when Doña Vascuñana heard this, although they appeared to her to be
cows, yet, as her husband had said to the contrary, and she knew that no
one was better able than he to distinguish one from the other, and that
he never erred, she, trusting entirely to his judgment, declared they
were, beyond all doubt, mares, and not cows. “It grieves me much,
nephew,” continued Vascuñana, “to hear you contest the point; and God
knows, it is a great pity you have not better judgment, with all the
advantages you have had in living in the king’s household, where you
have been so long, than not to be able to distinguish mares from cows.”
She then began to show how, both in their color and form, and in many
other points, _they were mares and not cows; and that what Don Alvar
said was true_. And so strongly did she affirm this that not only her
nephew, but those who were with them, began to think they were
themselves mistaken, until Don Alvar explains the reason and the nephew
quaintly declares “himself much pleased” and acknowledges “that Don
Alvar was not too considerate or loving.”

After this, Don Alvar Fañez and his nephew proceeded. They had not,
however, journeyed long before they saw coming towards them a large
drove of mares.

“Now, these,” said Don Alvar Fañez, “_are cows, but those we have seen,
which you call cows, were not so_.”

When the nephew heard this, he exclaimed, “Uncle, for God’s sake! if
what you say be true, the devil has brought me to this country; for
certainly, if these are cows, then I have lost my senses, for in all
parts of the world these are mares and not cows.” But Don Alvar
persisted that he was right in saying they were cows and not mares. And
thus they argued until Vascuñana came up to them, when they related to
her all that had passed between them.

Now, although she thought her nephew right, yet, for the same reason as
before, she said so much in support of her husband, and that, too, with
such apparent truth and inward conviction, that the nephew and those
with the mares began to think that their sight and judgment erred and
that what Don Alvar had said was true; and so the debate ended.

Again Don Alvar and his nephew proceeded on their road homeward, and had
proceeded at a considerable distance when they arrived at a river, on
the banks of which were a number of mills. While their horses were
drinking, Don Alvar remarked that _river ran in the direction from which
it flowed_, and that the mills received their water from a contrary
point. When the nephew heard this he thought to a certainty he himself
had lost his senses, for, as he appeared to be wrong with respect to the
mares and cows, so might he be in error here also, and the river might
really run toward and not from its source. Nevertheless, he contended
the point. When Vascuñana, on her arrival, found them again warmly
disputing, she begged to know the cause. They then informed her; when,
although, as before, it appeared to her that the nephew was right, yet
she could not be persuaded that her husband was wrong, _and so again
supported his opinion_; and this time with so many good arguments, that
the nephew and those present felt that they must have been in error. And
it remains a proverb to this day that, “If the husband affirms that the
river runs up to its source, the good wife ought to believe it and say
that it is true.”

Now, when the nephew heard all this, supposing that Don Alvar Fañez must
be right, he began to feel very unhappy and to suspect that he was
losing his senses, etc., etc.

Compare with this story “The Taming of the Shrew,” act iv., scene 5, _A
Public Road_.

            Enter _Petruchio_, _Katharine_, and _Hortensio_.

     _Pet._ Come on, o’ God’s name; once more toward our father’s.
     Good Lord, how bright and goodly shines the moon!

     _Kath._ The moon! the sun; it is not moonlight now.

     _Pet._ I say it is the moon that shines so bright.

     _Kath._ I know it is the sun that shines so bright.

     _Pet._ No, by my mother’s son, and that’s myself,
     It shall be moon, or star, or what I list,
     Or ere I journey to your father’s house:...

     _Hor._ Say as he says or we shall never go.

     _Kath._ Forward, I pray, since we have come so far,
     And be it moon, or sun, or what you please;
     And if you please to call it a rush candle,
     Henceforth, I vow it shall be so to me.

     _Pet._ I say, it is the moon.

     _Kath._ I know it is the moon.

     _Pet._ Nay, then you lie; it is the blessed sun.

     _Kath._ Then God be bless’d, it is the blessed sun.
     But sun it is not, when you say it is not;
     And the moon changes even as your mind.
     What you will have it named, even that it is;
     And so it shall be so, for Katharine.

Enter _Vincentio_, in a travelling dress

   _Pet._ (to _Vincentio_). Good morrow, gentle mistress; where away?
   Tell me, sweet Kate, and tell me truly too,
   Hast thou beheld a fresher gentlewoman?...
   Fair lovely maid, once more good day to thee;
   Sweet Kate, embrace her for her beauty’s sake.

   _Hor._ ‘A will make the man mad, to make a woman of him.

   _Kath._ Young budding virgin, fair and fresh, and sweet,
   Whither away; or where is thy abode?
   Happy the parents of so fair a child;
   Happier the man, whom favorable stars
   Allot thee for his lovely bedfellow!

   _Pet._ Why, how now, Kate? I hope thou art not mad:
   This is a man, old, wrinkled, faded, wither’d;
   and not a maiden as thou say’st he is.

   _Kath._ Pardon, old father, my mistaking eyes,
   That have been so bedazzled by the sun,
   That everything I look on seemeth green;
   Now, I perceive, thou art a reverend father....

The resemblance between the English dramatist and the Spanish
story-teller is certainly odd, the more so because there is hardly any
possibility that either was indebted to the other. Shakespeare’s play
was first printed in 1664, and founded on an older play at that, “The
Taming of ‘a’ Shrew,” while El “Conde Lucanor,” written in the
fourteenth century, was not published till near the close of the
sixteenth, in the folio of Seville, 1575. Both writers seem to have
drawn their materials from a common stock. Indeed, the story in one form
or other was probably in vogue through all the languages of Europe.

                     THE WIT OF THE EPIGRAMMATISTS


The waggish collegians at Oxford aimed their pleasantries right and left
at the dons of Balliol. A well-remembered hit at Dr. Jowett was:

                My name it is Benjamin Jowett,
                  I’m Master of Balliol College;
                Whatever is knowledge I know it,
                  And what I don’t know isn’t knowledge.


Another, aimed at Dr. “Whewell, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge,

         Should a man through all space to far galaxies travel,
         And all nebulous films the remotest unravel,
         He will find, if he venture to fathom infinity,
         The great work of God is the Master of Trinity.

                           _The Four Georges_

The well known epigram on the Four Georges, the new Georgic, as
Thackeray facetiously called it, commonly commenced with the lines:

                  “George the First was reckoned vile,
                    Viler George the Second,” etc.

But, as originally written by Walter Savage Landor, after hearing
Thackeray’s lectures on the Georges, the epigram was in the following

              I sing the Georges Four,
              For Providence could stand no more.
              Some say that far the worst
              Of all the Four was George the First.
              But yet by some ’tis reckoned
              That worser still was George the Second.
              And what mortal ever heard
              Any good of George the Third?
              When George the Fourth from earth descended,
              Thank God the line of Georges ended.

                              _The Ladies_

The author of this epigram on Women prudently remains in concealment:

  Oh, the gladness of their gladness when they’re glad,
  And the sadness of their sadness when they’re sad;
  But the gladness of their gladness and the sadness of their sadness,
  Are as nothing to their badness when they’re bad.

This has been capped by a later rhymester, as follows:

 Oh, the shrewdness of their shrewdness when they’re shrewd,
 And the rudeness of their rudeness when they’re rude;
 But the shrewdness of their shrewdness and the rudeness of their
 Are as nothing to their goodness when they’re good.


Written on a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, named Sheepshanks, who
had spelt the Satires of Juvenal as Satyrs:

           The Satyrs of old were Satyrs of note,
           With the head of a man and the feet of a goat;
           But the Satyrs of this day all Satyrs surpass,
           With the shanks of a sheep and the head of an ass.

                           _Gay With One Leg_

The Marquis of Anglesey, who lost a leg at the battle of Waterloo in
1815, survived with an artificial substitute until 1854. Some amusing
lines were written on his loss, which apparently did not affect him very
much physically:

                   He now in England, just as gay
                     As in the battle brave,
                   Goes to the ball, review, or play,
                     With one foot in the grave.

                        “_Never Cut Themselves_”

        Two lawyers, when a knotty case was o’er
        Shook hands, and were as good friends as before.
        “Say,” cries the losing client, “how came you
        Two be such friends who were such foes just now?”
        “Thou fool,” one answers, “lawyers, though so keen,
        Like shears, ne’er cut themselves, but what’s between.”

                           _Jenner’s Quacks_

Jenner was much given to versification. On one occasion he sent a brace
of ducks, with the following lines, to Lady Morgan:

        I’ve despatched, my dear madame, this scrap of a letter
        To say that Miss Charlotte is very much better
        A regular doctor no longer she lacks,
        And therefore I’ve sent her a couple of quacks.

Lady Morgan’s reply:

        Yes ’twas politic truly, my very good friend,
        Thus a couple of quacks your patient to send,
        Since there’s nothing so likely as quacks, it is plain,
        To make work for a regular doctor again.

                             _Loud Snoring_

Sir Archibald Geikie, in his recently published “Scottish
Reminiscences,” says that when he came to write down the many good
stories and personal anecdotes which he had received by word of mouth he
was surprised to find there was hardly a single one of them that had not
already appeared in print. For example, the Scottish story about the man
who snored so loud in church that “he waukened us a’,” he discovered in
an epigram of the Restoration, about a sermon by South:

                The doctor stopped, began to call:
                “Pray wake the Earl of Lauderdale!
                My lord, why, ’tis a monstrous thing,
                You snore so loud—you’ll wake the King.”

                        _Bacon and Shakespeare_

          Shakespeare! whoever thou mayst prove to be,
          God save the Bacon that men find in thee!
          If that philosopher, though bright and wise,
          Those lofty labors did in truth devise
          Then it must follow, as the night the day,
          That “Hamlet,” “Lear,” “Macbeth” and each great play
          That certifies nobility of mind,
          Was written by the “meanest of mankind.”


Froude in 1869, as Lord Rector of St. Andrew’s University, delivered an
address on the demoralizing effect of the Church on history. Soon after
Charles Kingsley, his brother-in-law, resigned the professorship of
history at Cambridge, saying that no honest man could teach history any
more. Thereupon these lines appeared, which are ascribed to Stubs, the
Bishop of Oxford:

                While Froude assures the Scottish youth
                That parsons do not care for truth,
                The Reverend Canon Kingsley cries
                “All history’s a pack of lies!”

                What cause for judgment so malign?
                A little thought may solve the mystery;
                For Froude thinks Kingsley’s a divine,
                And Kingsley goes to Froude for history.


Suggested by the oratorical exploits of a lawyer in court who has a
fluency of tongue without a counterpoise of brain, and, as a
consequence, uttered more than he knew or the court could understand.
Some one who listened to his ambitious eloquence in behalf of his client
and witnessed the nervous gymnastics with which he scratched his back as
he proceeded, wrote as follows:

        When Nature formed Simpkins she called for her shears,
        “We must shorten this fellow,” she said, “in the ears.”
        But added at last: “We will let the ears pass;
        What is long for a man is just right for an ass.”

                        _Concerning Welsh Poets_

             ’Tis said, O Cambria, thou hast tried in vain
             To form great poets; and the cause is plain.
             Ap-Jones, Ap-Jenkins, and Ap-Evans sound
             Among thy sons, but no Ap-ollo’s found.

                            _Bulwer Lytton_

W. S. Landor’s depreciation of the “Last Days of Pompeii,” written in

                If aught so damping and so dull were
                As these “last days”, of Dandy Bulwer,
                And had been cast upon the pluvious
                Rockets that issued from Vesuvius,
                They would no more have reached Pompeii
                Than Rome or Tusculum or Veii.

                            _Hic, Hæc, Hoc_

          When the two Roman brothers were young
            And at even’ were wont to recline
          At a supper of nightingale tongue,
            Washed down by Falernian wine,
          Either one would have probably laughed himself sick
          At the idea that “Hoc” ever came before “Hic.”


Frederika Bremer’s only attempt at poetry in English was written at
Niagara, September 11, 1850. The Swedish novelist was there with James
Russell Lowell and his wife. It was presented to Mr. Lowell with a gold
pen. Here it is:

                   A gold pen is a little thing,
                     But in thy poet hand
                   It can take life—it can take wing—
                     Become a magic wand,
                   More powerful, more wonderful
                     Than alchemy of old;
                   It can make minds all beautiful—
                     Change all things into gold.

                               _A Crier_

                 A famous judge came late to court
                   One day in busy season;
                 Whereat his clerk, in great surprise,
                   Inquired of him the reason,
                 “A child was born,” his Honor said,
                 “And I’m the happy sire.”
                 “An infant judge?” “Oh, no,” said he,
                 “As yet he’s but a crier.”

                            _A Double Prize_

Sydney Smith sent to Mrs. John Murray (wife of the publisher) the
following epigram on Professor Airy, of Cambridge, the great astronomer
and mathematician, and his beautiful wife:

             Airy alone has gained that double prize
               Which forced musicians to divide the crown;
             His works have raised a mortal to the skies,
               His marriage vows have drawn an angel down.

                            _War and Peace_

              Murder, I hate, by field or flood,
                Though glory’s name may screen us;
              In wars at home I’ll spend my blood,
                Life-giving wars of Venus.

              The deities that I adore
                Are social peace and plenty;
              I’m better pleased to make one more,
                Than be the death of twenty.        BURNS.

                            _Not Conclusive_

Dr. Donne’s punning epigram, remarks Leigh Hunt, is false in its

              “I am unable,” yonder beggar cries,
              “To stand or go.” If he says true, he lies.

No, because he may lean, or be held up.

                         _Appropriate Petition_

The following verses were written upon the occasion of the conference of
knighthood upon Sir Fielding Ould, the second master of the Dublin
Lying-in Hospital:

                 Sir Fielding Ould is made a knight,
                 He should have been a Lord by right;
                 For then each lady’s prayers would be—
                 “O Lord, good Lord, deliver me.”


A clergyman with a cough preached recently to an irritated congregation
at St. Patrick’s, Dublin. The next morning’s post brought him the
following communication:

                 ’Tis passing strange when we reflect,
                   And seems to beat creation,
                 That when “oration” we expect
                   We get “expect-oration.”

                           _Keenness of Edge_

          As in smooth oil the razor best is whet,
          So wit is by politeness sharpest set;
          Their want of edge from their offence is seen,
          Both pain the heart when exquisitely keen.    YOUNG.

                        _Revenons à Nos Moutons_

              About three sheep, that late I lost,
                I had a lawsuit with my neighbor;
              And Glibtongue, of our bar the boast,
                Pleaded my case with zeal and labor.
              He took two minutes first to state
              The question that was in debate;
              Then show’d, by learn’d and long quotations,
              The Law of Nature and of Nations;
              What Tully said, and what Justinian,
              And what was Puffendorff’s opinion.
              Glibtongue! let those old authors sleep,
              And come back to our missing sheep!

                        _The Division of Labor_

             A parson, of too free a life,
               Was yet renown’d for noble preaching,
             And many grieved to see such strife
               Between his living and his teaching.
             His flock at last rebellious grew:
               “My friends,” he said, “the simple fact is,
             Nor you nor I can _both_ things do;
               But I can preach—and you can practise.”

                              _A Contrast_

              “Tell me,” said Laura, “what may be
              The difference ’twixt a Clock and me.”
                “Laura,” I cried, “Love prompts my powers
                To do the task you’ve set them:
              A clock reminds us of the hours;
                You cause us to forget them.”

                        _Lis et Victoria Mutua_

       Upon opposite sides of the Popery question
       (The story’s a fact, though it’s hard of digestion),
       Two Reynoldses argued, the one with the other,
       Till each by his reasons converted his brother,
       With a contest like this did you e’er before meet,
       Where the vanquish’d were victors, the winners were beat!

                 _The World, the Flesh, and the Devil_

        My first was a lady whose dominant passion
        Was thorough devotion to parties and fashion;
        My second, regardless of conjugal duty,
        Was only the worse for her wonderful beauty;
        My third was a vixen in temper and life,
        Without one essential to make a good wife;
        _Jubilate!_ at last in my freedom I revel,
        For I’m clear of the world, and the flesh and the devil.

                     _Horse-Breaker and Gray Mare_

In a discussion upon refractory rhyming in the London _Athenæum_, it was
contended that there is no word that will rhyme with _step_. This _ex
cathedra_ decision evoked the following lines:

               Aurelia, prettiest of horse-breakers,
               Caught Nobleigh, lord of many acres.
               But this time, so it came to pass,
               Instead of horse, she tamed an ass.
               None of his friends will e’er dispute it;
               For he, while struggling to refute it,
               Was blindly led on, step by step,
               To marry the fair demi-rep.
               And seeking but a final Rarey,
               He got a wife somewhat gray-mare-y.


The following lines were written under a picture of Mount Vernon by an
English minister, Rev. William Jay, many years ago:

           There dwelt the man, the flower of human kind,
           Whose visage mild bespeaks his nobler mind.
           There dwelt the soldier, who his sword ne’er drew
           But in a righteous cause—to freedom true.
           There dwelt the Hero, who, devoid of art,
           Gave sagest counsels from an upright heart.
           And O! Columbia! by thy sons caressed,
           There dwells the Father of the realm he blessed.
           Who no wish felt to make his mighty praise
           Like other chiefs, the means himself to raise;
           But there retiring, breathed a pure renown,
           And felt a grandeur that disdain’d a crown!

                            _On Mackintosh_

             Though thou art like Judas, an apostate black,
             In the resemblance one thing thou dost lack;
             When he had gotten his ill-purchased pelf,
             He went away and wisely hanged himself:
             This thou may do at last, yet much I doubt
             If thou hast any bowels to gush out!

This castigation, by Charles Lamb, of the author of “Vindiciæ Gallicæ,”
followed his acceptance of an office which gave great offence to his
friends, while his enemies branded him as a traitor to his principles.
Mackintosh asked Dr. Parr how Quigley (an Irish priest who had been
executed for high treason) could have been worse. Parr replied, “I’ll
tell you, Jemmy; Quigley was an Irishman—he might have been a Scotchman;
he was a priest—he might have been a lawyer; he was a traitor—he might
have been an apostate.”

                            _Ended in Smoke_

       A maid unto her lover sternly said:
       “Forego the Indian weed before we wed,
       For smoke take flame; I’ll be that flame’s bright fanner;
       To have your Anna, give up your Havana.”
       The wretch, when thus she brought him to the scratch,
       Lit the cigar and threw away the match.


Upon the fly-leaf of an old book of sermons, an irreverent wag penned
the following comment:

               If there should be another flood,
                 For refuge hither fly;
               Though all the world should be submerged,
                 This book would still be dry.

                         _Debtor and Creditor_

Many years ago a New England trader wrote this note to a dilatory

               To avoid all proceedings unpleasant
                 I beg you will pay what is due;
               If you do you’ll oblige _me_ at present,—
                 If you don’t, then I’ll oblige _you_.

                    _Why no Last Will and Testament_

        B. dying intestate, relations made claim,
        While the widow was loud with complaint and with blame.
        But why blame him, said one, for ’tis very well known,
        Since his marriage, poor man, he’d no will of his own.

                      _From the Dutch of Huijgens_

                 When Peter condescends to write,
                 His verse deserves to see the _light_.
                 If any further you inquire,
                 I mean—the candle or the fire.

                        _Three Sportive Fishers_

Froude once asked Charles Kingsley to come to him in Ireland, where
there was better fishing than in Snowdon, North Wales, the region which
Kingsley and Hughes had been thinking of visiting for sport. Kingsley
sent Froude’s letter to Hughes with a postscript, of which this is a

             Oh, Mr. Froude, how wise and good,
               To point us out this way to glory—
             They’re no great shakes, those Snowdon lakes,
               And all their pounders’ myth and story.
       Blow Snowdon! what’s Lake Gwynant to Killarney,
       Or spluttering Welsh to tender blarney, blarney, blarney?

             So Thomas Hughes, sir, if you choose,
               I’ll tell you where we think of going;
             To ‘swate and far o’er cliff and scar,
               Hear horns of Elfland faintly blowing;
       Blow Snowdon! there’s a hundred lakes to try in,
       And fresh-caught salmon daily, frying, frying, frying.


        That ghosts now and then on this globe would appear,
        Dick denied with his tongue, but confessed by his fear:
        And passing a church-yard in darkness, with fright,
        He met and thus questioned a guardian of night:
        “Did you ever see ghosts in your watchings, please say.
        You are here at all hours—do they get in your way?”
        “Oh, no,” said the watchman, “and good reason why,
        Men never come back to this earth when they die;
        If to heaven they go, there is surely no blame
          That they do not return to vexations that fret them;
        And if to that place it’s uncivil to name,
          I fancy, your honor, the devil won’t let them.”

                        _A Gamester’s Marriage_

                “I’m very much surprised,” said Harry,
                “That Jane should such a gambler marry.”
                “But why surprised?” her sister says,
                “You know he has such winning ways.”

                          _Changed Conditions_

            When Jack was poor, the lad was frank and free,
              Of late he’s grown brimful of pride and pelf;
            No wonder that he has forgotten me,
              Since, it is plain, he has forgot himself.

                    _Distinction With a Difference_

                To this night’s masquerade, quoth Dick,
                  By pleasure I am beckoned,
                And think ’twould be a pleasant trick
                  To go as Charles the Second.

                Tom felt for repartee a thirst,
                  And thus to Richard said,
                You’d better go as Charles the First,
                  For that requires no head.

                        _Better Late Than Never_

              “Come, wife,” said Will, “I pray you devote
              Just half a minute to mend this coat
                Which a nail has chanced to rend.”
              “’Tis 10 o’clock,” said his drowsy mate.
              “I know,” said Will, “it is rather late,
                But it’s never too late to mend.”

                             _None Missing_

           “Oh, husband!” said Mrs. Ophelia McMunn,
           As she gazed at her wilful and passionate son,
           “Where that boy got his temper I never could see;
           I’m certain he never could take it from me.”
           “No doubt, my dear wife, your assertion is true—
           I never have missed any temper from you.”

                              _Four Kinds_

           The man who knows not that he knows not aught,
             He is a fool; no light shall ever reach him.
           Who knows he knows not, and would fain be taught,
             He is but simple; take thou him and teach him.
           But whoso knowing, knows not that he knows,
             He is asleep; go thou to him and wake him.
           The truly wise both knows, and knows he knows;
             Cleave thou to him, and never more forsake him.

               _To the Pretty Girl Who Lent Me a Candle_

           You gave me a candle, I give you my thanks,
             And add as a compliment justly your due,
           There isn’t a girl in the feminine ranks,
             Who could—if she would—hold a candle to you.

                  _On “Quodcunque Infundis Ascescit”_

        Nota bene—an Essay is printed to show
          That Horace as clearly as words can express it
        Was for taxing the fundholders ages ago
          When he wrote thus, “Quodcunque _in fund is_—acescit.”
                      MOORE, “Literary Advertisements.”

                         _Two Watering Places_

               “Saratoga and Newport, you’ve seen them,”
                 Said Charley one morning to Joe;
               “Pray tell me the difference between them,
                 For bother my wig if I know.”
               Quoth Joe, “’Tis the easiest matter
                 At once to distinguish the two;
               At the one you go into the water,
                 At the other it goes into you.”

                            _Glen Urquhart_

In the visitors’ book at Drumnadrochit Inn, Glen Urquhart, John Bright
left the following lines:

             In Highland glens ’tis far too much observed
             That man is chased away, and game preserved:
             Glen Urquhart is to me a lovelier glen—
             Here deer and grouse have not supplanted men.

                           _A Friend in Need_

                 The baker and his customer
                   A kindred nature show;
                 The latter needs the “staff of life,”
                   The former _kneads_ the dough!


An empty-headed youth having caught a young lady off her guard on the
first of April, she retorted in the following lines:

                 I pardon, sir, the trick you played me
                 When an April fool you made me,
                 Since only one day I appear
                 To be what you are all the year.

                         _Not Distinguishable_

         At a rubber of whist an Englishman grave
         Said he couldn’t distinguish a _king_ from a _knave_,
           His eyes were so dim and benighted;
         A Yankee observed that he needn’t complain,
         For the thing has been often attempted in vain
           By eyes that were very clear-sighted.

                            _A Bar Sinister_

           As Harry one day was abusing the sex,
           As things that in courtship but studied to vex,
             And in marriage but sought to enthrall;
           “Never mind him,” says Kate, “’tis a family whim;
           His father agreed so exactly with him
             That he never would marry at all.”


            “What is a communist? One who hath yearnings
            For equal division of unequal earnings;
            Idler or bungler, or both, he is willing
            To fork out his penny, and pocket your shilling.

                             _The Busy Bee_

           The question old, “How doth the busy bee
             Improve each shining hour?” we’ll hear no more;
           A naturalist has just announced that she
             Works three hours only out of twenty-four.

                           _The Winning Team_

           Time was, they say, when merit won the bays,
             But in these times no man by merit rises;
           Alas! we’ve fallen on degenerate days,
             For gas and brass now capture all life’s prizes.


David Garrick, while performing in Sheffield, and observing that the
cellar of a Quaker meeting-house was leased to a wine merchant, wrote
the following:

              There’s a spirit above, and a spirit below;
              A spirit of peace, and a spirit of woe,
              The spirit above is the spirit of love,
              The spirit below is the spirit of woe;
              The spirit above is the spirit divine,
              The spirit below is the spirit of wine.


                         _Archbishop Whately’s_

                 When from the Ark’s capacious round,
                   The world came forth in pairs,
                 Who was it that first heard the sound
                   Of boots upon the stairs?

                         _Charles James Fox’s_

        What is pretty and useful in various ways,
        Tho’ it tempts some poor mortals to shorten their days;
        Take one letter from it and there will appear
        What youngsters admire every day in the year;
        Take two letters from it, and then, without doubt,
        You are what that is, if you don’t find it out.


          I sit on a rock whilst I’m raising the wind,
          But the storm once abated, I’m gentle and kind;
          I have kings at my feet who await but my nod
          To kneel in the dust of the ground I have trod.
          Though seen to the world, I’m known to but few;
          The Gentile detests me, I’m pork to the Jew;
          I never have passed but one night in the dark,
          And that was with Noah alone in the ark;
          My weight is three pounds, my length is a mile;
          And when I’m discovered you’ll say with a smile,
          That my last and my first are the best of our Isle.

                           _Lord Macaulay’s_

           Cut off my head, and singular I am;
           Cut off my tail, and plural I appear;
           Cut off my head and tail, and, wondrous feat!
           Although my middle’s left, there’s nothing there.
           What is my head, cut off?—a sounding sea;
           What is my tail, cut off?—a rushing river;
           And in their mighty depths I fearless play,
           Parent of sweetest sounds, yet mute forever.

                        _Dr. S. Weir Mitchell’s_

             A simple go-between am I,
               Without a thought of pride;
             I part the gathered thoughts of men,
               And liberally divide.
             I set the soul of Shakespeare free,
             To Milton’s thoughts give liberty,
             Bid Sidney speak with freer speech,
             Let Spenser sing and Taylor preach.
             Though through all learning swift I glide,
             No wisdom doth with me abide.—A paper cutter.

                            _Miss Seward’s_

           The noblest object in the works of art.
           The brightest scene that nature doth impart.
           The well known signal in the time of peace.
           The point essential in the tenant’s lease.
           The ploughman’s comfort while he holds the plough.
           The soldier’s duty and the lover’s vow.
           The prize that merit never yet has won.
           The planet seen between the earth and sun.
           The miser’s idol and the badge of Jews.
           The wife’s ambition and the parson’s dues.
           Now if your nobler spirit can divine
           A corresponding word for every line,
           By the first letters clearly will be shown
           An ancient city of no small renown.

                          _Palindromic Enigma_

      First find out a word that doth silence proclaim,   }
      And that backwards and forwards is always the same; } Mum.

      Then next you must find a feminine name,            }
      That backwards and forwards is always the same;     } Anna.

      An act or a writing on parchment whose name         }
      Both backwards and forwards is always the same;     } Deed.

      A fruit that is rare whose botanical name           }
      Read backwards and forwards is always the same;     } Anana.

      A note used in music which time doth proclaim,      }
      And backwards and forwards is always the same;      } Minim.

      Their initials connected a title will frame         }
      That is justly the due of the fair married dame,    } MADAM.
      Which backwards and forwards is always the same.    }

                           _A Fugitive Sigh_

         It came, though I fetched it; when come, it was gone;
         It stayed but a moment—it could not stay long;
         I ask not who saw it—it could not be seen;
         And yet might be felt by a king or a queen.

                         _Arithmetical Puzzle_

                 A landed man two daughters had,
                   And both were very fair;
                 He gave to each a piece of land,
                   One round, the other square.
                 At twenty pounds the acre just,
                   Each piece its value had;
                 The shillings which encompassed each,
                   For each exactly paid.
                 If ‘cross a shilling be an inch,
                   As it is very near,
                 Who had the better portion—
                   That had the round, or square?

                      _What Becomes of the Pins?_

A London journal offered a prize of £2 2s. for a reasonable solution of
“What becomes of the pins!” The following reply captured the ducats:

“A surface ten miles square contains 310,000,000 square yards. Assume
this as the area of London. To include the area of floor surface in
houses, it may safely be trebled—say 1,000,000,000 square yards. If
every five square yards contained one stray pin, who would be aware of
it? Here, then, we have in London alone a receptacle for 200,000,000 of
stray pins unperceived by anybody. The answer, therefore, is that
thousands of millions of lost pins can be, and are, scattered about the
land unnoticed. Half of these, being out of doors, are gradually
destroyed by rust; the other half pass out of doors by degrees.”


                My first is followed by a bird,
                  My second’s met by plasters,
                My whole’s more shunned, but less absurd
                  Than prigs or poetasters;
                ’Tis also a symbolic word
                  For architects’ disasters.

             My first, invisible as air,
             Apportions things of earth by line and square,
             The soul of pathos, eloquence, and wit,
             My second shows each passion’s changeful fit.
             My whole, though motionless, declares
             In many ways how everybody fares.

       The Reverend Hildebrand Pusey de Vere,
       Whose living was worth some two thousand a year,
       Was a pattern of parsons—wrote rhythmical flummery
       Far better than Gaber, or Keble, or Gomery;
       His parishioners all might be Brahmins or Hindoos,
       If they’d only subscribe for stained glass in the windows.
       But of all his offences perhaps this was the worst,
       He entered the lectern arrayed in my first.
       His brother, Sir Arthur, a careless M. P.,
       Was a man about town full of frolic and glee.
       His creed was my second—good Hildebrand’s homilies,
       He thought dry and dusty, and full of anomalies;
       Well loved he clear music of foxhound and horn
       When the Autumn sun rose on brown uplands of Quorn.
       He never drank wine of inferior quality,
       And he lived in my whole with a great deal of jollity.
                                     MORTIMER COLLINS.

                      _Richard Porson’s Charades_

     My first is expressive of no disrespect,
       Yet I never shall call you it while you are by;
     If my second you still are resolved to reject,
       As dead as my third I shall speedily lie.

     If nature and fortune had placed me with you
       On my first, we my second might hope to obtain;
     I might marry you, were I my third, it is true,
       But the marriage would only embitter my pain.

           My first is the lot that is destined by fate
           For my second to meet with in every state;
           My third is by many philosophers reckoned
           To bring very often my first to my second.

     My first, from the thief though your house it defends,
       Like a slave, or a cheat, you abuse or despise;
     My second, though brief, yet alas! comprehends
       All the good, all the great, all the learned, all the wise;
     Of my third I have little or nothing to say,
     Except that it marks the departure of day.

           My first, ’tis said, in ghosts abounds,
           And wheresoe’er she walks her rounds,
           My second never fails to go,
           Yet oft attends her mortal foe.
           If with my third you quench your thirst,
           You sink forever in my first.

                         _Genealogical Puzzle_

        A wedding there was, and a dance there must be,
        And who should be first? Thus all did agree—
        First grandsire and grandame should lead the dance down;
        Two fathers, two mothers, should step the same ground.
        Two daughters stood up and danced with their sires
        (The room was so warm they wanted no fires);
        And also two sons who danced with their mothers.
        Two sisters there were who danced with their brothers;
        Two uncles vouchsafed with nieces to dance,
        With nephews to jig it and please their two aunts.
        Three husbands would dance with none but their wives
        (As bent so to do for the rest of their lives).
        The granddaughter chose the jolly grandson;
        And bride—she would dance with bridegroom—or none.
        A company choice! their number to fix,
        I told them all over, and found them but _six_.


                A name the sweetest said or sung
                  In any land, in any tongue;
                Borne by the peasant and the queen;
                  In Holy Writ ’tis often seen.

                A potent cause of love or hate;
                  Umpire of fortune and of fate;
                A dross, a curse, a slave, a toy;
                  All men this tyrant’s yoke enjoy.

                Yet sacred name and gilded snare
                  Together form a flower fair;
                Its glowing blossoms court the sun
                  Till autumn’s bounteous reign is done.

                         _Sir Hilary’s Prayer_

Winthrop Mackworth Praed, who seems to have had a special fondness for
charades, left nearly forty excellent ones in his published works, the
solution of which, in every case but one, is clear and satisfactory. The
exception is “Sir Hilary’s Prayer at Agincourt,” as follows:

                 Sir Hilary charged at Agincourt,
                   Sooth, ’twas an awful day!
                 And though in that old age of sport
                 The rufflers of the camp and court
                   Had little time to pray,
                 ’Tis said Sir Hilary muttered there
                 Two syllables by way of prayer.

                 My first to all the brave and proud
                   Who see to-morrow’s sun;
                 My next with her cold and quiet cloud
                 To those who find their dewy shroud
                   Before to-day’s be done;
                 And both together to all blue eyes
                 That weep when a warrior nobly dies.

When this appeared, several answers followed. That which was usually
accepted was Good Night. Not satisfied with this, an English lady wrote
to the Princess Mele, Praed’s daughter, at Naples, presuming that she
would be able to speak with full knowledge of the subject. In her reply
she said,—“As to my dear father’s charade, Sir Hilary, there is not the
smallest question that the answer is Good Night—an unsatisfactory
answer, as he himself felt, but that that was the word in his mind when
he wrote the charade there cannot be the shadow of a doubt.”

Nevertheless, as the Lord Chancellor said, we doubt. A far better
solution of the prayer is _Aide, Dieu!_ Help, Lord! _Aid_ is needed for
the small band of young men who are to march out to fight at dawn; the
_dew_ (Dieu) will fall in a cold and quiet cloud on the bodies of the
slain; and _Adieu_ (with which Aide-Dieu will, even when spoken with no
inordinate rapidity, be almost identical in sound) is expressive of the
sorrowful parting.

A distinguished Boston clergyman, desiring to inform his mother of an
interesting domestic event, sent her a postal card containing the
following directions:

    “From sweet Isaiah’s sacred song, ninth chapter and verse six,
    First thirteen words please take, and then the following affix;
    From Genesis, the thirty-fifth, verse seventeen, no more,
    Then add verse twenty-six of Kings, book second, chapter four;
    The last two verses, chapter first, first book of Samuel,
    And you will learn, what on that day, your loving son befell.”

                         VOICES FROM GOD’S ACRE

            I like that ancient Saxon phrase with calls
            The burial-ground God’s Acre.        LONGFELLOW.

The following lines are from “A Dirge,” by Rev. George Croly, an English
clergyman and voluminous writer:

                    Earth to earth and dust to dust!
                    Here the evil and the just,
                    Here the youthful and the old,
                    Here the fearful and the bold,
                    Here the matron and the maid
                    In one silent bed are laid;
                    Here the sword and sceptre rust—
                    Earth to earth and dust to dust.

From Plato:

                The sceptred king, the burdened slave,
                The humble and the haughty die;
                The rich, the poor, the base, the brave,
                In dust without distinction lie.

In the last two lines of the “Elegy to the memory of an unfortunate

             A heap of dust alone remains of thee;
             ’Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be,

Pope apparently had in mind the friendly admonition of Horace to
Torquatus (Carm. iv. 7):

                          “Nos ubi decidimus
              Quo pater Æneas, quo dives Tullus et Ancus,
                  Pulvis et umbra sumus.”

Over the grave of Dean Alford in the church-yard of St. Martin’s,
Canterbury, is the following inscription, prepared by his own hand: “The
inn of a traveller, on his way to the New Jerusalem.”

Daniel Webster’s epitaph, written by himself, at Marshfield, is as

                               I believe,
                               Help Thou
                             mine unbelief.
                        Philosophical argument,
                            especially that
                        drawn from the vastness
                      of the universe in compare-
                     son with the apparent insigni-
                    ficance of this globe, has some-
                  times shaken my reason for the faith
                    that is in me; but my heart has
                  assured me that the Gospel of Jesus
                    Christ must be a divine reality.
                      The Sermon on the Mount can
                         not be a merely human
                        production. This belief
                          enters into the very
                            depth of my con-
                              science. The
                               whole his-
                                tory of
                             man proves it.

In Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore, on the monument to the memory of the
great tragedian, Junius Brutus Booth, is the following inscription:

                      Ex vita, ita discedo
                        tamquam ex Hospitio,
                      in furvum regnum
                        inclytissimi Ducis; illinc
                      ire ad Astra.

Which may be translated: Thus I depart from life, as one leaves an inn,
into the dusky realm of a most renowned leader; thence I go beyond the

                        _The Blue and the Gray_

The inscription on the Soldiers’ Monument on the Common, in the City of
Boston, is as follows:

To the men of Boston who died for their country on land and sea in the
War which kept the Union whole, destroyed slavery, and maintained the
Constitution, the grateful city has built this monument that their
example may speak to coming generations.

It is hinted in the Boston newspapers that the inscription from the pen
of President Eliot, of Harvard University, was suggested to him by the
following lines sent to him by Professor James Russell Lowell:

             To men who die for her on land and sea
             That you might have a country great and free,
             Boston rears this. Build you their monument
             In lives like theirs at duty’s summons spent.

The woman’s Confederate monument in Charleston, S. C., bears an
inscription beginning thus:

This monument perpetuates the memory of those who, true to the instincts
of their birth, faithful to the teachings of their fathers, constant in
their love for the State, died in the performance of their duty; who
have glorified a fallen cause by the simple manhood of their lives, the
patient endurance of suffering and the heroism of death, and who in the
dark hours of imprisonment, in the hopelessness of the hospital, in the
short, sharp agony of the field, found support and consolation in the
belief that at home they would not be forgotten.

                             _George Eliot_

The inscription on the granite obelisk which forms George Eliot’s
gravestone, besides recording her pseudonym and real name, with the
dates of birth and death, bears the first lines of her poem, commencing:

         Oh may I join the choir invisible
         Of those immortal dead who live again
         In minds made better by their presence; live
         In pulses stirred to generosity,
         In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
         For miserable aims that end with self,
         In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars,
         And with their mild persistence urge man’s search
         To vaster issues.

At Avignon, France, is the marble sarcophagus of John Stuart Mill and
his wife, on the top of which is the following eulogy:

                             HARRIET MILL,

            The deeply regretted, and dearly beloved wife of
                            John Stuart Mill

Her great and loving heart, her noble soul, her clear, powerful,
original intellect, made her the guide and support, the instructor in
wisdom, and example in goodness, as she was the delight of those who had
the happiness to belong to her. As earnest for the public good as she
was generous, and devoted to all who surrounded her, her influence has
been felt in many of the greatest improvements of the age; and will be
in those still to come. Were there even a few hearts and intellects like
hers, this earth would soon become the hoped-for heaven.


Sir Walter Scott died at Abbotsford, September 21, 1832, aged 61 years,
and was interred in the family burying-ground in Dryburgh Abbey on
September 26, 1832.

        The Great, the Good, the nobly gifted mind,
        To dust its mortal part has now resigned,
        The ethereal spark now wings its flight on high
        To mix with kindred spirits in the sky.
        Fair Scotia mourns, the rich and poor deplore
        That he, the child of genius, is no more!
        Weep, classic Tweed, pour out your floods of woe,
        Your great magician’s dead; a man who never made a foe.

                           _Queen Elizabeth_

Among the complimentary epitaphs which were composed for Queen Elizabeth
was the following, as quoted in Camden’s _Remaines_:

           Weep, greatest Isle, and for thy mistress’ death,
           Swim in a double sea of brackish water:
           Weep, little world, for great Elizabeth;
           Daughter of war, for Mars himself begat her;
           Mother of peace, for she brought forth the latter.
           She was and is, what can there more be said?
           On earth the first, in heaven the second maid.

The great Tudor queen, who was not deficient in taste, would assuredly
have been displeased with such “fustian stuff” as this. What she really
wanted may be gathered from Bacon’s “Character of Queen Elizabeth,”
where he says:

“She would often discourse about the inscription she had a mind should
be on her tomb. She gave out that she was no lover of glory and pompous
titles, but only desired her memory might be recorded in a line or two
which should very briefly express her name, her virginity, the time of
her reign, the reformation of religion, and her preservation of the

                            _Samuel Johnson_

The Royal Commission on MSS. unearthed at Spencer House, St. James’s,
London, the following epitaph by Soame Jenyns on Dr. Johnson:

      Here lies poor Johnson; reader have a care;
      Tread lightly, lest you rouse a sleeping bear.
      Religious, moral, generous, and humane
      He was; but self-sufficient, rude, and vain;
      Ill-bred, and overbearing in dispute,
      A scholar and a Christian and a brute.
      Would you know all his wisdom and his folly,
      His actions, sayings, mirth and melancholy?
      Boswell and Thrale, retailers of his wit,
      Will tell you how he wrote and talked and coughed and spit.


Count Beust directed that above his tomb should be inscribed:

               Peace to his ashes; justice to his memory.

                              _Elihu Yale_

The founder of Yale University is buried in the church-yard of Wrexham,
North Wales, ten miles from Hawarden. His tomb in front of the church
door is inscribed with these lines:

           Born in America, in Europe bred,
           In Africa travelled, in Asia wed,
           Where long he lived and thrived, in London dead;
           Much good, some ill he did, so hope all’s even,
           And that his soul through mercy’s gone to heaven.

                             _John Harvard_

In 1828 the Alumni of Harvard University erected a monument to the
memory of its Founder at Charlestown, Mass. On the eastern face of the
shaft, and looking towards the land of his birth and education, is this
short inscription in his mother tongue:

On the twenty-sixth day of September, A. D. 1828, this stone was erected
by the graduates of the University of Cambridge, in honor of its
founder, who died at Charlestown on the twenty-sixth day of September,
A. D. 1638.

On the opposite face of the shaft, and looking westward towards the
walls of the University which bears his name, is another inscription,
which, in consideration of his character as the founder of a seat of
learning is expressed in the Latin tongue:

In piam et perpetuam memoriam Johannis Harvardii, annis fere ducentis
post obitum ejus peractis, Academiæ quæ est Cantabrigiæ Nov-Anglorum
alumni, ne diutius vir de litteris nostris optime meritus sine monumento
quamvis humili jaceret, hunc lapidem ponendum curaverunt.


Dr. Cheyne, Physician-General to the Forces in Ireland, in his
directions for interment after death, included the following epitaph:

Reader! the name, profession, and age of him whose body lies beneath are
of little importance; but it may be of great importance to you to know
that, by the grace of God, he was led to look to the Lord Jesus as the
only Savior of sinners, and that this “looking unto Jesus” gave peace to
his soul.

                                                                   J. C.


The followers of Professor Huxley and the Christian world at large read
with interest these lines, which have been engraved upon his tomb:

              And if there be no meeting past the grave,
              If all is darkness, silence, yet ’tis rest.
              Be not afraid ye waiting hearts that weep,
              For God still giveth His beloved sleep,
              And if an endless sleep He wills so best.


When Dean Stanley was invited to send an inscription for the André
Monument at Tappan, it was a delicate and difficult task to avoid
wounding the sensitiveness of either country, and he showed good taste
not only in the composition of the English inscription, but also in the
selection of the Latin one. In the latter case, however, the Dean was
more happy in what he omitted than in what he admitted. He selected this
very appropriate verse from Virgil: “Sunt lacrimæ rerum, et mentem
mortalia tangunt.” But the whole of the beautiful quotation stands
(Æneid i, 461–2):

            “——Sunt hic etiam sua præmia laudi;
            Sunt lacrimæ rerum, et mentem mortalia tangunt,”

which Dr. Anthon translates: “Even here has praiseworthy conduct its own
reward, (even here) are there tears for misfortunes, and human affairs
exert a touching influence on the heart.” What a bitter sarcasm the
verse would have breathed if it had been cut in the André monument!


The inscription on the tomb of Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson, the
Scottish poet and novelist, who died at Apia, Samoa, on December 3,
1894, reads:

                  Under the wide and starry sky
                  Dig the grave and let me lie.
                  Glad did I live and gladly die,
                  And I laid me down with a will.
                  This be the verse you grave for me:
                  “Here he lies where he longed to be,
                  Home is the sailor, home from sea,
                  And the hunter home from the hill.”

The grave of an Indian apostle, St. Acpinquid, is on a high hill at
York, Me. He was converted and passed fifty years in preaching to the
sixty-six Indian tribes of the country, and died on the 1st of May,
1662, at the age of ninety-four. His funeral was conducted with great
pomp, and the Indians sacrificed 25 bucks, 67 does, 3 ermines, 22
buffaloes, 110 ferrets, 832 martins, 240 wolves, 82 wildcats, 482 foxes,
620 beavers, 500 fishes, 99 bears, 36 moose, 50 weasels, 400 otters, 520
raccoons, 112 rattlesnakes, 2 catamounts, 900 musquashes, 69 woodchucks,
1500 minks and 58 porcupines. His tombstone bears the inscription:

                    Present, useful; absent, wanted;
                    Lived desired; died lamented.

                           _Prince Christian_

The cross erected over the grave of Prince Christian Victor in the
Pretoria Cathedral burial-ground is one of early Irish design with kerb
of granite, and the railing is of metal from old British guns. The
inscription records that the Prince was a grandson of Queen Victoria,
and on the three sides of the base are inscribed texts with the various
campaigns of the Prince:

 │                    “I have fought a good fight.”                    │
 │                                                                     │
 │Hazara                                                           1891│
 │Mirwagai                                                         1891│
 │Isazar                                                           1892│
 │                                                                     │
 │                      “I have kept the faith.”                       │
 │                                                                     │
 │Ashanti                                                          1895│
 │Soudan                                                           1898│
 │                                                                     │
 │                    “I have finished my course.”                     │
 │                                                                     │
 │Natal                                                            1889│
 │Transvaal                                                        1900│

The designs have been carried out from suggestions made by Princess

The epilogue to Dryden’s “Tyrannic Love,” intended to be spoken by
Eleanor Gwyn, when she was to be carried off by the pall-bearers, closes
as follows:

           As for my epitaph, when I am gone,
           I’ll trust no poet, but will write my own:

           Here Nellie lies, who though she lived a slattern,
           Yet died a princess, acting in St. Cath’rine.

Thus we have the real character of the actress, and the character she
represented in the play.

This inscription on a Connecticut tombstone: “Here lies the body of
Jonathan Richardson, who never sacrificed his reason at the altar of
Superstition’s god, and who never believed that Jonah swallowed a

An enthusiastic materialist put a headstone over the grave of his wife
in a cemetery at Nievre, France, upon which there is the following
inscription: “Deprived of all vitality, here lie the remains of the
material that formed Madame Durand. No cards and no prayers.”

Hibernicisms, it seems, sometimes find their way into France. Upon a
tombstone in the cemetery of Pagny-la-Violle may be read the following
inscription: “To the memory of Claudine Menu, wife of Stephen Etienne
Renard, died January 28th, 1855, aged 44 years, regretted by her four
children, Anne, Pierre, François and Barbe, all dead before her.”

When “Tom” Corwin, disappointed and discouraged by the poor result of
his mission to Mexico, was on the point of sailing for home he wrote to
a cousin in Ohio, saying that he had accomplished all that he could, and
when he got back to his country he should want something to do. He
suggested that he had in youth some skill in imparting knowledge, and
might teach a country school. But in case he should die before he
arrived at home, he asked that no costly monument should be placed above
him, and that a simple stone should bear only this inscription: “Thomas
Corwin, born July 29, 1794; died ——. Dearly beloved by his family;
universally despised by Democrats; useful in life only to knaves and
pretended friends.”

The greatest smoker in Europe died at Rotterdam, and left behind him the
most curious of wills. He expresses the wish in his last testament that
all the smokers of the country be invited to attend his obsequies, and
that they smoke while following in the funeral cortége. He directs that
his body be placed in a coffin, which shall be lined with wood taken
from old Havana cigar boxes. At the foot of his bier, tobacco, cigars,
and matches are to be placed. And the epitaph which he requests shall be
placed upon his tombstone is as follows:

                               HERE LIES
                               TOM KLAES,
                     The Greatest Smoker in Europe.
                           He Broke His Pipe
                             July 4, 1872.
                       Mourned by his family and
                         all tobacco merchants.
                        STRANGER, SMOKE FOR HIM!

In the city of Amsterdam, Holland, is an epitaph with words signifying
in English “exactly” under a carving of a pair of slippers. The
inscription is over the grave of a rich old man, who, believing that he
would only live a certain number of years, divided his fortune into
yearly instalments, determined to have a good time. He calculated about
right, and when he was dying he paid all his debts and found that he had
nothing left but a pair of slippers.

The _Florenca Illustrated_ of Leopoldo del Migliore, a famous
antiquarian, informs us that the first inventor of spectacles was Signor
Salvino Armato, which is confirmed by the inscription on his tomb:

                               QUI GIACE
                     SALVINO D’ARMATO DEGLI ARMATI
                               DI FIRENZE
                        INVENTORE DEGLI OCCHIALI
                       DIO GLI PERDONIE A PECCATA
                            ANNO D MCCCXVII.

  [Here lies Salvino Armato D’Armati of Florence, the inventor of
  spectacles. May God pardon his sins. The year 1317.]

                         _Condell and Heminge_

In the church-yard of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, are interred
two of the personal friends and stage associates of Shakespeare, Henry
Condell and John Heminge, to whom the world owes a debt for the loving
trouble they took in collecting the works of the great bard and
publishing them in book form. With a modesty somewhat uncommon in that
age, they refused to be regarded as editors, but, in their own words,
they “but collected (the plays) only to keep the memory of so worthy a
friend alive, as was our Shakespeare, by the offer of his plays to your
most noble patronage.” On the front of the granite monument of these two
Elizabethan actors is a tablet with the following inscription:

“To the memory of John Heminge and Henry Condell, fellow actors and
personal friends of Shakespeare. They lived many years in this parish
and are buried here. To their disinterested affection the world owes all
that it calls Shakespeare. They alone collected his dramatic writings
regardless of pecuniary loss, and without the hope of any profit, gave
them to the world. They thus merited the gratitude of mankind.”

On the left tablet is the following:

“The fame of Shakespeare rests on his incomparable dramas. There is no
evidence that he ever intended to publish them, and his premature death
in 1616 made this the interest of no one else. Heminge and Condell had
been co-partners with him at the Globe Theatre, Southwark, and from the
accumulated plays there of thirty-five years with great labor selected
them. No men then living were so competent, having acted with him in
them for many years, and well knowing his manuscripts. They were
published in 1623 in folio, thus giving away their private rights
therein. What they did was priceless, for the whole of his manuscripts,
with almost all those of the dramas of the period, have perished.”

                         _Shakespeare’s Doctor_

Under this heading the _Allgemeine Wiener Medizinische Zeitung_ says
that a gravestone in the church-yard of Fredericksburg bears an
inscription which is thus translated:

“Here lies Edward Heldon, a medical and surgical practitioner, the
friend and companion of William Shakespeare, of Avon. He died after a
short illness in the year of our Lord 1618, in the seventieth year of
his age.”

In St. Stephen’s church-yard, Launceston, Cornwall, is an epitaph whose
quaintness reminds us of the appeal in the inscription on the gravestone
of Shakespeare, in the Stratford Church, though without its blessing and

                           ’Tis my request
                           My bones may rest
                           Within this chest
                           Without molest.

In Ickworth Church, Suffolk, is the following tribute to Lady Elizabeth

            Just in the noon of life—those golden days
            When the mind ripens ere the form decays,
            The hand of fate untimely cut her thread,
            And left the world to weep that virtue fled,
            Its pride when living, and its grief when dead.

                             _Little Ruth_

                   Little Ruth, when she was living,
                   Had the best of Nature’s giving,
                   Innocent spirit, sober face,
                   Every charm of childhood’s grace;
                   Here this picture brings her back,
                   That remembrance may not lack
                   Something dear to feed upon
                   Now that our desire is gone.
                   If her memory fail to make
                   Calm within for her sweet sake,
                   Only wait a few more years,
                   Till enough is told of tears,
                   And our thought of her shall bring
                   Joy instead of sorrowing.

In the cemetery at Staten Island: “In Loving Memory of Arthur Winter,
Dear Child of William Winter and Elizabeth Campbell Winter.

             “Cold in the dust the perished heart may lie,
             But that which warmed it once can never die.”

Inscriptions from Mount Auburn Cemetery:

                “Shed not for her the bitter tear,
                  Nor give the heart to vain regret;
                ’Tis but the casket that lies here,
                  The gem that filled it sparkles yet.”

                 “Dust to its narrow house beneath,
                   Soul to its place on high,
                 They that have seen thy look in death,
                   No more may fear to die.”

                “The mother gave in tears and pain,
                  The flowers she most did love;
                She knew she should find them all again
                  In the fields of light above.”

               “Here to thy bosom, mother earth,
                 Take back in peace what thou hast given;
               And all that is of heavenly birth,
                 O God, in peace recall to heaven.”

             “She lived unknown, and few could know
               When Mary ceased to be!
             But she is in her grave, and O!
               The difference to me.”

             “Not mortals now but cherubs bright,
             They’ve left this world for realms of light.”

                  “There’s music in the courts above,
                    And hope to light thee on,
                  And memory for thy name on earth,
                    To live since thou art gone.”

                 “No pain, no grief, no anxious fear
                   Invade thy bounds. No mortal woes
                 Can reach the peaceful sleeper here,
                   While angels watch her soft repose.”

               “When the last trumpet’s awful voice,
                 This rending earth shall shake;
               The opening graves shall yield their dead,
                 And dust to life awake.”

         “Thou art gone to the grave:
         We no longer behold thee,
           Nor tread the rough paths of the world by thy side,
         But the wide arms of mercy are spread to enfold thee,
           And sinners may die, for the Saviour has died.”

                “Beneath this stone, in death’s embrace,
                Thy body finds a resting place;
                Sleep sweetly here, thou precious dust;
                Grave, be thou faithful to thy trust,
                Till Jesus calls and bids thee rise;
                Then join thy spirit in the skies.”

           “Each day of life demands a night’s repose,
             And death is but a well-proportioned sleep;
           So thy sweet life hath reached its destined close,
             And wearied nature now her rest doth keep,
           Waiting the dawn of a celestial morn;
             For thou, loved sleeper, in thy day didst lend
           To life new beauty, and with grace adorn
             The Christian wife, the mother, sister, friend.”

Uhland’s beautiful epitaph on an infant was once pronounced by a critic
in _Blackwood_ to be untranslatable. The following version, attempted
many years ago, is perhaps rather a paraphrase than a translation, and
yet it follows pretty closely the words as well as the spirit of the

               Thou art come and gone with footfall low,
                 A wanderer hastening to depart;
               Whither, and whence? we only know
                 From God thou wast, with God thou art.

Better than this in spirit, by all that makes Christian faith and hope
better than vague questioning, and fully equal to it in poetic merit, is
the following by F. T. Palgrave:

          Pure, sweet and fair, ere thou couldst taste of ill,
          God willed it, and thy baby breath was still;
          Now ‘mong His lambs thou livest thy Saviour’s care,
          Forever as thou wast, pure, sweet and fair.

Another infant epitaph is striking in its simplicity and very solemn in
its teaching:

                Beneath this tomb an infant lies,
                  To earth whose body lent,
                Hereafter shall more glorious rise,
                  But not more innocent.

                When the archangel’s trump shall blow,
                  And souls to bodies join,
                What crowds shall wish their lives below
                  Had been as short as thine!

                        _Longfellow and Brooks_

Of all the marbles that fill Westminster Abbey with the glory of great
memories, says Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, not one speaks a language so
eloquent as the bust of Longfellow. For it announces itself as a pledge
of brotherhood recorded in the most sacred shrine of a great nation with
which we have sometimes been at variance, but to whose home and race our
affection must ever cling, so long as blood is thicker than water. The
seemingly feeble link of a sentiment is often stronger than the
adamantine chain of a treaty.

It is the province of literature, especially poetry, which deals with
the sentiments common to humanity, to obliterate the geographical and
political boundaries of nations, and make them one in feeling. The
beautiful tribute of Englishmen to an American poet, giving him a place
in their proudest mausoleum, by the side of their bravest, best,
noblest, greatest, is a proof of friendship and esteem so genuine that
it overleaps all the barriers of nationality.

To this tribute to Longfellow is now added a gracious memorial, by
English people, of Phillips Brooks, in St. Margaret’s, Westminster, the
parish church of the House of Commons. Dean Farrar, in speaking of the
bishop’s unique personality, said he was “of all modern ecclesiastics
the most famous.” The memorial window, remarkable for its highly
artistic features, presents several impressive scenes, with texts
representing the joyful, cheerful side of Christianity. Underneath are
the words, “In Memory of Phillips Brooks, D.D., Bishop of Massachusetts,
honored and beloved, A. D. 1894,” and again, below this, is a quatrain
in Latin elegiacs, written by the late Dr. Benson, formerly Archbishop
of Canterbury:

               Fervidus eloquio, sacra fortissimus arte,
                 Suadendi, gravibus vera Deumque Viris,
               Quæreris ad sedem populari voce regendam,
                 Quæreris—ad sedem rapte Domumque Dei.

Thus freely Englished by the son of the writer:

           True priest of God whose glowing utterance stayed
           The failing feet, the heart that was afraid,
           Pastor and Friend, beloved, most desired,
           Thy people called thee, but thy God required.

Tennyson’s epitaph on Sir John Franklin, the Arctic explorer, in
Westminster Abbey:

          Non hic nauta iacet fortissimus: ossa nivalis
            Arctos habet, sed pars non moritura viri
          Navigat inmensum auspiciis melioribus æquor
            Limina non nostri dum petit alta poli.

          [Not here: the white North has thy bones, and thou,
            Heroic sailor-soul,
          Art passing on thine happier voyage now,
            Toward no earthly pole.]

Fixed in the wall of Freshwater Church as a memorial to Lionel Tennyson
is a marble tablet on which these lines are inscribed:

 Truth for truth is truth he worshipt, being true as he was brave;
 Good for good is good he follow’d, yet he looked beyond the grave;
 Truth for truth, and good for good! The good, the true, the pure, the
 Take the charm “for ever” from them, and they crumble into dust.

The signature “A. T.” is not needed to show whose was the pen that
traced them.

Sir Vincent Eyre, a retired Major-General of the Indian army, found the
grave and tombstone of Keats, the poet, who died in Rome in 1821, and
who was buried in the old cemetery for English Protestants, wholly
neglected. The inscription on the stone: “Here lies one whose name was
writ in water,” was almost illegible from dirt and decay. He made a
collection, repaired the grave, cleaned the tombstone, and placed a
medallion of Keats on the wall near the grave, with the following

          Keats, if thy cherished name be writ in water,
          Each drop has fallen from a mourner’s cheek,
          A sacred tribute such as heroes seek,
          Though oft in vain, for dazzling deeds of slaughter,
          Sleep on not less for epitaph so meek.

Longfellow on Bayard Taylor:

                  Dead he lay among his books,
                  The peace of God was in his looks.
                  As the statues in the gloom
                  Watch o’er Maximilian’s tomb,
                  So these volumes from their shelves.
                  Ah! his hand will never more
                  Turn their storied pages o’er!
                  Never more his lips repeat
                  Songs of theirs, however sweet!
                  Let the lifeless body rest,
                  He is gone who was its guest;
                  Gone as travellers haste to leave
                  An inn, nor tarry until eve.
                  Traveller, in what realms afar,
                  In what planet, in what star,
                  In what vast aerial space
                  Shines the light upon thy face?
                  In what gardens of delight
                  Rest thy weary feet to-night?

Among the shortest epitaphs are “Resurgam,” “Miserrimus,” and Shelley’s
“Cor cordium;” and, in a very different spirit, such as Thorpe’s Corpse,
Finis Maginnis. A military epitaph on the tomb of a Captain in the
cemetery of Montparnasse:

                       “Carry arms! Present arms!
                       “In place! Rest!...”

In the Witchurch graveyard, Dorsetshire, is this concatenation of names:

Arabella Jennerenna Raqustenna Amabel Grunter, daughter of John Grunter.

In Axminster church-yard:

Anna Maria Matilda Sophia Johnson Thompson Kettelby Rundell.

                           _Grateful Memory_

It is related of the poet Uhland that the King of Prussia offered him
the Order _Pour le Mérite_, with flattering expressions of royal regard.
Uhland, however, declined to accept it. While he was explaining to his
wife the reason which moved him to refuse the distinction, there was a
knock at the door. A working-class girl from the neighborhood entered,
and presenting Uhland with a bunch of violets, said, “This is an
offering from my mother.” “Your mother, child?” replied the poet; “I
thought she died last autumn.” “That is true, Herr Uhland,” said the
girl, “and I begged you at the time to make a little verse for her
grave, and you sent me a beautiful poem. These are the first violets
which have bloomed on mother’s grave; I have plucked them, and I like to
think that she sends them to you with her greetings.” The poet’s eyes
moistened as he took the posy, and putting it in his button-hole he said
to his wife, “There, dear woman, is not that an order more valuable than
any King can give?”

Over a sarcophagus in an English church are two winged angels, in
attitude as if just descended from heaven, and holding by either side a
scroll upon which is written in golden letters the following legend:

“In holiness and purity live, and in a high enlightened love, do ye to
others as we would that they should do unto you. Peace be with you.

                   _From Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage_

          In Santa Croce’s holy precincts lie
            Ashes which make it holier, dust which is
          Even in itself an immortality,
            Though there were nothing save the past, and this,
          The particle of those sublimities
            Which were replaced to chaos: here repose
          Angelo’s, Alfieri’s bones, and his,
            The starry Galileo, with his woes;
          Here Machiavelli’s earth returned to whom it rose.

                          _Somebody’s Darling_

The first and last stanzas of an exquisite little poem by Miss Marie
Lacoste, of Savannah, Georgia, commemorating an incident unfortunately
too common in both armies during the sectional conflict, are as follows:

            Into a ward of the whitewashed walls,
              Where the dead and the dying lay—
            Wounded by bayonets, shells, and balls—
              Somebody’s darling was borne one day.
            Somebody’s darling! So young and so brave,
              Wearing still on his pale sweet face,
            Soon to be hid by the dust of the grave,
              The lingering light of his boyhood’s grace. ·

            Somebody’s watching and waiting for him,
              Yearning to hold him again to her heart:
            There he lies—with the blue eyes dim,
              And smiling, childlike lips apart.
            Tenderly bury the fair young dead,
              Pausing to drop on his grave a tear;
            Carve on the wooden slab at his head—
              “_Somebody’s darling lies buried here._”


“I have only one ambition left, I should like to have a good epitaph.”

                                                        PRINCE BISMARCK.

In answer to a suggestion of the _Pall Mall Gazette_ to meet Prince
Bismarck’s wish, the following epitaphs, among others, were received and

            He sowed his iron hail o’er many a field,
              And dyed in the red the harvest seemed to be
              The bloom and fruit of golden unity.
            Now, Europe, wondering, sees the furrows yield.

               Here, on the verge of Prussia’s border,
               Moulder the bones of Prussia’s warder:
               Sound may he sleep when the coming thunder
               Shall rock his castle walls asunder.

            If dust ye seek, and dust alone,
            Prince Bismarck sleeps beneath this stone,
            But if his soul you seek, depart!
            His Germans keep that in their heart.

            Behold the power of Europe in his grip:
              On others’ blood he built an Empire’s throne;
            Undaunted pride purchased a grievous slip;
              Himself his God—his foes his very own.

               Around this tomb hovers the spirit great,
               Which for too brief a span did animate
               The mighty frame that silent lies below,
               Leaving this world to wonderment and woe.

              Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor, whose nod
              The anxious nations watched, as of a god—
              He forged an Empire, swayed it in its pride,
              And then, to show that he was mortal, died.

               I ruled as King, and not in vain,
               I tamed the Austrian and the Dane,
               I curbed proud France (for Europe’s good),
               I placed our borders where she stood,
               I made Germania One and Free,
               I fell. I saw adversity.

               Bismarck lies here. Early and late
               He strove to make his country great.
               Did he succeed? Let Sedan, Paris, tell;
               But silence keep on how, himself, he fell.

           Look kindly on this spot, here Bismarck lies.
           Death’s kiss’d away the terror of his eyes.
           And the brave heart by leisure has been made
           A child’s, of which the world was once afraid;
           Cleansed is the “blood”—the “iron’s” lost in love,
           And now Earth’s Prince is crown’d a King above.

       War’s fiery furnaces have fused the race of Teuton blood,
         ’Twas Bismarck fanned the blaze;
       To strong Germania has been shaped the molten flood,
         And Bismarck owns the praise.

                        To the immortal Founder
                                 of the
                           Fatherland’s Unity
                         Monument is dedicated
                                 by the
                           grateful Germans,
            who will admiringly remember, for ever and ever,
                       his high, patriotic aims,
               his unwavering steadfastness and purpose,
                  his indomitable energy and courage,
         and the eminently practical means by which he realized
                       the national aspirations.
                   What would Germany be without him?
                    A mere geographical expression.
           His name will go down to Posterity as the Greatest
                             of his nation.

                             _A Husbandman_

The following lines on an agriculturist were written by Canada’s lyrist,
C. G. D. Roberts:

                   He who would start and rise
                     Before the crowing cocks—
                   No more he lifts his eyes,
                     Whoever knocks.

                   He who before the stars
                     Would call the cattle home—
                   They wait about the bars
                     For him to come.

                   Him at whose hearty calls
                     The farmstead woke again,
                   The horses in their stalls
                     Expect in vain.

                   Busy, and blithe, and bold,
                     He labored for the morrow;
                   The plow his hands would hold
                     Rusts in the furrow.

                   His fields he had to leave,
                     His orchards cool and dim;
                   The clods he used to cleave
                     Now cover him.

                   But the green, growing things
                     Lean kindly to his sleep;
                   White roots and wandering strings—
                     Closer they creep.

                   Because he loved them long
                     And with them bore his part,
                   Tenderly now they throng
                     About his heart.

The _Vienna Freie Fresse_, found in Austrian cemeteries some curious
epitaphs, translated as follows:

On a carter killed in a runaway:

“The road to eternity is not long. He started at 7 o’clock and arrived
at 8.”

On a man of letters:

“Here lies the best man in the world. He deprived himself of sleep to
bestow it upon others.”

One tomb bears a bas-relief depicting a peasant impaled on the horns of
a bull. Below is the inscription:

“It was a bull’s horn that sent me to Heaven. I died in a moment,
leaving wife and child. Oh, bull, bull! To think that I owe to you
everlasting repose!

This does not speak well for the married life of F. K.:

“Here rests in God F. K., who lived 26 years as a man and 37 years as a


As the beautiful Duchess of Devonshire was one day stepping out of her
carriage, a coal-heaver, who was accidentally standing by, and was about
to regale himself with his accustomed whiff of tobacco, caught a glance
of her countenance, and instantly exclaimed: “Love and bless you, my
lady, let me light my pipe in your eyes.” The duchess was so delighted
with this compliment that she frequently afterwards checked the strain
of adulation, which was so constantly offered to her charms, by saying,
“Oh, after the coal-heaver’s compliment, all others are insipid.”

Another compliment, true and genuine, was paid by a sailor, who was sent
by his captain to carry a letter to the lady of his love. The sailor,
having delivered his missive, stood gazing in silent admiration upon the
face of the lady, for she was very beautiful.

“Well, my good man, for what do you wait? There is no answer to be

“Lady,” the sailor replied, with becoming deference, “I would like to
know your name.”

“Did you not see it on the letter?”

“Pardon, lady, I never learned to read. Mine has been a hard, rough

“And for what reason, my good man, would you like to know my name?”

“Because,” answered the old tar, looking honestly up, “in a storm at
sea, with danger or death before me, I would like to call the name of
the brightest thing I’d ever seen in my life. There’d be sunshine in it,
even in the thick darkness.”

Tom Hood wrote to his wife: “I never was anything till I knew you—and I
have been better, happier, and a more prosperous man ever since. Lay
that truth by in lavender, and remind me of it when I fail. I am writing
fondly and warmly; but not without good cause. First, your own
affectionate letter, lately received; next, the remembrance of our dear
children, pledges of our dear old familiar love; then a delicious
impulse to pour out the overflowing of my heart into yours; and last,
not least, the knowledge that your dear eyes will read what my hands are
now writing. Perhaps there is an afterthought that, whatever may befall
me, the wife of my bosom will have this acknowledgment of her
tenderness, worth, and excellence, of all that is wifely or womanly,
from my pen.”

Samuel Rogers once told Dean Stanley that when he was a boy he
remembered being present at Sir Joshua Reynolds’s last lecture, and at
the end of the lecture he saw Mr. Burke go up to Sir Joshua, and on that
solemn occasion quote the lines from “Paradise Lost”:—

              “The angel ended, and in Adam’s ear
              So charming left his voice, that he, awhile
              Thought him still speaking.”

Among the candidates for the St. Louis Post Office was Miss Phebe
Cozzens. During a call upon President Hayes a day or two after his
inauguration, she told him that General Grant, when he had so much
trouble to find a suitable man to make Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court, assured her that if the Senate refused to confirm Judge Waite, he
would nominate her. President Hayes replied that she certainly would
have made a most charming Chief Justice, and that if she had held the
office when he took the oath he should have been tempted to kiss her
instead of the Bible.

Whittier was so well pleased at the manner in which Lizzie Barton Fuller
rendered some of his poems at a public meeting at Amesbury,
Massachusetts, that he wrote her the following grateful acknowledgment:

                Thanks for the pleasant voice that lent
                  Such sweetness to my simple lays;
                  I hardly knew them as my own—
                Interpreting the thought I meant,
                  And winning for my rhymes a praise
                  Due, haply, to thyself alone.
                In vain the hand essays its skill,
                  Unaided by the organ’s keys;
                In vain the bugler’s breath until
                  The horn repeats his melodies.

Among the tributes to Rev. James Freeman Clarke, on the occasion of the
seventieth anniversary of his birth, in Boston, were the following lines
in a poem read by Mrs. Julia Ward Howe:

               What nuptials hast thou blest,
               What dear ones laid to rest,
         What infants welcomed with the holy sign.
               Life’s hospitality
               Was so akin to thee
         That half thy good and ill was thine.

               In dark, perplexing days,
               Where sorrow silenced praise,
         We saw thy light above the vapors dim;
               In battle’s din and shout
               Thy clarion blast rang out,
         “The victory is God’s; we follow him.”

               Thy life has been like ours,
               Its sunshine and its showers
         Have reached the heights of joy, the depths of grief;
               But richer hath it been
               In all the gifts serene
         That make the leader, brother, friend, and chief.

               Bring then the palm and vine,
               Roses with lilies twine,
         And let us image in our offered wreath
               The life enriched with toil,
               The consecrating oil,
         And love that fears not time and knows not death.

One of the South American representatives at the St. Louis Louisiana
Purchase Exposition, Señor Zotoza, paid the following compliment to the
women of the United States:

“Among modern women none take a higher rank; and, indeed, justice
compels me to say the American woman stands at the very head of her sex
for her virtues, for her independence, her individuality, and for all
those qualities which make the equal of man in intelligence and force of
character, and the superior in every other quality. To her, with her
virtues, no less than to the opposite sex, do the United States owe that
freedom and prosperity which are the admiration and wonder of all

                         THE MAZES OF OBSCURITY

Two young lawyers had a difference as to the meaning of an obscure
passage in the “Christian Year,” and resolved to appeal to the author.
Mr. Keble wrote back that neither had hit upon the right interpretation,
but he really couldn’t now say exactly what he meant himself.

A story is told of Jacob Boehme, the cobbler, famous for his profound
philosophical works. On his death-bed his disciples came to him, eager
to obtain explanations of obscure passages in his writings before he was
taken away. One passage puzzled him, and he said: “My children, when I
wrote that I understood its meaning, and no doubt the omniscient God
did. He may still remember it, but I have forgotten.”

Some of Klopstock’s admirers made a journey from Gottingen to Hamburg to
ask him to explain a difficult passage in his works. Klopstock received
them graciously, read the passage, and said: “I cannot recollect what I
meant when I wrote it, but remember it was the finest thing I ever
wrote, and you cannot do better than devote your lives to the discovery
of its meaning.”

Robert Browning was similarly cornered more than once, to his own
confusion as well as to the discomfiture of his worshippers.

In the line of “advanced thought,” a Boston evening paper published the
following advertisement:

“A lady of Emersonian thought and sentiment would delight to assist as
far as is possible, unjoyous human lives through intuitional and other
suggestions, as also by importations of that healthful and invigorating
life which nature and the soul ever offer.”

It is not ungracious to say that a large majority of our citizens fail
to comprehend what the fair lady is driving at. “Emersonian thought” is
good. Ralph Waldo Emerson himself was interviewed on the subject, but he
could not throw any light on the mysterious object of the advertiser.
Emerson says there are no doubt not a few “unjoyous human lives,” but he
is not aware that any application of his usual style of diction to such
mortals could add any happiness to them, for the reason that the
“unjoyous” souls might not be able to comprehend the meaning of his

Ogilvie, in his “Philosophical Essays,” gives some definitions, of which
the following is a specimen:

“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.”

The following passage is taken at random from Thomas Carlyle’s “Sartor

“Gullible, by fit apparatus, all Publics are; and gulled with the most
surprising profit. Towards anything like a Statistics of Imposture,
indeed, little as yet has been done; with a strange indifference, our
Economists, nigh buried under tables for minor Branches of Industry,
have altogether overlooked the grand allovertopping Hypocrisy Branch; as
if our whole arts of Puppery, of Quackery, Priestcraft, Kingcraft, and
the innumerable other crafts of that genus, had not ranked in productive
industry at all! Can anyone, for example, so much as say, what moneys in
literature and shoeblacking are realized by actual Instruction and
actual jet Polish; what by fictitious persuasive Proclamation of such;
specifying in distinct items the distributions, circulations,
disbursements, incoming of said moneys, with the smallest approach to
accuracy? But to ask, How far, in all the several infinitely complected
departments of social business, in government, education, in manual,
commercial, intellectual fabrication of every sort, man’s Want is
supplied by true Ware; how far by the mere Appearance of true Ware:—in
other words, To what extent, by what methods, with what effects, in
various times and countries, Deception takes the place and wages of
Performance; here truly is an Injury big with results for the future
time, but to which hitherto only the vaguest answer can be given. If for
the present, in Europe, we estimate the ratio of Ware to appearance of
Ware so high even as at One to a Hundred (which considering the Wages of
a Pope, Russian Autocrat, or English game preserver, is probably not far
from the mark),—what almost prodigious saving may there be anticipated
as the Statistics of Imposture advances, and so the manufacturing of
shams (that of Realities rising into clearer and clearer distinction
therefrom) gradually declines, and at length becomes all but wholly

The characteristic feature of the paraphrase is verbosity. The professed
design of the paraphrast is to say in many words what his text expresses
in few; accordingly all the writers of this class must be at pains to
provide themselves with sufficient stock of synonyms, epithets,
expletives, circumlocution, and tautologies, which are, in fact, the
necessary implements of their craft. The following will serve as an
example. In Matthew vii, 24, 25, the words of Jesus Christ are:
“_Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I
will liken him to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock; and the
rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon
that house, and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock._” Now let
us hear the paraphrast, Adam Clarke: “Wherefore he that shall not only
_hear_ and _receive_ these my instructions, but also _remember_, and
_consider_, and _practice_, and _live according to them_, such a man may
be compared to one that builds his house upon a rock; for as a house
founded upon a rock stands _unshaken_ and _firm_ against all the
assaults of rains, and floods, and storms, so the man who, in his life
and conversation, _actually practices_ and _obeys_ my instructions, will
firmly resist all the temptations of the devil, the allurements of
pleasure, and the terrors of persecution, and shall be able to stand in
the day of judgment, and be rewarded of God.” Commenting on this
verbosity, Dr. Campbell, of Aberdeen, says: “It would be difficult to
point out a single advantage which this wordy, not to say flatulent,
interpretation has of the text. Is it more perspicuous? It is much less
so; although it is the chief, if not the sole end of this manner of
writing, to remove everything that can darken the passage paraphrased,
and to render the sense as clear as possible. A deficiency of words is
often the cause of obscurity, but this evil may also be the effect of
exuberance. By a multiplicity of words the sentiment is not set off and
accommodated, but like David equipped in Saul’s armor, it is encumbered
and oppressed.”

Mr. Ruskin gives an answer to the question often asked as to the meaning
of the title of his pamphlets that is just about as hazy and hard to
understand as the pamphlets themselves. With regard to the _Fors
Clavigera_, for example, he says: “That title means many things, and is
in Latin because I could not have given an English one that meant so
many. ‘Fors’ is the best part of three good English words—force,
fortitude, and fortune.... ‘Clavigera’ may mean either club bearer, key
bearer, or nail bearer.... ‘Fors,’ the club bearer, means the strength
of Hercules, or of deed; ‘fors,’ the key bearer, means the strength of
Ulysses, or of patience; ‘fors,’ the nail bearer, means the strength of
Lycurgus, or of law. Briefly, the first ‘fors’ is courage, the second
patience, the third fortune.”

In 1880 Dr. Greenhill, of Hastings, England, wrote to Cardinal Newman,
asking him to explain the meaning of the couplet in “Lead, Kindly

             And with the morn those angel faces smile
             Which I have loved long since and lost awhile.

To this request the following characteristic reply was received:

                                         “THE ORATORY, January 18, 1880.


“You flatter me by your question, but I think it was Keble who, when
asked in his own case, answered that poets were not bound to be critics,
or to give a sense to what they had written; and, though I am not, like
him, a poet, at least, I may plead that I am not bound to remember my
own meaning, whatever it was, at the end of fifty years. Anyhow, there
must be a statute of limitations for writers of verse, or it would be
quite a tyranny if, in an art which is the expression, not of truth but
of imagination and sentiment, one were obliged to be ready for
examination on the transient state of mind which came upon one when
homesick or seasick, or any other way sensitive or excited. Yours most

                                                       “JOHN H. NEWMAN.”

One of the most remarkable of the Oxford sermons of the famous
ecclesiastic quoted in the foregoing paragraph, John Henry (afterwards
cardinal) Newman, entitled, “On the Development of Christian Doctrine,”
explains how science teaches that the earth goes round the sun, and how
Scripture teaches that the sun goes round the earth, and it ends by
advising the discreet believer _to accept both_.

                       IDEAL PHYSICAL PROPORTIONS

                   _The Perfect Woman, Nobly Planned_

Using the head-length as a unit of measurement, a prominent portrait
painter tabulates as follows the proportions of a perfectly formed

A woman should measure in height 5 feet 5 inches.

Eight heads is the proper height,—that is, the head measured from the
top of the forehead to the tip of the chin.

From shoulder to shoulder she should measure 2 of her heads.

Her waist should measure 1½ heads.

Her hips should be twice as broad as the length of her head.

Under the arms the bust measurement should be 34 inches; outside the
arms, 42 inches.

Upper arm should be 12 inches long; the forearm, 9 inches long.

A more reliable authority, Dr. George McClellan, in his splendid quarto,
“Anatomy in its Relation to Art,” with due regard to the mean or average
of the anthropometric scale, makes the height 7½ heads; the width
between the shoulders equal to the width between the hips, and each
equal to the length of 1¾ heads.

The measurements of “the statue that enchants the world,” the Venus de
Medici, are: Height, 63 inches; breadth of neck, 4 inches; breadth of
shoulders, 16 inches; waist, 9½ inches; hips, 13 inches.

Professor Gottfried Schadow of the Royal Academy of Arts, in Berlin,
gives in his figure of an artistically formed woman, the following
measurements: Height, 63½ inches; breadth of neck, 3¾ inches; shoulders,
15 inches; waist 9 inches; hips, 13½ inches.

Professor Sargeant, with several thousand tabulated life measurements in
hand, produced a composite figure of the young American girl with these
measurements: Height, 63½ inches; breadth of neck, 3.8 inches; girth of
neck, 12.1 inches; breadth of shoulders, 14.7 inches; breadth of waist,
8.6 inches; girth of waist, 24.6 inches; breadth of hips, 13.1 inches;
girth of hips, 35.4 inches; girth of calf, 13.3 inches; girth of upper
arm, 10.1 inches; girth of thigh, 21.4 inches, and forearm, 9.2 inches.

Miss Anna Wood has given measurements closely similar to those of
Professor Sargeant, in her composite figure of the Wellesley College
girl, being averaged from the measurements of over 2,000 young women.

Given the height, proportion, and weight of an average physique for the
man and woman, what should be the attitude or posture of such an
individual, especially when standing? By posture is meant a position of
equilibrium of the body which can be maintained for some time, such as
standing, sitting, or lying.

For the maintenance of the erect posture the following conditions must
be realized: (1) The corresponding halves of the body must be in the
same anatomical relation; (2) the centre of gravity of the whole body
must fall just in front of the last lumbar vertebra. That the first of
these two conditions may be realized there must be a well-developed and
symmetrical skeleton and a corresponding symmetrical development of the
muscles on the two sides of the body. That the second condition may be
realized, there must be such a development of the extensor muscles on
the back of the body as will be sufficient to antagonize the flexor
muscles on the front of the body.

These conditions are not always realized, and hence certain physical
defects are observable, such as obliquity of the head, elevation or
depression of the shoulder, curvature of the spine, and so forth.

An old Spanish writer said that “a woman is quite perfect and absolute
in beauty if she has thirty good points.” Here they are:

Three things white—the skin, the teeth, the hands.

Three black—the eyes, the eyebrows, the eyelashes.

Three red—the lips, the cheeks, the nails.

Three long—the body, the hair, the hands.

Three short—the teeth, the ears, the feet.

Three broad—the chest, the brow, the space between the eyebrows.

Three narrow—the mouth, the waist, the instep.

Three large—the arm, the loin, the limb.

Three fine—the fingers, the hair, the lips.

Three small—the bust, the nose, the head.

                    _Grecian and American Standards_

What are the measurements of the physically perfect man? Opinions
differ. Ralph Rose, a young athlete from the University of Michigan, has
been brought forward and presented to critical inspection as a fair type
of the perfect athlete, according to the practical American
anthropometric system of averages, and therefore it may be of interest
to compare him with the ideal of youthful strength and beauty of classic
art, as shown in the statue of the Apollo Belvedere. A glance at the
subjoined table where the measurements of young Rose are set over
against those of a model of the Apollo of like height—that is, 77
inches, or 6 feet 5 inches—shows how far the college chart standard
differs from the ideal of the Greek artist.

                                        ROSE.  APOLLO.
                                       Inches. Inches.
                  Breadth of shoulders  18.8    22.8
                  Breadth of chest      13.4    15.4
                  Depth of Chest        10.0    11.3
                  Girth of neck         15.9    16.8
                  Girth of chest        44.5    38.0
                  Girth of waist        39.0    32.0
                  Right upper arm       14.0    14.3
                  Left upper arm        13.6    14.3
                  Right forearm         12.6    12.9
                  Left forearm          12.1    12.9
                  Right thigh           23.9    25.4
                  Left thigh            25.6    24.5
                  Right calf            16.8    17.0
                  Left calf             17.0    16.8

The measurements of the Apollo Belvedere’s limbs correspond in a general
way with those of the American athlete, but in some particulars Rose
falls somewhat short of the Greek divinity. Rose’s shoulders are 4
inches narrower, his chest 5 inches less from side to side and 1.3
inches less through. His neck, too, measures nearly an inch less around.

This shows that Rose’s figure and development are far from the Greek
ideal. He is not so clean cut. His shoulders are much narrower and his
waist larger. His chest shows larger to the tape, but this is due to the
big breast and shoulder muscles that enable him to throw the weights. If
the Greek god could put off his marble solidity and blow on a lung
tester he would reveal far greater lung capacity than could the young
American. The measurements from breastbone to backbone and from side rib
to side rib tell the true story of chest capacity.

               _The Venus de Medici a Questionable Type_

This famous statue, when found in the seventeenth century in the Villa
of Hadrian, near Tivoli, was broken into eleven pieces; only the hands
and a portion of the arms were wanting. It was taken to Florence by
Cosmo de Medici, and placed in the tribune of the Uffizi.

Lübke, in his “History of Art,” says: “The goddess displays the
lineaments of her shapely form to the eye completely nude, yet not in
naïve self-forgetfulness, or in the sublime abandon of conquest, but
with conscious premeditation; not without a certain shame-faced coyness
which is expressed in the position of the arms, with their effort at
concealment of the bosom and thighs, and in the coy turning of the head
to one side. With all the delicacy and perfection of artistic finish,
with all the noble rhythmical proportion of the limbs, this trait, which
betrays the calculating coquette, has but a cold effect.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne says: “She is very beautiful, very satisfactory, and
has a fresh and new charm about her, unreached by any cast or copy. I
felt a kind of tenderness for her—an affection, not as if she were a
woman, but all womanhood in one. Her modest attitude—which, before I saw
her, I had not liked, deeming it might be an artificial shame—is partly
what unmakes her as a heathen goddess, and softens her into woman. There
is a slight degree of alarm, too, in her face; not that she really
thinks that anybody is looking at her; yet the idea has flitted through
her mind and startled her a little. Her face is so beautiful and so
intellectual that it is not dazzled out of sight by her form. The world
has not grown weary of her in all these ages, and mortal man may look on
her with new delight from infancy to old age.”

If anything is safe in this iconoclastic age it might be supposed to be
such reputation for beauty and grace. Connoisseurs of all nations have
joined in doing homage to the ancient sculptor’s skill. How many
visitors to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence have stood, Murray or
Appleton in hand, gazing at the undraped figure without a thought of
questioning these learned persons! But of late years there have been
sceptics daring enough to class this with the Apollo Belvedere as a
sample of ancient art that has been “monstrously overrated,” and now
comes no less an authority than Holman Hunt to assure us that the Venus
de Medici, to use a popular phrase, “won’t do.” There is a little
anecdote attaching to this expression of opinion.

Some years ago, at the house of Sir Richard Owen, the great naturalist,
Mr. Hunt met that professor of sanitary science, the late Sir Edwin
Chadwick, who began a conversation thus: “As a Commissioner of Health, I
must profess myself altogether opposed to the artistic theory of beauty.
There is the Venus de Medici, which you artists regard as giving the
perfect type of female form. I should require that a typical statue with
such pretensions should bear evidence of perfect power of life, with
steady prospect of health and signs of mental vigor; but she has
neither. Her chest is narrow, indicating unrobust lungs, her limbs are
without evidence of due training of muscles, her shoulders are not well
braced up, and her cranium, and her face, too, are deficient in all
traits of intellect. She would be a miserable mistress of a house and a
contemptible mother.” But the listener assured the sage critic that he
had made a most artistic criticism of the statue, and that his auditor
would join in every word as to his standard of requirements. Mr. Hunt
was aware, he said, that he was talking heresy to the mass of persons
who accepted the traditional jargon of the cognoscenti on trust, but in
his opinion “the work belongs to the decadence of Roman virtue and
vitality, and its merit lies alone in the rendering of a voluptuous
being without mind or soul.” If no authorities of equal weight will
stand forth in defence of this marble lady, it is to be feared that the
famous Venus de Medici will soon be ranked among impostors. The strange
part of the matter is that it has taken more than two hundred years to
find her out.

                            FAMOUS BEAUTIES

          And like another Helen, fired another Troy.—DRYDEN.


What was her inner character? A voluptuous woman of the East, say the
Romans, eager to enchain any master of a Roman army by the foulest arts;
the Roman oligarchy not only hated but dreaded Cleopatra. To them she
was the representative of that “regal” sway, that rule by volition
instead of by traditional order, which, with their statesmanlike
instinct, they saw the triumphant aristocrat whom their system tended to
produce would ultimately desire. They cursed her as the greatest of
Asiatic harlots, whereas she was more of a Greek, and much more like
Mary Stuart as her enemies have painted her, a woman unscrupulous in
gratifying her fancies, careless even of murder when needful—Cleopatra
murdered her brother-husband, just as Mary murdered her
cousin-husband—but who used her charms chiefly as instruments to attain
her ends, which were, first of all, the empire of the East, which her
ancestors had striven to acquire—and very nearly acquired. She always
selected as a lover the head of the invading Roman army, and always used
him to help her in founding, as she hoped, the empire of the East. Her
attractive power was probably not her beauty. Her coins do not reveal a
beautiful woman, but a broad-browed, thoughtful queen; and Plutarch, in
describing her, evidently speaks on the authority of men whose fathers
had studied her face. He says,—

“Her actual beauty, it is said, was not in itself so remarkable that
none could be compared with her, or that no one could see her without
being struck by it, but the contact of her presence, if you lived with
her, was irresistible: the attraction of her person, joining with the
charm of her conversation and the character that attended all she said
or did, was something bewitching. It was a pleasure merely to hear the
sound of her voice, with which, like an instrument of many strings, she
could pass from one language to another; so that there were few of the
barbarian nations that she answered by an interpreter; in most of them
she spoke herself, as to the Ethiopians, Troglodytes, Hebrews, Arabians,
Syrians, Medes, Parthians and many others, whose language she had


This Athenian hetæra was a creature of surpassing physical perfection.
She acquired so much wealth by her charms that she offered to rebuild
the walls of Thebes if she might put on them this inscription:
“Alexander destroyed them, but Phryne rebuilt them.” Apelles’ celebrated
picture of Venus Anadyomene was from Phryne, who entered the sea with
hair dishevelled for a model. She is shown rising from the sea, and
wringing the water from her hair with her hands. The Cnidian Venus of
Praxiteles was also taken from the same model. Among his most celebrated
works the Cnidian Aphrodite stands first, as one of the most famous art
creations of antiquity. “The old authors,” says Lübke, “are filled with
its fame; and they relate that the Bithynian king, Nicomedes, offered
the people of Cnidos the payment of their whole state debt in exchange
for this work. The artist had represented the goddess entirely nude, but
had modified this bold innovation by making her left hand about to take
up a garment, as though she had just emerged from the bath, while with
her right she modestly shielded her person. The quiet of her posture was
enlivened by a delicate sense of life, which gave to the outlines of the
beautiful form a pleasant look of animation: the glance of the eyes had
that liquid, melting expression, which, far removed from the mere
craving of desire, might best convey the tender longing of a goddess of
love. However numerous may be the copies of this famous statue that have
come down to us, they can, at best, only convey to us the outward
characteristics of its attitude, not the exquisite purity of the work of
Praxiteles himself.”

William W. Story’s beautiful lines on Praxiteles and Phryne are well
worth quoting here:

               A thousand silent years ago,
                 The twilight faint and pale
               Was drawing o’er the sunset glow
                 Its soft and shadowy veil,—

               When from his work the sculptor stayed
                 His hand and turned to one
               Who stood beside him half in shade,
                 Said with a sigh, “’Tis done.”

               Thus much is saved from chance and change,
                 That waits for me and thee,
               Thus much—how little! from the range
                 Of Death to Destiny.

               Phryne, thy human lips shall pale,
                 Thy rounded limbs decay,—
               Nor love nor prayers can aught avail
                 To bid thy beauty stay;

               But _there_ thy smile for centuries
                 On marble lips shall live,—
               For Art can grant what love denies
                 And fix the fugitive.

               Sad thought! nor age, nor death shall fade
                 The youth of this cold bust,
               When this quick brain and hand that made,
                 And thou and I are dust!

               When all our hopes and fears are dead
                 And both our hearts are cold,
               And love is like a tune that’s played
                 And life a tale that’s told,

               This senseless stone so coldly fair
                 That love nor life can warm,
               The same enchanting look shall wear,
                 The same enchanting form.

               Its peace no changes shall destroy,
                 Its beauty age shall spare,
               The bitterness of vanished joy,
                 The wearing waste of care.

               And there upon that silent face
                 Shall unborn ages see
               Perennial youth, perennial grace
                 And sealed serenity.

               And strangers, when we sleep in peace,
                 Shall say not quite unmoved,
               So smiled upon Praxiteles
                 The Phryne whom he loved.

                         _Isabella of Castile_

Irving says in his “Life of Columbus”: “Contemporary writers have been
enthusiastic in their descriptions of Isabella, but time has sanctioned
their eulogies. She is one of the purest and most beautiful characters
in history. She was well-formed, of middle size, with great dignity and
gracefulness of deportment, and a mingled gravity of sweetness of
demeanor. Her complexion was fair, her hair auburn; her eyes were of a
clear blue, with a benign expression; and there was a singular modesty
in her countenance, gracing, as it did, a wonderful firmness of purpose
and earnestness of spirit. Though strongly attached to her husband, and
studious of his fame, yet she always maintained her distinct rights as
an allied prince. She exceeded in beauty, in personal dignity, in
acuteness of genius, and in grandeur of soul. Combining the active and
resolute qualities of man with the softer charities of woman, she
mingled in the warlike councils of her husband, engaged personally in
his enterprises, and in some instances, surpassed him in the firmness
and intrepidity of her measures; while, being inspired with a truer idea
of glory, she infused a more lofty and generous temper into his subtle
and calculating policy.

“While all her public thoughts and acts were princely and august, her
private habits were simple, frugal, and unostentatious. In the intervals
of state business, she assembled around her the ablest men in literature
and science, and directed herself by their counsels, in promoting
letters and arts. Through her patronage, Salamanca, the great seat of
learning in Spain, rose to that height which it assumed among the
learned institutions of the age. She promoted the distribution of honors
and rewards for the promulgation of knowledge; she fostered the art of
printing recently invented, and encouraged the establishment of presses
in every part of the kingdom.

Prescott, in his “History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella,” in
describing the personal appearance of the queen, says: “She was
exceedingly beautiful; ‘the handsomest lady,’ says one of the household
[Oviedo], ‘whom I ever beheld, and the most gracious in her manners.’
The portrait still existing of her, in the royal palace, is conspicuous
for an open symmetry of features indicative of the natural serenity of
temper, and that beautiful harmony of intellectual and moral qualities
which most distinguished her. It is not easy to obtain a dispassionate
portrait of Isabella. The Spaniards who revert to her glorious reign are
so smitten with her moral perfections, that even in depicting her
personal attractions, they borrow somewhat of the exaggerated coloring
of romance.”

                          _Diana of Poitiers_

Francis I. and his son Henry II. of France were both controlled, even in
the most important affairs, by female influence, and by shallow-minded
and incapable favorites. The mistress of the former was the Duchess
d’Etampes, and that of the latter, Diana of Poitiers, widow of Louis de
Brézé, grand seneschal of Normandy. Henry was the junior of Diana by
nearly twenty years, but this difference did not prevent her, at the age
of forty, from attaching herself to the dauphin. While Francis lived,
the two favorites divided the court, but upon the accession of the
dauphin as Henry II. Diana became virtual mistress of the kingdom, Henry
being a man of dull understanding and feeble character, and her rival,
d’Etampes, was sent into exile. The young queen, Catherine de Medici,
was noted for her beauty and accomplishments, but both were unavailing
against the complete ascendency of Diana. Her wonderful beauty and her
fascination were such that the king gave her many public tokens of his
infatuation, admitted her to his councils, and created her Duchess of
Valentinois. She retained her power over the royal lover until his
death, even at the age of sixty, ruling him with the double force of her
beauty and her intellect.

                          _Ninon de L’Enclos_

This modern Aspasia, like her Greek prototype, was remarkable not only
for her beauty and wit, but for her fondness for cultivated society.
Both of them, though of easy virtue and devoted to pleasure to the end
of life, held receptions which were frequented by the most intellectual
men and women of the period in which they lived. Ninon had a constant
succession of lovers, but at the same time her society was courted by
Mme. de Lafayette, Mme. de Sully, Mme. Scarron (afterward De Maintenon),
and Christina of Sweden, and among her most favored admirers were the
great Condé, La Rochefoucauld, Villarceaux, and D’Estrées. She was
regarded as a model of refinement and elegance in her manners. She lived
to the age of ninety, yet preserved her beauty and fascination to the
last. She had lovers for three generations in the family of Sévigné. She
had two illegitimate sons, one of whom, in ignorance of his birth and
relationship, was the victim of an unhallowed passion for his mother. He
was then nineteen years of age, and Ninon was fifty-six. While urging
his love, she found that the only way to check his importunity was to
disclose her secret. Thereupon he blew out his brains, but the tragedy
made little impression upon Ninon, as she was dead to the instincts of
maternal tenderness.

                             _Mary Stuart_

Of all unsolved problems of history, says Lyman Abbott, there is none
more perplexing, none more seemingly insoluble, than that afforded by
the career and character of Mary Queen of Scots. Time has done nothing
to detract from the peculiar witchery of her charms, or the romantic
interest which attaches to her strange adventures. Her admirers are as
enthusiastic three centuries removed from her as were those who fell
beneath the peculiar spell of her presence—a spell which few were ever
able wholly to resist. The controversy which waged about her while
living continues as hot, and almost as bitter, over her grave. History
can come no nearer a verdict than could her own contemporaries. Its only
answer, like theirs, is, “We cannot agree.”

The difficulties which beset any attempt to tell correctly the story of
her career, to analyze aright her character, are very great. The student
of history finds no impartial witness; few in her own time who are not
ready to tell and to believe about her the most barefaced lies which
will promote their own party. During her life she was calumniated and
eulogized with equal audacity. Since her death the same curiously
contradictory estimates of her character have been vigorously
maintained—by those, too, who have not their judgment impaired by the
prejudices which environed her. On one hand, we are assured that she was
“the most amiable of women;” “the upright queen, the noble and true
woman, the faithful spouse, and affectionate mother;” “the poor martyred
queen;” “the helpless victim of fraud and force;” an “illustrious victim
of statecraft,” whose “kindly spirit in posterity and matchless heroism
in misfortune” award her “the most prominent place in the annals of her
sex.” On the other hand, we are assured by men equally competent to
judge, that she was “a spoiled beauty;” “the heroine of an adulterous
melodrame;” “the victim of a blind imperious passion;” an “apt scholar
in the profound dissimulation of that school of which Catherine de
Medici was the chief instructor;” “a bad woman disguised in the livery
of a martyr,” having “a proud heart, a crafty wit, and indurate mind
against God and his truth;” “a bold, unscrupulous, ambitious woman,”
with “the panther’s nature—graceful, beautiful, malignant, untamable.”

Dr. Abbott thus summarizes a net-work of evidence: A wife learns to
loathe her husband; utters her passionate hate in terms that are
unmistakable; is reconciled to him for a purpose; casts him off when
that purpose is accomplished; makes no secret of her desire for a
divorce; listens with but cold rebuke to intimations of his
assassination; dallies while he languishes upon a sick-bed so long as
death is near; hastens to him only when he is convalescent; becomes, in
seeming, reconciled to him; by her blandishments allays his terror and
arrests his flight, which nothing else could arrest; brings him with her
to the house chosen by the assassins for his tomb—a house which has
absolutely nothing else to recommend it but its singular adaptation to
the deed of cruelty to be wrought there; remains with him till within
two hours of his murder; hears with unconcern the story of his tragic
end, which thrills all other hearts with horror; makes no effort to
bring the perpetrators of the crime to punishment; rewards the suspected
with places and pensions, and the chief criminal (Bothwell) with her
hand in marriage while the blood is still wet on his.

Before the murder of Darnley it was the misfortune of Mary’s life that
stories against which a fair reputation should be a sufficient defence
stick to her like burs to a shaggy coat; stories of unwomanly intimacy
first with Chastelar, then with Rizzio, and then with Bothwell. She was
certainly careless, if not criminal. At least, so thought John Knox and
the straiter sect of the Covenanters.


In the long roll of left-hand queens there is no one whose career
affords anything approaching the attraction for the student of history
that is offered by that of Mme. de Pompadour. For nineteen years she was
the virtual ruler of France,—in other words, the ruler of the greatest
power in Europe. She conferred pensions and places, appointed Generals,
selected Ambassadors, made and unmade Prime Ministers. Upon her rests
the responsibility for the sudden but not unreasonable change in the
traditional policy of France towards the House of Hapsburg, which
enabled the vindictive Maria Theresa to fan the ashes of the War of the
Austrian Succession into the devouring flame which ravaged Europe for
seven years. To her influence, also, must be attributed in a great
measure the suppression of the Jesuits in France.

If we turn from politics to other aspects of French civilization, we
cannot but recognize the imprint of her hand. It is to her that France
is indebted for the manufacture of Sèvres porcelain, while the
establishment of the _Ecole Militaire_, which, in the twenty-seven years
of its existence, gave to the country so many distinguished officers,
Napoleon among the number, was mainly due to her efforts. In her also
men of letters and artists found a generous and appreciative friend. She
protected Voltaire and Montesquieu, rescued the elder Crébillon from
poverty and neglect, encouraged Diderot and d’Alembert in their labors
and made the fortune of Marmontel. It was she who introduced Boucher and
his works to the court of Louis XV. and promoted in every way the
interests of his fellow-painters. In a word, from the day on which she
was installed at Versailles as _maîtresse déclarée_ or _maítresse en
titre_, till her death in 1764, a period of some nineteen years, the
influence of Mme. de Pompadour was paramount in all matters, from
politics to porcelain, and she was, in fact, the true sovereign in

How was it possible that a woman of middle-class origin, the daughter of
a man who had been forced to fly his country to escape being broken on
the wheel, should attain to a post which had hitherto been regarded as
the peculiar appanage of the daughters of nobles, and, generally, of
great nobles? It is certain that from the beginning her elevation was
the signal for an outburst of hostility to which a less remarkable woman
must have succumbed. She was called upon to face at once the enmity of
the royal family, of powerful ministers, of ladies of the court, of the
Jesuits, and of the rabble of Paris, for even the latter resented their
sovereign’s departure from the custom observed by his predecessors of
selecting mistresses from the _noblesse_. Not only did she never flinch
for a moment from the unequal contest, but never till the hour of her
death did she fail to sustain her position of predominance, except for a
brief interval, when the attempt of Damiens to assassinate Louis XV.
seemed to render her fall inevitable. When she died at the early age of
42, she did not succumb to the fear of any personal rivals or enemies,
but to the mortification and grief produced by the disastrous outcome of
the war into which she had dragged her country.

To the question how it was possible for a woman of middle-class origin
to achieve what she did it scarcely suffices to say that, by the verdict
even of unfriendly contemporaries, she was the most thoroughly
accomplished and highly educated woman in France. She was also one of
the most beautiful, and, by all odds, the most fascinating. Touching
this point, the evidence of Diderot’s friend, Georges le Roy, may be
cited. “She was,” he says “rather above the middle height, slender,
supple and graceful. Her hair was luxurious, of a light, chestnut shade
rather than fair, and the eyebrows which crowned her magnificent eyes
were of the same hue. She had a perfectly formed nose, a charming mouth,
lovely teeth, and a ravishing smile, while the most exquisite skin one
could wish to behold put the finishing touch to all her beauty. Her eyes
had a singular fascination, which they owed, perhaps, to the uncertainty
of their color. They possessed neither the dazzling splendor of black
eyes, the tender languor of blue, nor yet the peculiar keenness of gray.
Their undecided color seemed to lend to them every kind of charm, and to
express in turn all the feelings of an intensely mobile nature.” It is
said her foot, her hand, her figure, were of a perfection acclaimed by
painters and by sculptors, and that her temperament was intensely
sympathetic and ardent.


The courtiers at the Tuileries used to say that no other woman who then
sat on a throne could display so small a foot or so dainty a hand as
Empress Eugénie. Her stature was less than middle height, or about the
same as the Emperor’s; her figure was lithe and supple, and her arms,
shoulders and bust, while ample, were delicately moulded. Her long neck,
with its gentle curves, was pronounced by not a few painters to be a
model which the old Greeks might have envied in their conceptions of
female grace. Her carriage in its lightness and quickness betokened a
compact, muscular strength, and there were few women of her court who
surpassed her in physical endurance.

Despite the general smallness of her head it was more than usually high
and broad above the eyes, and this served to impart to her oval face an
expression of mental power. The eyes were variously described by writers
of the time as blue, as dark blue, as grayish-blue and as dark gray. But
all agreed in ascribing to them a remarkable crystal-like lustre under
the shade of sweeping lashes. In truth, their color appears to have
taken on different hues at different times, and the peculiarly fine
arching of the brows framed them with something like a piquant outline.
The nose, slightly inclined to be aquiline, and the small mouth and chin
were perhaps the least striking of the features. But the teeth when she
smiled shone with a sort of dazzling whiteness, and, indeed, gave rise
to a fashion of wearing false ones like them. Her skin, which was of a
slightly olive tinge, was so smooth and velvety that the most envious
women who surrounded her thought that in neither gaslight nor sunlight
was it less clear and pure, and that no art could bring it nearer
perfection. Her profusion of light brown hair, which was often described
as golden, and which it was thought she artificially colored, was looked
upon by many as her chief charm. It was her custom to wear violets in
it; in her childhood a fortune-teller had told her that the violet was
the flower of the Bonapartes and that time would make it hers, too; and
so it was that it long became the favorite of every beauty in the
civilized world who thought that she looked like Eugénie, or who made
Eugénie her standard of fashion.

The Countess Montijo before her marriage to Napoleon III. was a
picturesque figure. She frequented the bull fights at Madrid in odd
fancy costumes, she galloped through the streets of the city of an
afternoon on a horse without a saddle, and smoking a cigar or cigarette,
and she often appeared in man’s attire. The gilded youths of Madrid
raved about her, fluttered round her—but not one of them wanted to marry
her. Here is a picture set forth by one who saw her at one of her
favorite bull fights:

Her slender figure is well defined by a costly bodice which enhances her
beauty and elegance. Her dainty hand is armed with a riding whip,
instead of a fan, for she generally arrives at the circus on a wild
Andalusian horse, and in her belt she carries a sharp-pointed dagger.
Her little feet are incased in red satin boots. Her head is crowned with
her broad, golden plaits, interwoven with pearls and real flowers; her
clear brow shines with youth and beauty and her gentle blue eyes sparkle
from beneath the long lashes which almost conceal them. Her exquisitely
formed nose, her mouth, fresher than a rosebud; the perfect oval of her
face, the loveliness of which is only equalled by her graceful bearing,
arouses the admiration of all. She is the recognized queen of beauty. It
is she who crowns the victorious toreador, and her white hands present
him with the prize due to his courage or agility, while she accompanies
the gift with her most captivating smile.

In the early years of her married life the Empress was heartily admired
by the French people. She was certainly beautiful, and she filled her
position with unexpected dignity and grace. Her kindness of heart was
great and unaffected, and she inaugurated notable charitable enterprises
with a judgment remarkably good. In most directions she was a better
wife than Napoleon III. deserved, and she was an excellent mother. If
the Court over which she presided was a frivolous, corrupt, and vulgar
one, it was perhaps not altogether her fault. The Paris tradesmen
assuredly had no reason to turn against her, for her craze for dress and
show kept a stream of gold running through their shops, and there was
always something on the carpet with which to amuse the crowd. The
Church, too, had reason to think well of her, for she was ever its
devout, not to say bigoted, adherent. Whenever she meddled with politics
she was mischievous, even absurd. She was bitter in her hatreds, and
foolish in many of her friendships. It is to her credit that she always
showed great respect for brains, and admired even those who attacked her
in print if they did it cleverly. Her literary tastes were not profound
nor otherwise unusual, but they were far from contemptible. She had some
taste in art—but not enough, be it remembered, to prevent her from
introducing the most hideous abomination of modern times, the enormous
crinoline. She set the pace in fashion towards the novel rather than the
beautiful, and the feminine world has not yet, in truth, fallen out of
step. She was never a thoroughly happy woman, even when the world seemed
to offer her most. The sharpest thorn in her lot was her consciousness
that she was not born in the purple, and she felt to the depths of her
being the slights she received from those more fortunately placed. Her
grandfather, Kirkpatrick, who hailed from the north of Ireland, settled
in Malaga, and engaged in a large grocery trade. Eventually he married
Mlle. Grevigny, the daughter of a wealthy grocer of Bruges, Belgium.
They had two remarkably handsome daughters, one of whom married Count de
Teba, afterward Count Montijo. The Montijos are a very ancient Spanish
house. The origin of the family goes back farther than the institution
of nobility in Spain, and among its ancestors are Alfonso Perez de
Guzman, that hero of the thirteenth century whose exploits are still
recounted by Spanish peasants, as well as Gonsalvo de Cordova, the great
general and friend of Columbus.

                            FEMALE POISONERS

One of the commentators on the works of the ancient Greek writers, says,
“Among the Greeks, women appear to have been most addicted to criminal
poisoning, as we learn from various passages in ancient authors.” The
author most frequently quoted is Antiphon, whose discourses on judicial
procedure in Athens in criminal prosecutions, which appeared about four
hundred and thirty or forty years B. C., are still preserved. Dr.
Witthaus, the toxicologist, in repeating this observation, supplements
it with an assumption which may or may not be warrantable. He says,
“Women appear to have been most addicted to the crime of poisoning in
the Grecian period, _as they are at the present time_.” A repetition may
also be noted in Dr. Smith’s Dictionary of Antiquities, under the term
_Veneficium_, the crime of poisoning. Referring to its frequent mention
in Roman history, Smith says, “Women were most addicted to it.”

This crime has furnished a theme for novelists and dramatists all the
way from the Poison Maid or Bisha-Kanya of India, in the Hindu story of
the “Two Kings;” in the “Secretum Secretorum” of Aristotle (XXVII.); and
in the “Gesta Romanorum” (XI.), to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story of
“Rappacini’s Daughter.” Our modern fiction writers generally select
their culprits from the male sex,—as for example, Charles Dickens in his
“Hunted Down,” and Charles Reade in “Put Yourself in His Place.”
Frequent references in Shakespeare’s dramatic works, such as the
poisoning of Regan, daughter of King Lear, by her sister Goneril, or the
removal of Leonine by Cleon’s wife in Pericles, show that this, as all
else in human character and conduct, could not escape the grasp of the
master spirit. He makes Richard II. say,—

                               “Let us sit upon the ground,
           And tell sad stories of the death of kings:—
           How some have been deposed, some slain in war;
           Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping killed;
         All murdered.”

In Cymbeline, the king’s physician, in announcing the death of the
queen, surprises and startles the monarch with the revelation of her
fiendish purpose to destroy both him and his daughter by a former queen,
in order to clear the way for her ambitious projects:

           “Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love
           With such integrity, she did confess
           Was as a scorpion to her sight; whose life,
           But that her flight prevented it, she had
           Ta’n off by poison.

           “More, sir, and worse, she did confess she had
           For you a mortal mineral, which, being took,
           Should by the minute feed on life, and lingering,
           By inches waste you: In which time she purposed
           By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
           O’ercome you with her show,” etc.

Sanskrit medical writings, which date back several hundred years before
Christ, testify that the Hindus of that early period were familiar with
poisons—animal, vegetable and mineral—together with their antidotes.
Passages like the following show that criminal poisoning was guarded

“It is necessary for the practitioner to have knowledge of the symptoms
of the different poisons and their antidotes, as the enemies of the Raja
(sovereign)—bad women and ungrateful servants—sometimes mix poison with

To various warnings which follow is added the precaution, “Food which is
suspected should be first given to certain animals, and if they die, it
is to be avoided.”

There is abundant evidence that the Persians and Egyptians, as well as
the Hindus, were familiar with poisonous substances, such as the venom
of serpents, the hydrocyanic acid of the peach kernel, mineral
corrosives or irritants, and vegetable narcotics. In the Grecian
mythology there is occasional reference to the removal of inconvenient
husbands by goddesses who are familiar with the deadly properties of
aconite. The manner in which Ulysses neutralized the enchantments of
Circe, as related in the Odyssey, shows that attention was given at an
early period to the application of antidotes. Homer also tells us of the
voyage of Ulysses to Ephyra,

                            “to learn the direful art
              To taint with deadly drugs the barbed dart;”

and Ovid relates that the arrows of Hercules were tipped with the venom
of serpents, differing in that respect from the modern South American
poison, _curare_, which is a vegetable extract. Poisoned arrows are
referred to in the sixth chapter of Job, but there is no reference
either in the Old or New Testament to the use of poison for taking away

Of the poisons used in Greece in the historical period, and mentioned by
Nicander, the favorite appears to have been hemlock. Whether it was the
_Conium maculatum_, or the _Cicuta virosa_ or _aquatica_, is a matter of
controversy. Haller contends that the water-hemlock was the _conium_ of
the Greeks. It may be noted, however, that Pliny says that the generic
term _Cicuta_ was not indicative of a particular family of plants, but
of vegetable poison in general.

For the first circumstantial report of an instance of the class under
consideration, we must go back to Antiphon, who, as already noted, lived
more than twenty-three centuries ago. In one of his discourses he gives
a short speech, entitled “Against a Stepmother, on a Charge of
Poisoning.” It treats of a case which was brought before the famous
court known as Areopagos. The speaker, a young man, is the son of the
deceased. He charges his stepmother with having poisoned his father
several years before through the instrumentality of a woman who was her
dupe. The deceased and a friend, Philoneos, the woman’s lover, had been
dining together, and she was persuaded to administer a philtre to both,
in hope of recovering her lover’s affection. Both the men died, and the
woman—a slave—was put to death forthwith. The accuser now asks that the
real criminal—the true Clytemnestra of this tragedy—shall suffer

During the Renaissance in Italy, poisoning became a fine art; the
victims were numbered by thousands, and the female fiend was everywhere
in evidence. In the seventeenth century the use of poison as an
instrument of secret murder became so common as to warrant a violation
of the confessional. In 1659 the priests of Rome informed the Pope,
Alexander VII., of the great number of poisonings revealed to them in
the confessions of young widows. Investigation led to the discovery of a
secret society of women which met at the house of Hieronyma Spara, a
fortune-teller, who dispensed an elixir or “acquetta” for the
dissolution of unhappy marriages. After a large number of victims had
been sacrificed, La Spara’s practices were detected through cunning
police artifice. She and thirteen of her companions were hanged; others
were publicly whipped half-naked through the streets of Rome, and those
of the highest rank were banished.

There was a similar society of married women in Naples headed by a
Sicilian woman named Tofana, who devised the arsenical solution known as
the Aqua Tofana, Acquetta di Napoli, or Aqua di Perugia. It was usually
labeled “Manna of St. Nicholas of Bari.” Eventually the nature of her
transactions was discovered and she was cast into prison. It is said
that she was strangled, but whatever her end, it is certain that she
confessed, under torture, to instrumentality in six hundred murders by
poison, including two popes, Pius III and Clement IV.

Murrell says that the Aqua Tofana was made by rubbing white arsenic into
pork, and collecting the liquid which drained from it during
decomposition. To an irritant mineral poison was therefore added, by
this vile process, a ptomaine or cadaveric alkaloid possessing
properties of the highest degree of toxicity. Be this as it may, there
is well-grounded belief that corrosive sublimate and opium were
sometimes added to the arsenic.

In other countries there was similar activity in this line. Thierry, the
historian of the Norman conquest, for example, tells us of one queen of
the Franks, Fridegonde, in the sixth century, whose life “could be
summarized in a chronological table of assassinations by steel or
poison”; and of another, Brunhilde, who poisoned her grandson and ten
kings or sons of kings.

In Russia, Catherine I., wife of Peter the Great, noted for her
scandalous misconduct, is believed to have poisoned her husband; and in
France, Francis II. and Charles IX. were poisoned with the connivance of
Catherine de Medici, wife of Henry II., who instigated the massacre of
St. Bartholomew, to say nothing of the prompting of the assassination of
Henry of Guise and his brother the cardinal. Catherine had in her employ
a Milanese named Reni, who served her in the double capacity of perfumer
and poisoner. Here, again, the backward swing of the iconoclastic
pendulum has challenged the verdict of history, but historic judgment is
still firm and impregnable.

In England the most noteworthy case in high life was that of the
Countess of Somerset, who poisoned Sir Thomas Overbury, in the Tower of
London, in 1613, with corrosive sublimate. As Lady Essex she had
procured a divorce from her husband in order to marry Robert Carr, Earl
of Somerset. Overbury was in possession of incriminating facts
concerning Lady Essex which would have been fatal to her success, and he
was put out of the way ten days before the decree of divorce was
pronounced. More than two years elapsed before circumstances led to the
discovery of her crime. She was found guilty, but was pardoned by James
I. This leniency was in marked contrast with the treatment of those who
had no friends at Court. A statute of Henry VIII. ordered prisoners to
be boiled to death, and in accordance therewith, it is related that a
young woman who had poisoned three families at Smithfield was boiled

In the course of the latter half of the seventeenth century a mania for
secret poisoning was developed in France, which extended to all classes
of society. La Spara and Tofana had fitting types and imitators in Paris
in two midwives and fortune-tellers named Lavoison and Lavigoreux. So
great was their traffic in poisons, and it may be said, so fashionable,
that their houses were thronged with purchasers, both of high and low
degree, from Paris and the provinces. The usual motives and incentives
were in full play, jealousy, revenge, avarice, court intrigue, political
enmity, and removal of all obstacles that stood in the way of iniquitous
plans and projects. To suppress and punish this class of offenders, a
special tribunal was established in the reign of Louis XIV., known as
the “Chambre Ardente.” Lavoison and her confederate were condemned and
executed in 1680, and their accomplices in various cities of France, to
the number of more than one hundred, were burned or beheaded.

Of the prisoners of the aristocratic class of that period, none
commanded such widespread interest, and none is so well remembered as
Marie-Marguerite d’Aubray, la Marquise de Brinvilliers. Here was a woman
with every advantage of high birth and position, of large wealth, of
influential connections, of singular beauty, fascinating manners and
elegant accomplishments, recklessly throwing all away in the attempt to
substitute a scoundrelly lover for a reprobate husband. This lover,
Gaudin de St. Croix, who, while incarcerated in the Bastille, in company
with the Italian chemist, Exili, had learned from him the preparation
and application of poisons, so far as then known, became in turn the
instructor of the marchioness. This Jezebel, in order to test the
efficacy of the materials which St. Croix supplied, and to qualify
herself for the sure destruction of her father and her two brothers, who
antagonized her shameful amour, visited the hospitals, particularly the
Hôtel Dieu, day after day, in the guise of a sister of charity, to
experiment upon helpless invalids. In the course of this diabolical work
she often produced effects as mere aggravated symptoms of the maladies
she was ostensibly endeavoring to alleviate, and while outwardly gentle,
tender, compassionate, and sympathetic, she succeeded in sending a large
number to the deadhouse without incurring suspicion. St. Croix
afterwards lost his life by inhaling deadly fumes in his laboratory;
letters compromising the marchioness were found in his cabinet, and she
escaped to Liège, but was eventually decoyed from a convent in which she
had taken refuge, and brought back to Paris, tortured into confession,
and beheaded on the scaffold in the Place de Grève. The best narrative
of her romantic career may be found in the admirable historical novel of
Albert Smith, better known as an entertaining writer than as an English

With respect to social position, there is a wide gulf between coarse and
vulgar reprobates and such society leaders as the Belgian aristocrat,
Madame Marie Thérèse Joniaux, whose trial at Antwerp, several years ago,
for the murder of her sister, brother, and uncle, all insured in her
favor, created a profound sensation. She was the daughter of General
Ablay, a distinguished cavalry officer; had been brought up in an
atmosphere of refinement and cultivated taste; had been twice married to
men of superior rank, and had moved among the best social circles of
Brussels and Antwerp. But down in the depths of her moral sense she
proved to be as depraved, as vicious, as impenitent as the low-born
wretches to whom we have referred. Her love of luxury and display and
her passion for cards exhausted her fortune, and her nearest relatives
were sacrificed to repair it. Yet she was so far above suspicion that it
was only the rapidity with which the claims successively matured, and
the impetuous and indecent haste with which payment was claimed, that
led to her betrayal.

A case which attracted widespread attention was that of Madeline Smith,
of Glasgow, who was tried in July, 1857, for the murder of her lover and
seducer, Pierre Emile L’Angelier. He sought to crown his perfidious
conduct with marriage, but her parents not knowing of their illicit
relations, forced an engagement to marry a man of their choice, Mr.
Minnoch. Thereupon the revengeful scoundrel exposed to friends of the
family Madeline’s piteous letters to him with reference to her
_enceinte_ condition, and drove her to desperation. The indictment read,
“administering arsenic or some other poison in coffee, cocoa, or some
other food or drink, in February, 1857.” The trial ended with the Scotch
verdict, “not proven,” to the great relief of the community, everybody
being in sympathy with the defendant. In the course of the analytical
evidence, several chemico-legal questions were involved, one of the most
important of which related to the degree of solubility of arsenic. In
the stomach of the deceased the chemists found ninety grains of arsenic
either dissolved or suspended, and there was arsenic enough in the
intestines to cause violent purging. This, by the way, was seized upon
by the defence as consistent with the theory that the deceased died of
cholera morbus. But while the crown contended that the arsenic had been
administered in coffee or chocolate, the defence claimed that it was
impossible that such a quantity could have been taken unconsciously by
the deceased in these or any other liquid media. With reference to this
view, Witthaus very properly notes that it presupposes that solution is
a requisite to secret administration, but while this may be true of a
transparent medium, and where the victim is in the possession of his
senses, it must not be forgotten that a much larger quantity than could
be dissolved may be stirred into a thick and opaque liquid, and taken
without producing any effect upon the senses, except possibly a rough
taste or gritty sensation.

No case of arsenical poisoning in recent times has attracted so much
attention, aroused so much interest, and provoked so much discussion as
that of Mrs. Florence Maybrick. The fact that James Maybrick was in the
habit of taking arsenic as a tonic in fractional doses, and the
insufficiency of such alleged motives as the life insurance, and the
attachment to Brierly, were points in favor of the defence. On the other
hand, the repeated investigation of the Home Secretary, and his stubborn
resistance to appeals for pardon from England and America, strengthened
the presumption of guilt. But even those who were unconvinced of the
prisoner’s innocence of criminal intent gladly acquiesced in the release
from long imprisonment which finally came in response to persistent


Lines on observing a sunbeam glittering on a mass of snow:

           “Mark, in yon beam the world’s destructive guile,
           It melts us into ruin with a smile.”

When Socrates was asked what a man gains by telling lies, he answered,
“not to be believed when he speaks the truth.”

I do not call the sod under my feet my country. But language, religion,
laws, government, blood,—identity in these makes men of one

The observation of hospitality, even towards an enemy, is inculcated by
a Hindu author: “The sandal tree imparts its fragrance even to the axe
that hews it.”

An Eastern sage being desired to inscribe on the ring of his Sultan a
motto, equally applicable to prosperity or adversity, returned it with
these words engraved upon it: “And this, too, shall pass away.”

Affection, like melancholy, magnifies trifles; but the magnifying of the
one is like looking through a telescope at heavenly objects; that of the
other, like enlarging monsters with a microscope.

It is very piteous to look at blind people; but it is observed that they
are generally cheerful because others pay them so much attention; and
one would suffer a good deal to be continually treated with love.—LEIGH

           Yet courage, soul! Nor hold thy strength in vain,
             In hope o’ercome the steeps God sets for thee;
           Beyond the Alpine summits of great pain
             Lieth thine Italy.—ROSE TERRY COOKE.

              A tender child of Summers three,
                Seeking her little bed at night,
              Paused on the dark stair timidly;
                “Oh, mother! take my hand,” said she,
              “And then the dark will all be light.”

Books are the legacies that genius leaves to mankind, to be delivered
down from generation to generation, as presents to the posterity of
those who are yet unborn.—ADDISON.

Virtue and talents, though allowed their due consideration, yet are not
enough to procure a man a welcome wherever he comes. Nobody contents
himself with rough diamonds, or wears them so. When polished and set,
then they give a lustre.—LOCKE.

Pierpont says of the ballot,—

                  “A weapon that comes down as still
                    As snowflakes fall upon the sod;
                  But executes a freeman’s will,
                    As lightning does the will of God.

Reason is the triumph of the intellect, faith of the heart; and whether
the one or the other shall best illumine the dark mysteries of our
being, they only are to be despaired of who care not to

If there be no nobility of descent, all the more indispensable is it
that there should be nobility of ascent—a character in them that bear
rule so fine and high and pure, that as men come within the circle of
its influence they involuntarily pay homage to that which is the one
preeminent distinction, the Royalty of Virtue.—BISHOP POTTER.

                 “Love gives itself; and, if not given,
                   No genius, beauty, worth, nor wit,
                 No gold of earth, no gem of heaven
                   Is rich enough to purchase it.”
                                       ALEXANDER SMITH.

          Who is there in this world who has not, hidden
            Deep in his heart, a picture, clear and faint,
          Veiled, sacred, to the outer world forbidden,
            O’er which he bends, and murmurs low, “My Saint?”

          Be good, my dear, and let who will, be clever;
            Do noble things, not dream them all day long;
          And so make life, death, and the vast Forever
            One great, sweet song.—CHARLES KINGSLEY.

          Do right, though pain and anguish be thy lot,
          Thy heart will cheer thee when the pain’s forgot;
          Do wrong for pleasure’s sake,—then count thy gains,—
          The pleasure soon departs, the sin remains.

The wisest man in a comedy is he that plays the fool, for a man must be
no fool to give a diverting representation of folly.—S. Viar, ix. 1.

                           TOASTS AND MOTTOES

                         _The Pilgrim Fathers_

The physical daring and hardihood with which amidst the times of savage
warfare, the Pilgrims laid the foundation of mighty States, and subdued
the rugged soil, and made the wilderness blossom; the vigilance and
firmness with which under all circumstances they held fast their
chartered liberties and extorted new rights and privileges from the
reluctant home government, justly entitle them to the grateful
remembrance of a generation now reaping the fruit of their sacrifices
and toils.—JOHN G. WHITTIER.

                           _Independence Day_

It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of
devotion, from one end of the continent to the other.—JOHN ADAMS.

                             _Our Country_

                     A goodly heritage.—Psalm xvi.

             Upon this land a thousand, thousand blessings.
                               SHAKESPEARE, “Henry VIII.”

                                   On thy brow
               Shall set a nobler grace than now,
               Deep in the brightness of the skies
               The thronging years of glory rise.—BRYANT.

The materials by which any nation is rendered flourishing and prosperous
are its industry, its knowledge or skill, its morals, its execution of
justice, its courage, and the national union in directing these powers
to one point, and making them all centre in the public benefit.

                                                           EDMUND BURKE.

It is to self-government, the great principle of popular representation
and administration—the system that lets in all to participate in the
counsel that are to assign the good or evil to all—that we may owe what
we are and what we hope to be.—DANIEL WEBSTER.

Perpetual Peace and Happiness to the United States of America!—General
Washington’s Toast, Newburgh, New York, April 19, 1783.

                      _The American Commonwealth_

             Seeming parted, but yet a union in partition.
                 SHAKESPEARE, “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

That is the very best government which desires to make the people
happy.—MACAULAY, “Essays.”

                  _The President of the United States_

                   Yea, the elect of the land.
                       SHAKESPEARE, “Twelfth Night.”

                  The special head of all the land.
                              SHAKESPEARE, “Henry IV.”

The office of President is not a little honorable, but jointly therewith
very tedious and burdensome.

                                            ANTONIE, “Familiar Letters.”

Let him join himself to no party that does not carry the flag, and keep
step to the music of the Union.

                                                           RUFUS CHOATE.

                        _The Flag of Our Union_

             A song for our banner! The watchword recall
               Which gave the Republic her station;
             United we stand—divided we fall;
               It made and preserves us a Nation.
                                           GEO. P. MORRIS.

                               _The Army_

They who stand side by side in struggle, share the peril, and do battle
for the maintenance of the integrity of the government.—GEN. GEORGE G.

                     Where are warriors found
               If not on our Republic’s ground?
                             SCOTT, “Lord of the Isles.”

                      Defenders of our soil,
              Who from destruction save us; who from spoil
              Protect the sons of peace.—CRABBE.

                               _The Navy_

                It doth command the empire of the sea.
                    SHAKESPEARE, “Antony and Cleopatra.”

Naval strategy has for its end to found, support, and increase, as well
in peace as in war, the sea power of the country.—CAPT. A. T. MAHAN.

                  Hearts of oak are our ships,
                  Hearts of oak are our men.
                                        DAVID GARRICK.

                               _The City_

The union of men in large masses is indispensable to the development and
rapid growth of the higher faculties of men. Cities have always been the
first places of civilization whence light and heat radiated out into the
dark cold world.—THEODORE PARKER.

                              _The Pulpit_

                          That to believing souls
              Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.
                                SHAKESPEARE, “2 Henry VI.”

           His preaching much, but more his practice wrought,
           A living sermon of the truths he taught.—DRYDEN.

                               _The Law_

      When we’ve nothing to dread from the law’s sternest frowns,
      We all laugh at the barrister’s wigs, bags, and gowns;
      But as soon as we want them to sue or defend,
      Then their laughter begins, and our mirth’s at an end.
                                            Old Epigram.

“Whate’er is best administered is best,” may truly be said of a judicial
system, and the due distribution of justice depends much more upon the
rules by which suits are to be conducted than on the perfection of the
code by which rights are defined.—LORD CAMPBELL, “Lives of the


                          Physicians mend or end us,
            _Secundum artem_; but although we sneer
            In health—when ill, we call them to attend us,
            Without the least propensity to jeer.
                                          BYRON, “Don Juan.”

He professed a higher opinion of the medical, or rather the surgical
profession, than any other. “Their mission,” said he, “is to benefit
mankind, not to destroy, mystify, or inflame them against one another,
and they have opportunities of studying human nature as well as
science.”—“Mémoires de l’Empereur Napoléon.”


             For where thou art, there is the world itself;
             With every several pleasure in the world;
             And where thou art not, desolation.
                             SHAKESPEARE, “Henry VI.”

             O woman! lovely woman! nature made thee
             To temper man; we had been brutes without you.
             Angels are painted fair, to look like you;
             There’s in you all that we believe of heaven;
             Amazing brightness, purity and truth,
             Eternal joy, and everlasting love.
                       THOMAS OTWAY, “Venice Preserved.”

           Not she with trait’rous kiss her Saviour stung,
           Not she denied him with unholy tongue;
           She, while apostles shrank, could danger brave,
           Last at his cross, and earliest at his grave.
                                             E. B. BROWNING.

           The woman of the coming time—
             Shall man to vote appoint her?
           Well, yes or no; your bottom dime
             He’ll do as she’s a mind ter!

           We know she “will” or else she “won’t,”
             ‘Twill be the same as now;
           And if she does, or if she don’t,
             God bless her, anyhow!

           When pain and anguish wring the brow
           A ministering angel thou.—SCOTT, “Marmion.”

                          _Christian Charity_

“O my leddie! when the hour o’ trouble comes that comes to mind and
body, and the hour o’ death comes that comes to high and low, it is no’
what we ha’ done for ourselves but what we ha’ done for others, that we
think on maist pleasantly.”—EFFIE DEANS, “_The Heart of Midlothian_.”

                           _Sexual Affinity_

                As unto the bow the cord is,
                So unto the man is woman:
                Though she bends him, she obeys him;
                Though she draws him, yet she follows;
                Useless each without the other.
                                LONGFELLOW, “Hiawatha.”

           Not like to like, but like in difference:
           But in the long years liker must they grow;
           The man be more of woman, she of man;
           He gain in sweetness and in moral height,
           Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world;
           She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care
           Till at the last she set herself to man
           Like perfect music unto noble words;
           And so these twain, upon the skirts of Time,
           Sit side by side, full-summed in all their powers,
           Dispensing harvest, sowing the To be
           Self-reverent each and reverencing each,
           Distinct in individualities,
           But like each other, even as those who love.
                                       TENNYSON, “Princess.”


Honest water is too weak to be a sinner; it never left man in the mire.

                                   SHAKESPEARE, “Timon of Athens,” i. 2.

                              _The Press_

          There various news I heard of love and strife,
          Of peace and war, health, sickness, death and life,
          Of loss and gain, of famine, and of store,
          Of storm at sea and travel on the shore,
          Of turns of fortune, changes in the state,
          Of fall of favorites, projects of the great,
          Of old mismanagements, taxations new;
          All neither wholly false, nor wholly true.
                    ALEXANDER POPE, “Temple of Fame.”

                        _Modern Transportation_

Of all inventions, the alphabet and printing-press excepted, those
inventions which abridge distance have done most for the civilization of
our species. Every improvement of the means of locomotion benefits
mankind morally and intellectually as well as materially, and not only
facilitates the interchange of the various productions of nature and
art, but tends to remove national and provincial antipathies, and to
bind together all the branches of the great human family.—MACAULAY,
“History of England.”

                           _Erskine’s Toast_

Sink your pits, blast your mines, dam your rivers, consume your
manufactures, disperse your commerce, and may your labors be in _vein_.

                               _Our Dead_

Alexander the Great, before giving signal for the banquet to be served,
looked searchingly around upon the faces of all present and called out:
“Are all here who fought at Issos?” After a pause Clitus answered, “All,
Alexander, but those who fell there.” Which was thought to be an ill
response for such an occasion, but to which Alexander quickly replied:
“Then all who fought at Issos are here, since the glorious dead are
always in our memory.”—CTESIPPUS TO ARISTOTLE.


At the supper parties at Abbotsford Scott was fond of telling amusing
tales, ancient legends, ghost and witch stories. When it was time to go,
all rose, and, standing hand in hand round the table, Scott taking the
lead, they sang in full chorus:

                         Weel may we a’ be;
                         Ill may we never see;
                         Health to the King
                         An’ the gude companie.

                           FINIS CORONAT OPUS

                     _The Burial Places of Europe_

According to the XII Tables (the earliest code of Roman Law), burial
within the walls of ancient Rome was strictly prohibited, though the
Senate reserved the right, in rare instances, to make exception as a
mark of special honor. Many of the Roman families preferred cremation,
while others adhered to the custom of unburnt burial. To accommodate the
former, large chambers, filled with niches or recesses, called
_Columbaria_, were provided, as receptacles for the vases containing the
ashes left after burning. For the latter, the sarcophagus, the
mausoleum, the catacomb, the excavation in the tufa rock, furnished the
usual sepulture. These burial places lined the roads leading out of
Rome, and many of them still remain along the Appian Way. The frontage
of the principal roads became so valuable for burial purposes that it
was customary to add after the inscription of names and dates on the
monuments a record of the number of feet in the front and depth of every
lot. The most ancient of the Roman burial places still in existence is
the tomb of the Scipios, in the fork between the _Via Appia_ and the
_Via Latina_, and the most magnificent mausoleum was that of Hadrian,
which was lined throughout with Parian marble, and surrounded by rows of
statues between columns of variegated Oriental marbles. Its chambers
were rifled by the Goths under Alaric; it was afterwards converted into
a fortress by Belisarius; and for centuries it has been known as the
Castle of S. Angelo.

The Campo Santo of Pisa is the prototype of the covered or cloistered
cemetery, having been constructed in the thirteenth century. The vast
rectangle within this singular structure is surrounded by arcades of
white marble, and within their enclosed spaces the walls are covered
with historic paintings by famous Tuscan artists. Aside from its
strange-looking sarcophagi, its antique devices, and its curious
inscriptions, there are two objects of more than passing interest. The
earth, to the depth of several feet, was brought from Palestine, not so
much from sentimental considerations, as because, of supposed antiseptic
and rapidly decomposing properties. The other, hanging on the west wall,
is the enormous blockading chain that was used in the harbor of Pisa. It
was captured by the Genoese forces in 1362, and restored to Pisa in

The southern cemetery of Munich, just outside the Sendling Gate, is
another cloistered rectangular structure, or campo santo, less
attractive historically than that of Pisa, being quite modern, but in
point of decorative art, inasmuch as Munich is one of the favored
centres of the fine arts, infinitely superior. It is a museum of tombs,
most of whose occupants were wealthy enough to obtain from the best
sculpture of the day “a bond in stone and everduring bronze” to
perpetuate their memories. In the Leichenhaus (dead house) adjoining may
be seen through glass windows the bodies which are customarily deposited
there for three days before burial. They are placed in their coffins in
easy and natural postures, they are arrayed as usual in life, and
flowers and other accessories are so arranged as to make them appear as
if asleep. There is a similar Leichenhaus in Frankfort, and the primary
object is the same in both, to obviate the danger of premature
interment. On one of the fingers of each corpse is placed a ring
attached to a light cord connected with a bell in the room of the
warder, who is always on the watch.

Among the various modes of burial on the continent, none are so
revolting to an Englishman or an American as the use of a common
_fosse_, or pit. In one of the cemeteries of Naples is a series of 365
pits, one for every day of the year. One pit is opened each day, the
dead of that day are laid in it, and it is filled with earth containing
a large quantity of lime. A year afterwards this earth with its
decomposed contents is removed, and the pit placed in readiness for the
annual repetition of the burial of new bodies with fresh earth and fresh

In the basement of the Capuchin Church in Rome is the charnel-house or
cemetery of the Friars. It is divided into recesses, and the walls are
festooned with the bones of disinterred Capuchins, arranged in fanciful
forms, such as stars, crosses, crowns, shields, lamps, etc. The
arrangement of the bones is ingenious, and more grotesque than horrible.
Here and there, in niches, entire skeletons are placed in various
attitudes. At the death of a friar the body is deposited in the oldest
grave, and the bones of the former occupant are removed to the
_ossuarium_, and prepared for the additional decoration of the vaults.
In the Church of St. Ursula, in Cologne, are preserved the bones of
eleven thousand virgins—more or less—who were barbarously massacred by
the Huns because they refused to break the vows of chastity. These
osseous relics are piled on shelves built in the walls for their
accommodation and display. It is hard for an American, whether churchman
or heretic, to comprehend the meaning or purpose or taste of such a
strange anatomical exhibition.

There are Americans who go to Nuremberg without visiting the
_Johannisfriedhof_, the church-yard of St. John. They miss many things
worth seeing in this extremely quaint spot,—monumental designs,
intricate iron work, bronze tablets on horizontal stones, which have no
parallels or imitations elsewhere. They miss the “Emigravit,” etc.
inscribed on the tombstone of Albert Dürer, and referred to by Mr.
Longfellow in his lines descriptive of Nuremberg; they miss the strange
monument to Hans Sachs; and they miss the mortuary chapel of the
Holzschuher family which contains some of the finest works of the old
sculptor, Adam Krafft. But people have differing tastes, and those of
our countrymen referred to as not caring a fig for the queer bronze
bas-reliefs in the church-yard of St. John, make it a point to include
the catacombs of Rome and Paris within the range of their visits in
these cities. In Paris it is much easier to trace the course of the
catacombs on charts, to learn above ground the history of the
transformation of the old quarries into subterranean charnel-houses, and
to accept the statistical statement that three millions of skeletons are
deposited there, without verifying the assertion by descending into the
excavations and counting the bones. Faithfully “doing” the crypts of the
churches in Paris, as elsewhere, is fatiguing enough. It is well to
stand by the coffin of Victor Hugo in the lower recesses of the
Pantheon, or on the spot in the _Chapelle Expiatoire_, where Marie
Antoinette was originally buried, or near the ashes of the celebrities
in the undercroft of St. Denis, but fatigue eventually draws the line.

There is one crypt of which no one ever tires, no matter how frequent
the visits may be repeated. It is directly beneath the gilded dome of
the _Invalides_, and holds the porphyry monolith in which repose the
remains of Napoleon. Around the top of the portico is a circular marble
balustrade over which the visitor looks down at the colossal bronze
caryatides and marble statues which surround the tomb. The height of the
dome is 323 feet. Through an ingenious arrangement of an upper window a
flood of golden light is made to strike the high altar near the tomb in
a singularly effective manner. As one glances from that altar to the
magnificent frescoes around, from the splendid statuary to the glories
of the torn and faded battle flags, from the mosaic laurels on the floor
of the crypt to the grandeur of the dome, he feels that this is art’s
supreme effort to make the resting place of the warrior at once the most
beautiful and the most majestic tomb that has ever been reared to a

What a broad contrast between this imperial magnificence and the simple
and quiet grave of Thomas Gray in the church-yard of Stoke Pogis, the
scene of his immortal Elegy; or the ivy-covered tomb of Walter Scott in
a sheltered nook of the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey; or the vault in the
chancel of the parish church on the bank of the Avon, at Stratford,
which holds the ashes of William Shakespeare. Visitors to Naples
hesitate to climb the steep rocks near the Grotto of Posilipo, to visit
the alleged tomb of Virgil, because authoritative writers doubt whether
the author of the Æneid was buried there. But we know that in that quiet
spot at the southeast corner of the venerable church of Stoke manor,
Gray was buried, and we are told that on the evening before the capture
of Quebec and the overthrow of the French dominion in Canada, General
Wolfe said, “I would rather be the author of the Elegy in a Country
Church-yard than to win a victory to-morrow.” And we might ask, who
would not rather be the author of Hamlet than the victor of Austerlitz
or Marengo?

              “Such graves as theirs are pilgrim shrines,
                Shrines to no code or creed confined;
              The Delphian vales, the Palestines,
                The Meccas of the mind.”

What Santa Croce is to Italy, what the Valhalla is to Germany, what the
Pantheon was intended to be to France—the shrine of genius—Westminster
Abbey is to England. Scores of kings and queens are buried in this
National Sanctuary, but though it is still the place for the coronation,
it is no longer the place for the interment of royalty. It has become
the sepulchre of the kings of great thought and of grand action. Says
Dean Stanley in his Historical Memorials of the Abbey, “As the Council
of the nation and the Courts of Law have pressed into the Palace of
Westminster, and engirdled the very Throne itself, so the ashes of the
great citizens of England have pressed into the sepulchre of the Kings
and surrounded them as with a guard of honor after their death.... Let
those who are inclined to contrast the placid dignity of our recumbent
Kings with Chatham gesticulating from the Northern Transept, or Pitt
from the western door, or Shakespeare leaning on his column in Poets’
Corner, or Wolfe expiring by the Chapel of St. John, look upon them as
in their different ways keeping guard over the shrine of our monarchy
and our laws.”

The Abbey does not monopolize the ashes of England’s greatest dead. Many
who were illustrious in arms, in arts, in song, in statesmanship, rest
in another Valhalla, St. Paul’s Cathedral. Notwithstanding the
passionate exclamation of Nelson, “A peerage, or Westminster Abbey,” he
was buried in the crypt of St. Paul’s, and so, half a century later, was
Wellington. But a mile to the eastward there is a burial place of far
more curious interest to the student of English history. It is in the
grounds of that gloomy aggregation of buildings, the Tower of London,
the fortress, prison, and palace, which dates back to the Norman
Conquest. In point of historic reminiscence there is not a more
interesting, certainly not a sadder spot than the Chapel of St. Peter in
the Tower. Here rest the distinguished victims of the remorseless
axe,—Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey, Sir Thomas More,
Essex, Somerset, Northumberland, and all the rest of noble martyrs who
were beheaded near the Beauchamp Tower, a few yards from where their
remains have mouldered to dust. Macaulay says of this burial place:
“Death is there associated, not as in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s,
with genius and virtue, with public veneration and with imperishable
renown; not, as in our humblest churches and church-yards, with
everything that is most endearing in social and domestic charities, but
with whatever is darkest in human nature and in human destiny, with the
savage triumph of implacable enemies, with the inconstancy, the
ingratitude, the cowardice of friends, with all the miseries of fallen
greatness and of blighted fame.”

                          _The Loved and Lost_

         “The loved and lost!” why do we call them lost?
           Because we miss them from our outward road,
         God’s unseen angel o’er our pathway crost
         Looked on us all, and loving them the most,
           Straightway relieved them from life’s weary load.

         They are not lost; they are within the door
           That shuts out loss and every hurtful thing—
         With angels bright, and loved ones gone before,
         In their Redeemer’s presence evermore,
           And God himself their Lord, and Judge, and King.

         And this we call a loss! O selfish sorrow
           Of selfish hearts! O we of little faith!
         Let us look round, some argument to borrow,
         Why we in patience should await the morrow,
           That surely must succeed the night of death.

         Aye, look upon this dreary, desert path,
           The thorns and thistles wheresoe’r we turn;
         What trials and what tears, what wrongs and wrath,
         What struggles and what strife the journey hath!
           They have escaped from these; and lo! we mourn.

         Ask the poor sailor, when the wreck is done,
           Who, with his treasure, strove the shore to reach,
         While with the raging waves he battled on,
         Was it not joy, where every joy seemed gone,
           To see his loved ones landed on the beach?

         A poor wayfarer, leading by the hand
           A little child, had halted by the well
         To wash from off her feet the clinging sand,
         And tell the tired boy of that bright land
           Where, this long journey past, they longed to dwell,

         When lo! the Lord, who many mansions had,
           Drew near and looked upon the suffering twain,
         Then pitying, spake, “Give me the little lad;
         In strength renewed, and glorious beauty clad,
           I’ll bring him with me when I come again.”

         Did she make answer selfishly and wrong—
           “Nay, but the woes I feel he too must share!”
         Or, rather bursting into grateful song,
         She went her way rejoicing and made strong
           To struggle on, since he was freed from care.

         We will do likewise. Death hath made no breach
           In love and sympathy, in hope and trust;
         No outward sigh or sound our ears can reach,
         But there’s an inward, spiritual speech,
           That greets us still, though mortal tongues be dust.

         It bids us do the work that they laid down—
           Take up the song where they broke off the strain;
         So journeying till we reach the heavenly town,
         Where are laid up our treasures and our crown,
           And our lost, loved ones will be found again.

                               _At Last_

         When on my day of life the night is falling,
           And, in the winds from unsunned spaces blown,
         I hear far voices out of darkness calling
           My feet to paths unknown.

         Thou who hast made my home of life so pleasant,
           Leave not its tenant when its walls decay;
         O love divine, O helper ever present,
           Be thou my strength and stay!

         Be near me when all else is from me drifting,
           Earth, sky, home’s picture, days of shade and shine,
         And kindly faces to my own uplifting
           The love which answers mine.

         I have but Thee, O Father! Let Thy Spirit
           Be with me then to comfort and uphold;
         No gate of pearl, no branch of palm, I merit,
           Nor street of shining gold.

         Suffice it if—my good and ill unreckoned,
           And both forgiven through Thy abounding grace—
         I find myself by hands familiar beckoned
           Unto my fitting place;

         Some humble door among Thy many mansions,
           Some sheltering shade where sin and striving cease,
         And flows fore’er through heaven’s green expansions
           The river of Thy peace.

         There from the music round about me stealing,
           I fain would learn the new and holy song,
         And find, at last, beneath Thy trees of healing,
           The life for which I long.
                               JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.

                            _Auld Lang Syne_

Under this title, though sometimes called a “hymn of comfort,” Rev. John
W. Chadwick wrote the following lines for the twenty-fifth anniversary
of his church:

                It singeth low in every heart,
                  We hear it each and all—
                A song of those who answer not,
                  Forever we may call;
                They throng the silence of the breast,
                  We see them as of yore—
                The kind, the brave, the true, the sweet
                  Who walk with us no more.

                ’Tis hard to take the burden up
                  When these have laid it down;
                They brightened all the joy of life,
                  They softened every frown;
                But oh, ’tis good to think of them,
                  When we are troubled sore!
                Thanks be to God that such have been,
                  Although they are no more!

                More homelike seems the vast unknown,
                  Since they have entered there;
                To follow them were not so hard,
                  Wherever they may fare;
                They cannot be where God is not,
                  On any sea or shore;
                Whate’er betides, Thy love abides,
                  Our God, for evermore.

                           _In a Rose Garden_

Under the above title, John Bennett, of Charleston, S. C., wrote the
following verses:

                A hundred years from now, dear heart,
                  We will not care at all;
                It will not matter then a whit,
                  The honey or the gall.
                The Summer days that we have known
                Will all forgotten be and flown;
                The garden will be overgrown
                  Where now the roses fall.

                A hundred years from now, dear heart,
                  We will not mind the pain;
                The throbbing, crimson tide of life
                  Will not have left a stain.
                The song we sing together, dear,
                The dream we dream together here,
                Will mean no more than means a tear
                  Amid a Summer rain.

                A hundred years from now, dear heart,
                  The grief will all be o’er;
                The sea of care will surge in vain
                  Upon a careless shore.
                These glasses we turn down to-day,
                Here at the parting of the way,
                We shall be wineless then as they,
                  And will not mind it more.

                A hundred years from now, dear heart,
                  We’ll neither know nor care
                What came of all life’s bitterness,
                  Or followed love’s despair.
                Then fill the glasses up again,
                And kiss me through the rose-leaf rain;
                We’ll build one castle more in Spain
                  And dream one more dream there.

                            “_Now I Lay Me_”

The Mothers’ Club, which is revolutionizing the training of children,
wants a revision of the child’s evening prayer which is in universal
use. A grandmother relates a newly-awakened experience upon the occasion
of a visit to her daughter. On the night after her arrival, the little
five-year-old grandson insisted that his grandmother should put him to
bed. When he was ready to be tucked in, he repeated the Lord’s Prayer,
but when asked to follow it with “Now I lay me down to sleep,” she found
that he had never learned it. On asking her daughter why, the child’s
mother replied: “Why, mother dear, that belongs to the past, like
teaching children to kneel, and many other things. Do we want our
children to kneel when they ask us for anything? The Mothers’ Club has
taught us that ‘Now I lay me’ is highly objectionable, with the
suggestion in the line, ‘if I should die before I wake.’ How cruel to
implant such a thought in the child’s mind! I remember too well the long
hours I have lain awake lest I should die in my sleep. The model parent
of to-day has advanced beyond the convictions of the model parent of
yesterday, when to impress upon a child a fear of death and to keep in
his remembrance that he must surely die was the duty of every good
father and mother.

“Think of the funerals children were made to attend when you were a
child—the funeral selections of the old-school readers, the horrible
gloom that fell upon a home whenever death crossed the threshold, the
clocks stopped, the pictures covered, or turned to the wall, and all the
rest. Perhaps the fulfilment of the promise ‘There shall be no more
death,’ is nearer than many suppose; for what is death when robbed of
the fear of it—that fear which has been a positive cult for centuries?
I, for one, believe that the blessed day is coming when to die will be
simply passing on, and, outside of the circle of the dear ones of the
departed, it will be almost ‘without observation.’ Certainly there will
be a welcome absence of funeral pageants, the complete annihilation of
the ashes after cremation, doing away in time with sepulchral urns and
chapels for their preservation. Memorial monuments will then be in some
form contributing to the world’s betterment. The wearing of mourning
will be a thing of the past, and that blemish on many a fair rural
landscape, the neglected old graveyard, will have disappeared. Funeral
processions will no more go about the streets.”

When the old-fashioned grandmother recovered somewhat from her amazement
at such a line of argument, she ventured to suggest a revision to avoid
the condemnation of the Mothers’ Club. So now the little fellow is

                  Now I lay me down to sleep;
                  I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep;
                  When in the morning light I wake,
                  Lead Thou my feet, that I may take
                  The path of love for Thy dear sake.

A call in the New York _Evening Post_ for a Child’s Morning Prayer
brought several responses, among which are the following:


                    My thanks, my God, I give to Thee
                    That I another morning see;
                    This day into Thy keeping take
                    My soul, my all, for Jesus sake.


                    Father, keep me all the day,
                    While I work or while I play;
                    Make me feel and do what’s right
                    ’Till I lay me down at night.


                Be with me, Lord, all through this day,
                Both in my work and in my play,
                That I by word and deed may be
                Worthy of love, of Heaven, and Thee.

John Quincy Adams, “the old man eloquent,” said at the close of fifty
years of crowded public life, beginning in 1798 and ending with his
death in 1848, that he had never retired at night without repeating the
little prayer that his mother taught him, “Now I lay me down to sleep.”
He further said it had been his practice to spend an hour each day in
reading the Holy Scriptures.


Few poems have taken such remarkable hold of the public mind as Mr.
Bryant’s “Thanatopsis.” It has proved a source of profound consolation
to many an anxious mind. Yet it has been subjected to criticism which
implies misapprehension of its purport and purpose. The young writer
evidently did not propose to deal with the strictly religious side of
the matter. His poem is what is called “A View of Death.” It addresses
itself to those whose fears may be excited by the prospect of the act of
dying. It offers those consolations which are appropriate to such a
consideration of a particular theme. It is an expansion of the old idea
that “it is as natural to die as to live.” It deals with death as a
change pertinent to the human constitution, and to be encountered with
philosophical resignation. Any distinct recognition of the life to come
would have been foreign to its purpose. It must be read with a full
recollection that its author was a believer in the blessings and glories
of the future state, though his immediate purpose was to reassure those
who regard the end of this life with unmanly timidity.

At the same time there is a suggestion of faith in the future which is
an essential part of the poem. The reader is exhorted to live so wisely
that when his summons comes he may approach the grave “sustained and
soothed by an unfaltering trust.” There may be those who find in these
words only an exhortation to a dignified acquiescence in the inevitable;
but considering that they were written by one who had been trained in
the principles of Christianity, they were probably suggested to his mind
by the general belief of mankind in immortality.

Thanatopsis has been misunderstood because of its entire freedom from
hackneyed common-places. Death is most frequently treated by Christian
writers from a distinctly Christian point of view. This is natural, and
leaves no ground for disapprobation. There is no reason, however, why it
should not be also philosophically considered, as it has been, indeed,
by several eminent religious writers, and as it is occasionally in the
Holy Scriptures themselves.

This beautiful poem is in no need of extenuation or excuse. The poet was
writing upon the mortality, not the immortality of man. He took away no
genuine religious consolations—he simply offered others which are not to
be disregarded because they are almost entirely intellectual.


In connection with the foregoing remarks, it is well to quote the
following passage from Mr. Bryant’s poem. “Flood of Years”:

                                 So they pass
           From stage to stage along the shining course
           Of that fair river broadened like a sea.
           As its smooth eddies curl along their way,
           They bring old friends together; hands are clasped
           In joy unspeakable; the mother’s arms
           Are again folded round the child she loved
           And lost. Old sorrows are forgotten now
           Or but remembered to make sweet the hour
           That overpays them; wounded hearts that bled
           Or broke are healed forever.

A gentleman who had been sorely bereaved was so struck by the
unquestioning faith in immortality here expressed, that he wrote to Mr.
Bryant, asking if the lines were to be understood as a statement of his
own belief. Mr. Bryant instantly replied in the following note:

                                       CUMMINGTON, MASS., Aug. 10, 1876.

  Certainly I believe all that is said in the lines you have quoted. If
  I had not, I could not have written them. I believe in the everlasting
  life of the soul; and it seems to me that immortality would be but an
  imperfect gift without the recognition in the life to come of those
  who are dear to us here.

                                                           W. C. BRYANT.

                   _M. Guizot’s Confession of Faith_

In the _Christianisme du XIX. Siècle_ the following extract from M.
Guizot’s will is printed:

“I die in the bosom of the Reformed Christian Church of France, in which
I was born, and in which I congratulate myself on having been born. In
remaining attached to her, I have always exercised that liberty of
conscience which she allows to her adherents in their relations with
God, and which she invoked for her own basis. I have inquired, I have
doubted; I have believed in the sufficiency of the human mind to resolve
the problems presented to it by the universe and by man, and in the
power of the human will to govern man’s life in accordance with its law
and its moral purpose. After having lived, acted, and reflected long, I
have remained, and still remain, convinced that neither the universe nor
man suffice either to explain or to govern themselves naturally by the
mere force of fixed laws to which they are subject, and of human wills
that are brought into play. It is my profound faith that God, who
created the universe and man, governs, upholds, or modifies them either
by general, and, as we may say, natural laws, or by special and, as we
call them, supernatural acts, emanating, as do also the general laws,
from His perfect and free wisdom and His infinite power, which it is
given to us to acknowledge in their effects, but forbidden to understand
in their essence and design. Thus I have returned to the convictions in
which I was cradled. Still firmly attached to reason and liberty, which
I have received from God, and which are my honor and my right in this
world, though I have returned to feel myself a child under the hand of
God, sincerely resigned to my large share of weakness and ignorance, I
believe in God, and adore Him without seeking to comprehend Him. I
recognize Him present and at work not only in the fixed system of the
universe and in the inner life of the soul, but also in the history of
human society, specially in the Old and New Testaments,—monuments of
revelation and Divine action, by the mediation and sacrifice of our
Saviour Jesus Christ for the salvation of the human race. I bow myself
before the mysteries of the Bible and the Gospel, and I stand aloof from
the discussion and the scientific solution by which men have tried to
explain them. I trust that God will allow me to call myself a Christian;
and I am convinced that in the light on which I am about to enter, we
shall see clearly the purely human origin and the vanity of the greater
part of our discussions here below on Divine things.”

                            _Thiers’s Faith_

The political testament of Thiers commences thus: “Faith in an immense
and incomprehensible God has not left me for a moment of my life, and I
wish it to be my first thought now while I turn my mind towards my end.
I have always denied a personal God, a revenger endowed with all the
vain splendors, and subject to the miserable passions of humanity. But I
prostrate myself, confused by my littleness, before the immense
uncreated cause of the Cosmos, and I confide in that provident and
immutable justice which I see diffused and dominant through the whole

                        _Patrick Henry’s Legacy_

Patrick Henry left in his will the following important message:

“I have now disposed of all my property to my family; there is one thing
more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian religion. If
they had that, and I had not given them one shilling, they would be
rich, and if they had not that, and I had given them all the world, they
would be poor.”

                         _Goethe’s Last Words_

These are said to have been “Mehr Licht!” (more light), and they are
often quoted as if they were regarded as worthy of a philosopher and
great writer. They are commonly looked upon as having reference to
increased enlightenment of the mind and soul only, which we must, or
should, all of us desire and long for. Probably Goethe had nothing more
in his mind than plain ordinary physical light. On the near approach of
death, light, which in the case of old people has been for years
gradually producing less and less impression on the sensorium, ceases,
in many cases, to produce more than the faintest impression, and so the
dying person imagines himself to be in the dark, and calls out for more
light. And this, most likely, was the case with Goethe.

                           _A Rational View_

Here is a passage from the last letter traced by the hands of George
Sand, which is singularly like to a saying of Goethe on his death-bed:
“I am not one of those who shrink from submission to a great law and
rebel against the end of universal life.” Is it not told of the great
German that he broke a long silence by this wise and consolatory
utterance: “After all, this death is so general a thing, it cannot be an
evil thing.”


Dr. Charles F. Deems, the genial pastor of the Church of the Strangers,
New York City, on reaching his seventieth birthday, thus briefly gave
out the secret of his successful and happy life:

                          The world is wide
                          In time and tide,
                          And God is guide,
                            Then—do not hurry.

                          That man is blest
                          Who does his best
                          And leaves the rest,
                            Then—do not worry.

                  _A Scene at Old Hickory’s Death-bed_

Mrs. Wilcox was present at General Jackson’s death, one bright and
beautiful Sabbath morning in the June of 1845, and she described it as a
scene never to be forgotten. He bade them all adieu in the tenderest
terms, and enjoined them, old and young, white and black, to meet him in
heaven. All were in tears, and when he had breathed his last the
outburst of grief was irrepressible. The congregation at the little
Presbyterian Church on the plantation, which the general had built to
gratify his deceased wife, the morning service over, came flocking to
the mansion as his eyes were closing, and added their bewailment to the
general sorrow.

Shortly after this mournful event Mrs. Wilcox encountered an old servant
in the kitchen, who was sobbing as though her heart would break. “Ole
missus is gone,” she brokenly said to the child, “and now ole massa’s
gone; dey’s all gone, and dey was our best frens. An ole massa, not
satisfied teachin’ us how to live, has now teached us how to die!”

The poor, unlettered creature did not know that she was paraphrasing one
of the most beautiful passages in Tickell’s elegy upon the “Death of

            “He taught us how to live, and (oh, too high
            The price for knowledge!) taught us how to die.”

                          _Imperator Augustus_

           Is this the man by whose decree abide
             The lives of countless nations, with the trace
             Of fresh tears wet upon the hard, cold face?
           He wept because a little child had died.
           They set a marble image by his side,
             A sculptured Eros, ready for the chase;
             It wore the dead boy’s features, and the grace
           Of pretty ways that were the old man’s pride.
           And so he smiled, grown softer now, and tired
             Of too much empire, and it seemed a joy
           Fondly to stroke and pet the curly head,
           The smooth, round curls so strongly like the dead,
             To kiss the white lips of his marble boy,
           And call by name his little heart’s-desired.

                         _Mary Stuart’s Prayer_

Of the English versions of the prayer of Mary, Queen of Scots, two of
the best are as follows. The first is from Swinburne’s tragedy, “Mary

                     O Lord, my God,
                       I have trusted in Thee;
                     O Jesu, my dearest One,
                       Now set me free.
                     In prison’s oppression,
                     In sorrow’s obsession,
                       I weary for Thee.
                     With sighing and crying,
                     Bowed down in dying.
               I adore Thee, I implore Thee, set me free.

The next has been attributed to Denis Florence McCarthy, an Irish poet:

                     Lord God, all my hope is
                       In Thee, only Thee!
                     O Jesu, my Saviour,
                       Now liberate me!
                     In chains that have bound me,
                     In pains that surround me,
                       Still longing for Thee;
                     Here kneeling, appealing,
                     My misery feeling,
                     Adoring, imploring,
                       Oh, liberate me!

                        _Into the World and Out_

            Into the world he looked with sweet surprise.
            The children laughed so when they saw his eyes.

            Into the world a rosy hand in doubt
            He reached;—a pale hand took the rosebud out.

            “And that was all,—quite all?” Ho, surely! But
            The children cried so when his eyes were shut.


                        Toil on, O troubled brain,
            With anxious thoughts and busy scenes opprest,
            Ere long release shall reach thee. A brief pain!

                        Watch still, O heavy eyes,
            A little longer must ye vigil keep;
            And lo! your lids shall close at morning’s rise
                        In sleep.

                        Throb yet, O aching heart,
            Still pulse the flagging current without cease;
            When you a few hours more have played your part,
                        Comes Peace.

                        Bear up, then, weary soul!
            Short is the path remaining to be trod—
            Lay down the fleshy shroud and touch the goal—
                                                  TOM. HOOD.

A friend of John Adams, our second President, called upon him one day
towards the close of his life, to inquire after his health. “I am not
well,” he replied; “I inhabit a weak, frail, decayed tenement, open to
the winds, and broken in upon by the storms; and what is worse, _from
all I can learn, the landlord does not intend to repair_.”

        Faith, Hope, and Love were questioned what they thought
        Of future glory, which religion taught:
        Now Faith believed it firmly to be true,
        And Hope expected so to find it, too:
        Love answered smiling with a conscious glow,
        “Believe? Expect? I know it to be so.”

Mountford says in “Euthanasy”:

“Faith, hope, and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.
And in that there is all comfort for them that hope to meet again. Love!
Why should we doubt it will have its objects? for that faith will have
its, we are sure; and love is greater than faith. If there is a heaven
for our faith, there are friends in it for our love. I have known those
who have grown holy through thoughts of the dead. We are saved by hope,
and some of us by the special hope of being with our friends again. So
that if there is salvation by hope, our friends whom we so hope for we
shall certainly have again. We are not to sorrow for the dead as those
that have no hope; now this implies our knowing our friends hereafter;
because our grief is for their having been taken from us, and not for
their having been taken into happiness.”


       Death is the one consoler, true and tried;
           The goal of life, the hope we last retain,
           Which, like some rare elixir, charms our pain
       And heartens us to march till eventide;
       The streaks of morning which the clouds divide
           Athwart the tempest, snow, and driving rain;
           The inn toward which the wayworn travellers strain,
       Certain to find rest there, whate’er betide:
         An angel holding in his sovereign hand
           Sleep, and the guerdon of ecstatic dreams,
             That smooths the couch and shuts the weary eyes:
           The prisoner’s key; the leper’s healing streams;
       The beggar’s purse; the exile’s fatherland;
             The open portico to unknown skies.
                                     BAUDELAIRE, _Fleurs du Mal_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

            The man hath reached the goal and won the prize,
              Who lives with honor, and who calmly dies
            With name unstained, in fond remembrance kept,
              By friends, by kindred, and by country wept;
            Blending, when life is but a faded spell,
              An angel’s welcome with the world’s farewell!

                  *       *       *       *       *

Bronson Alcott rested his argument for immortality on the ground of the
family affections. “Such strong ties,” he reasoned, “could not have been
made merely to be broken.” Let us share his faith, and believe that they
are not broken.



   American Indians, The, 18
   Authorship of the Declaration, 23
   Cabots, The, 12
   Constitutional Convention, 34
   Division of Legislative Authority, 36
   Eminent Domain—National Sovereignty, 25
   Erikson and Columbus, 11
   First Legislative Assembly, 21
   Foreknowledge, 10
   Gun flints wanted, 31
   Icelandic Sagas, The, 10
   Landing of the Pilgrims, 19
   Master Spirit of the Revolution, 32
   Name America, The, 13
   Norse Adventures, The, 9
   Progress toward Position as a World Power, 16
   Signing of the Declaration, 22
   What it cost to discover America, 16


   According to Agreement, 284
   Botanical Misnomer, 288
   Business Economy, 289
   Caderousse’s Wager, 283
   Christmas Chimes, 295
   Completing a Stanza, 289
   Democritus at Belfast, 293
   Double X, 282
   Frankness, 282
   His Station, 281
   Identified, 277
   Killarney Echo, 280
   Love of Specie-s, 281
   Mark Twain convinced, 285
   Met the Emergency, 282
   Mistaken Vanity, 276
   Motto for a Tavern Sign, 286
   Nestling Shuttlecock, 296
   New Light, A, 286
   Not interchangeable, 288
   Not Rousseau, 281
   Preferred Beverage, 277
   Pulpit Wager, 285
   Remedy, The, 288
   Rhus Toxicodendron, 285
   Schweininger’s Thrust, 287
   Seeing is Believing, 280
   Significant Change, 287
   Similar Privilege, 283
   Toast, A, 276
   Uncivil Retort, 278
   Very Long Bill, 279
   Whittier’s Impromptu, 279
   Xanthippe vindicated, 290

   Aaron and Hur, 347
   Alleged Danger of Rapid Movement, 346
   “Beats,” not Turnips, 342
   Before Railroads, 354
   Betting on the Lord’s Prayer, 339
   Both Sides, 335
   Contradictory Phraseology, 339
   Couldn’t fool him, 333
   Desirable Uniformity, 351
   Direct Information, 351
   Disinfecting a Telegram, 331
   Economy of Nature, 349
   Exchanging Errors, 339
   False Doctrine, 350
   Faux Pas, 341
   German Pickwick, 344
   Gibson’s Venus, 334
   Great Mind, A, 338
   Half-Truths, 337
   Happening of the Unexpected, 337
   Happy Thought, A, 332
   Help from Above, 350
   Highgate, 334
   Hopeless Case, 335
   Individuals, 340
   Infelicities, 340
   John the Baptist, 344
   Minding One’s Business, 351
   Misplaced Zeal, 353
   Mistranslation, 352
   Not a Chiropodist, 345
   One Form of Vanity, 342
   Poor Children, 350
   Psoriasis, 338
   Quakerese, 343
   Question of Capacity, 336
   Reasonable Excuse, 343
   Sending a Postscript, 343
   Stiefel, 332
   “Sufficient” Guide-post, 341
   Twenty Dunkards, 347
   Unexpected Reception, 336
   Unfamiliar Familiarity, 346
   Wrong Man made a Count, 331
   Wrong Word, 355

   Archbishop Whately’s, 514
   Arithmetical Puzzle, 517
   Charades, 518
   Fox’s, 514
   Fugitive Sigh, 516
   Genealogical Puzzle, 520
   Hallam’s, 514
   Macaulay’s, 515
   Marigold, 520
   Mitchell’s, 515
   Palindromic, 516
   Richard Porson’s, 516
   Seward’s, 515
   Sir Hilary’s Prayer, 521
   What becomes of the Pins, 517

   Acknowledgment, 323
   Artful Dodger, 323
   Butchers, The, 327
   Deceiver, A, 324
   Difference, A, 324
   Divine Service, 325
   Doubtful Compliment, 325
   Erskine’s Pleasantry, 329
   Greek Lexicographers, 322
   Judge like Solomon, 326
   King or Pretender, 325
   Legal Question, 326
   Meeting the Difficulty, 327
   Mortuary Word-Play, 330
   Religion of Wise Men, 322
   Rouge, 324
   Shifting Responsibility, 329
   Tough Witness, 328
   Which?, 324

   Balboa, 370
   Bishop Ken’s Doxology, 371
   Bret Harte’s Astronomy, 364
   Byron’s Greek, 372
   Cassio or Iago?, 367
   Cenotaph, 370
   Chinese Cycle, 363
   Collins _vs._ Prior, 369
   Dante as a Naturalist, 367
   Gladstone’s Heber, 369
   In Time of Peace, 368
   Johnson’s Error, 366
   Jugurtha, 362
   Milton as a Botanist, 366
   Milton’s Italian, 366
   Mistakes of our Best Writers, 373
   Racine _vs._ Voltaire, 363
   St. Paul to the Ephesians, 371
   Triple Error, 372
   Watts _vs._ Cowper, 364
   Wolseley’s Mistake, 365

   Admissible Explanation, 228
   Already had One, 223
   Ask Papa, 224
   Berners Street Hoax, 242
   Canard, 226
   Cardinal’s Curse, 241
   Coldblooded Criticism, 234
   Companion Pictures, 236
   Compliant Courts, 237
   Eye of the Fly, 225
   Graduate, The, 233
   High Art Advertising, 227
   High Diddle Diddle, 245
   Jack and Jill, 244
   Juxtaposition, 236
   Legal Dilemma, 238
   Mary’s Little Lamb, 245
   Meeting, The, 246
   Mr. Evarts’s Jocularity, 230
   Mock Heroics, 234
   Modern Judge on Portia, 237
   Niagara, 236
   Old Cock, The, 223
   Poet-Farmer in a Fix, 231
   Point of View, 244
   Relative Size, 240
   Second- or Third-Rate, 229
   Sothern’s Practical Joke, 227
   Too mild, 224
   Unwilling Willingness, 235
   Venerable Joke, 232
   Vicissim, 244
   Virgil’s Æneid dissected, 239
   Worse than Worst, 231
   Wounded Amazon, 239
   Yale’s Way, 226

   Anglo-Saxon as a Race Term, 413
   Bacon Humbug, 398
   Burning of Rome, 411
   Don’t give up the Ship, 388
   False Ascription, 383
   Finding of Moses, 386
   Good Old Times, 393
   Guillotin, 416
   Historic Phrase Disputed, 387
   L. E. L. assumes a Virtue, 410
   Lentulus Letter, 384
   Maelstrom, 388
   Mummy Wheat, 413
   Penn Treaty, 391
   Pocahontas, 390
   Scott’s Fabrications, 385
   Shakespeare’s Defiance of Historical Fact, 394
   Specific Gravity, 389
   Stratford-on-Avon, 406
   William Tell, 386

   Cleopatra, 567
   Diana of Poitiers, 572
   Eugénie, 579
   Isabella, 571
   Mary Stuart, 574
   Ninon de l’Enclos, 573
   Phryne, 568
   Pompadour, 576


   At Last, 612
   Auld Lang Syne, 613
   Avoidance, 623
   Burial Places of Europe, 604
   Death, 628
   Faith, Hope and Love, 627
   Goethe’s Last Words, 622
   Guizot’s Confession of Faith, 620
   Immortality, 619
   Imperator Augustus, 624
   In a Rose Garden, 614
   Into the World and out, 626
   Mary Stuart’s Prayer, 625
   No Repairs, 627
   Now I lay me, 615
   Old Hickory’s Death-bed, 624
   Patientia, 626
   Patrick Henry’s Legacy, 622
   Thanatopsis, 618
   Thiers’s Faith, 622

   Anæsthesia, 132
   Anno Domini, 143
   Anthracite, 133
   Auld Kirk, 140
   Bank-notes, 143
   Beer, 140
   Billiards, 147
   Boston “Merchantman”, 148
   Boycott, 139
   Cardinal’s Red Hat, 154
   Cheap Postage, 147
   Coffee, 146
   College Papers, 129
   Damnatus, 129
   Dark Horse, 157
   Degree of M.D., 150
   Dollar, 149
   Emblematic Eagle, 137
   Equal Mark, 154
   Erasure, 142
   Eve’s Mirror, 145
   First American Book, 128
   First Blood of the Revolution, 125
   First Christian Hymn, 152
   First Duel in New England, 126
   First Gold found in California, 158
   First Marriage in American Colonies, 125
   First Person cremated in America, 127
   First Riddle, 138
   First United States Bank, 165
   Flag of the United States, 162
   Gringo, 142
   Honeymoon, 141
   John Bull, 138
   Machine Politics, 132
   Marriage in Church, 149
   Millions for Defence, 131
   Mother Goose and Mary’s Lamb, 152
   National Political Conventions, 163
   Oldest Buildings, 126
   Oldest Declaration, 143
   Oldest Living Things, 166
   Old Hickory, 137
   Old Proverb, An, 155
   Old-time Journalism, 127
   Order of the Garter, 146
   Petroleum, 134
   Photography, 135
   Pioneer Furrier, 128
   Postage Stamps, 148
   Punctuation, 144
   Sleeping-cars, 144
   Stereoscope, 156
   Suspension Bridge, 130
   Theatrical Deadhead, 148
   Thimble, 142
   Title of Reverend, 150
   Umbrella, 153
   Virginia Abolitionist, 130
   Vivisection, 139

   Bearding the Lion, 257
   Best for her, 254
   Boomerang, A, 252
   Condemned Jester, 261
   Courteous Retort, 256
   Date of Possession, 250
   Decay’s Effacement, 253
   Declined with Thanks, 256
   Distinction with a Difference, 257
   Divine Knowledge, 259
   Each his Own Way, 251
   Ecclesiastical Tit-for-tat, 254
   Even Chances, 255
   Fitting Answers, 247
   Force and Argument, 260
   Future Provision, 257
   Hereditary Transmission, 247
   Last Chance, 259
   Left-handed Compliments, 248
   Like Topsy, 249
   Limitation of Authority, 248
   Marjorie, 262
   Marriage in Heaven, 260
   Maternity, 250
   Meeting an Emergency, 255
   Nature’s Painting, 252
   No Jury then and there, 251
   Not beyond Reach, 248
   Old Dominion, 250
   Opposite Effects, 249
   Quaint Reproof, 259
   Quick-witted Damsel, 255
   Relationship, 253
   Sumner’s Legal Learning, 258
   Walk _vs._ Conversation, 258
   Woman’s Revenge, A, 254

   Emancipation, 194
   Foreshadowing of the Germ Theory, 191
   French Revolution, 195
   Great Fire of London, 193
   Moons of Mars, 187
   Panama Canal, 190
   Plague of London, 194
   Reformation, The, 195
   Sic Vos non Vobis, 187
   Stenography, 192
   Suez Canal, 189
   Telephone, 191
   White Lady, 196

   American Eagle, 303
   Bancroft as a Historian, 305
   Battle Prayer, 299
   Beaconsfield, 301
   Burns’s Impromptu, 302
   Carlyle as a Masquerader, 321
   Compliments to Boswell, 305
   Drama as an Instrumentality, 304
   Forbidden Fruit, 305
   Imitation of the Commentators, 317
   Junius on the Duke of Bedford, 313
   Lardner’s Mistaken Prediction, 306
   Lawyers and Playwrights, 307
   Pens dipped in Gall, 311
   Plain Speaking, 310
   Prince Regent, 303
   Puffery Extraordinary, 301
   Ruskin on the Bicycle, 316
   Samuel Rogers, 312
   Satire, 321
   Serious Interruption, 316
   Silly Newspaper Queries, 300
   Stanhope, 310
   Statesman as a Scientist, 306
   Sylvan Reverie, 318
   Thanks for Victory, 299
   Wordsworth’s Horse, 318


   Grecian and American Standards, 562
   Perfect Woman nobly planned, 560
   Venus de Medici, 564

   Acadia, 441
   Amulets and Talismans, 451
   Chien d’Or, 446
   Christmas Observances, 454
   Circassian Legend, 437
   Grouchy at Waterloo, 438
   Ilium Fuit, 417
   Iron Maiden, 432
   Letter M, 430
   Macaulay in Role of Pickpocket, 419
   Marred Destiny, A, 417
   Marseillaise, The, 434
   Maximilian at Queretaro, 447
   Minister’s Messenger, A, 420
   Mystery of the Dauphin, 425
   Robinson Crusoe, 418
   Shakespeare and Burbage, 436
   Sistine Madonna, 428
   Thieves’ Market, 449
   Tobacco in Diplomacy, 422
   Value of Practical Knowledge, 433
   What Language did Jesus speak?, 457
   Wolfe at Quebec, 443


   Age of Niagara Falls, 204
   Ant’s Habits, The, 213
   As you read it, 208
   Bismarck in the Language of the Spirits, 204
   Bolingbroke’s Favorite Desk, 198
   Bottled Tears, 207
   Caroline Herschel’s Many Years, 214
   Circumstantial Evidence, 209
   City in Darkness, 217
   Constitution of the Early Churches, 214
   Cromwell’s Grace, 202
   Distant World, A, 205
   Flowering Dogwood, 199
   Fourth of March, 198
   Franklin’s Brown Coat, 211
   Graffiti at Pompeii, 218
   He couldn’t have shot him, 202
   Hero Worship, 212
   Home, Sweet Home, 215
   Importance of Punctuation, 207
   Itemized Bill, 220
   Jack Sprat, 211
   Latin Pronunciation, 221
   Little Beggar’s Charity, 210
   Long Name, A, 212
   Loyalty to Prince, Disloyalty to Self, 197
   Marriage in Undress, 216
   Matter of Form, A, 206
   None such, 213
   Ocean Depths, 203
   Offensiveness punished, 200
   Pleasant Reading, 203
   Powwow, 199
   Premonitory Caution, 201
   Prevention better than Cure, 222
   Queer Parliamentary Enactment, 197
   Quis Custodiet ipsos Custodes?, 213
   Realism, 201
   Ropes made of Women’s Hair, 200
   Singular Expedient, 197
   Sources of History, 212
   Story of Witchcraft, 208
   Superstition, 220
   Sweet Auburn, 206
   Tools of the Pyramid Builders, 205



   Franklin, 53
   Grant at Appomattox, 71
   Hamilton, 55
   Jackson, 63
   Jefferson, 58
   Last Words, 77
   Lincoln at Gettysburg, 68
   Marshall, 61
   Washington, 47
   Webster, 65

   Alliterative Tribute to Swinburne, 101
   Alphabet, The, 90
   Alphabetical Fancies, 102
   Americanisms, 92
   Aspirate, The, 100
   Changes in Pronunciation, 110
   Collects, The, 107
   Compressing the Alphabet, 101
   Dream of a Spelling-Bee, 95
   Either and Neither, 108
   Guess, 123
   If, 109
   Index Expurgatorius, 112
   Its, 107
   Legal Verbosity, 106
   Lingua Anglicana, 90
   Longest Words, The, 95
   Message from England, 123
   Metaphorical Conceits, 118
   Palindromes, 103
   Perplexing Word, A, 98
   Philological Contrarieties, 99
   Phonetic Changes, 91
   Power of Short Words, 105
   Proper Names, 111
   Rough, 108
   Spelling Exercises, 93
   Spelling Lesson, 94
   Stilted Scientific Phraseology, 116
   Trifles, 97
   Verbal Conceits, 99
   Vulcan, 101
   Words that will not be put down, 110
   Words Wrong, Pronunciation Right, 104

   An Air of Twelve Nations, 39
   Hail, Columbia!, 40
   Red, White, and Blue, 43
   Star-spangled Banner, 41
   Yankee Doodle, 44



   Ancestry, 172
   Best Service, The, 171
   Bill of Fare, 172
   Chestnut, 175
   Christmas-Tree, 184
   Cinderella, 173
   Crossing the Bar, 174
   Expressive Phrase, 176
   Figaro, 169
   Fourth Estate, 174
   Guilds of London, 180
   Malaprops, The, 169
   Mark Twain’s Plagiary, 171
   Monteith, 182
   Milton’s Indebtedness, 176
   Ne Sutor, 174
   Next to Godliness, 177
   Overstrained Politeness, 177
   Pen and Sword, 170
   Platform, 186
   Punchinello, 178
   Rip Van Winkle, 182
   Setting up to knock down, 180
   Shallows and Deeps, 185
   Standing Egg, 179
   Shylock, 168
   Workmen’s Strikes, 179

   Barbara Frietchie, 374
   Bird Song, 379
   Hymn of Moravian Nuns, 376
   Roman Sentry, 377
   Sheridan’s Ride, 375
   Sunflower, 378

   American Commonwealth, 597
   Army, 598
   Christian Charity, 601
   City, 599
   Erskine’s, 603
   Flag of our Union, 598
   Good-night, 603
   Independence Day, 596
   Law, 599
   Medicine, 600
   Modern Transportation, 602
   Navy, 598
   Our Country, 596
   Our Dead, 603
   Pilgrim Fathers, 596
   President of the United States, 597
   Press, 602
   Pulpit, 599
   Sexual Affinity, 601
   Temperance, 602
   Woman, 600

   Alford, 524
   André, 530
   Arthur Winter, 538
   Bayard Taylor, 543
   Beust, 529
   Bismarck, 546
   Blue and Gray, 525
   Booth, 524
   Cheyne, 530
   Condell and Heminge, 535
   Corwin, 533
   Croly, 523
   Eleanor Gwyn, 533
   George Eliot, 526
   Grateful Memory, 544
   Harriet Mill, 526
   Harvard, 529
   Hibernicism, 533
   Horace, 523
   Husbandman, 548
   Huxley, 530
   Indian Apostle, 531
   In Mt. Auburn, 538
   Johnson, 528
   Keats, 543
   Klaes, 534
   Lady Mansel, 537
   Little Ruth, 537
   Longfellow and Brooks, 540
   Palgrave, 540
   Plato, 523
   Prince Christian, 532
   Queen Elizabeth, 527
   Salvino Armato, 535
   Santa Croce, 545
   Scott, 527
   Shakespeare’s Doctor, 536
   Short Epitaphs, 544
   Sir John Franklin, 542
   Stevenson, 531
   Webster, 524

   Appropriate Petition, 503
   Bacon and Shakespeare, 499
   Bar Sinister, 512
   Better Late than Never, 510
   Bulwer Lytton, 501
   Busy Bee, 513
   Changed Conditions, 509
   Communism, 513
   Complimentary, 501
   Contrast, 504
   Crier, 502
   Debtor and Creditor, 507
   Distinction with a Difference, 509
   Division of Labor, 504
   Double Prize, 502
   Dryness, 507
   Ended in Smoke, 507
   Expectancy, 503
   Fitness, 500
   Four Georges, 496
   Four Kinds, 510
   Friend in Need, 512
   Gamester’s Marriage, 509
   Gay with One Leg, 498
   Ghosts, 509
   Glen Urquhart, 511
   Hic, Hæc, Hoc, 501
   History, 499
   Horse-Breaker and Gray Mare, 505
   Huijgens, 508
   Jenner’s Quacks, 498
   Jowett, 496
   Keenness of Edge, 503
   Ladies, The, 497
   Lis et Victoria Mutua, 505
   Loud Snoring, 499
   Mackintosh, 506
   Never cut themselves, 498
   None missing, 510
   Not conclusive, 503
   Not distinguishable, 512
   Pretty Girl who lent a Candle, 511
   Quodcunque Infundis Acescit, 511
   Retaliation, 512
   Revenons à nos Moutons, 504
   Sarcastic, 497
   Spirits, 513
   Three Sportive Fishers, 508
   Two Watering Places, 511
   Washington, 506
   War and Peace, 502
   Welsh Poets, 500
   Whewell, 496
   Why no Last Will, 508
   Winning Team, 513


                                THE END


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected obvious typographical errors and variations in
 2. Retained archaic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings as printed.
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Facts and fancies for the curious from the harvest-fields of literature - A melange of excerpta" ***

Copyright 2023 LibraryBlog. All rights reserved.