Project Gutenberg's The Book of Three Hundred Anecdotes, by Various

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Title: The Book of Three Hundred Anecdotes
       Historical, Literary, and Humorous--A New Selection

Author: Various

Release Date: March 19, 2005 [EBook #15413]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Elaine Walker and the PG Online Distributed
Proofreading Team.

Three Hundred



London: Granville Mansions.
New York: Barclay Street.



Abernethy, 26

Abon Hannifah, 39

Actors, 27-33

Adam, Dr., and the Schoolboy, 106

Affection, 1-5

Aguesseau, D', Chancellor of France, 115

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

Algerine Captain, 119

Alphonsus, King of Naples, 39

American Heroines, 135

Amour, St., General, 1

André, St., Marquis de, 90

Artists, 5-9

Astley Cooper, 26

Atterbury, in the House of Peers, 113

Bakers, The, of Lyons, 18

Bailly, Miss—Escape of the Pretender, 94

Bannister, 19

Bautru and the Spanish Librarian, 77

Bayard, The Chevalier, 80

Beauvais, Ladies of, 118

Begging, 10

Belmont, Countess de, 45

Benbow and the Wounded Sailor, 101

Benevolence, 11-13

Ben Jonson at Dinner, 21

Bernard, Father, 88

Bishop and Clerks, 104

Books, 13-16

Boufflers, Marshal, 120

Bouille, Marquis de, 121

Boutteville, Count de, and the Soldier, 81

Boutibonne, M., Imaginary Accident, 58

Breton Peasants, 48

Brougham, Lord—Examination of a Witness, 70

Budæus, 76

Buffon and his Servant, 115

Busby, Dr., and the Scholar, 106

Cajeta, Siege of, 51

Camden, Lord, in the Stocks, 73

Camerons and Christians, 117

Campo, Marquess del, and George III., 93

Candle Light, War by, 120

Canning and the Preacher, 125

Carteret, Lady, and Dean Swift, 132

Carving Accident, 90

Catalogue Making, 15

Chamillart the French Lawyer, 70

Chantrey—First sculpture, 9

Charity, 18

Charles II. and Killigrew, 63

Charles V. of France, 64

Charles VI. of Austria, 122

Charles XII. and his Secretary, 119

Charlotte, Princess, 54

Chatillon, Admiral, and the Beggar, 10

Cherin, General, 109

Child and Goat, 103

China Ware, 129

Christmas Pudding Extraordinary, 20

Clerambault and La Fontaine, 126

Cobbler of Leyden, The, 114

Cochrane, Sir John, 46

Cochrane, Lord, 56

Coleridge's "Watchman", 107

Coleridge and his Dinner Companion, 126

Conjugal Affection—French Troops in Italy, 4

Cornwallis, Admiral, and the Mutineers, 105

Crimean Captain, 111

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

Cuvier and his Visitors, 116

Day, Thomas, and Sir W. Jones, 72

Deaf and Dumb Mother, 1

Denon and Defoe, 16

Dey of Algiers and Admiral Keppel, 104

Dickens—Origin of "Boz", 15

Dictionaries, 14

Dieppe Pilot, 43

Dinners, 19-22

Doctors, 22-27

Domat, Judge, and the Poor Widow, 11

Douglas, The, 47

Drama, The, 27-33

Dreaming, 129

Drummond, Provost, 52

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

Duncan, Admiral, 121

Duty, 34

Duval, the Librarian, 77

Edinburgh—Spoiled Street, 130

Erskine and Lord Kellie, 126

Erskine, Legal Anecdotes of, 67-68

Eveillan, Archdeacon of Angers, 57

Faithful Depositary, 37

Faithful Domestic, 36

Falkland, Lord, and the House of Commons, 86

Family Sacrifice—French Revolution, 4

Fear of Death, 58

Fenelon, Archbishop—his Humanity, 56

Fidelity, 35-37

Fielding, Sir J., and the Irishman, 71

Filial Affection—French Boy, 2

Fletcher, of Saltown, and his Footman, 113

Fontenelle, 37, 38

Fools, 38

Foote, the Actor, 33

Forgiveness, 39

Fouché and Napoleon, 91

Francis I. and his Fool, 38

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

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

Friends, 40

Gainsborough—Picture of the Pigs, 6

Garrick and Rich, 33

Garrick and Sir J. Reynolds, 115

Gendarmes and Priest, 91

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

Ghosts, 42

Gibbet, Sight of a, 117

Gin versus Drugs, 25

Glynn, Dr., and the Magpie, 12

Gonsalvo de Cordova, 119

Goldsmith's Marlow, 32

Gooch, Sir W., and the Negro, 90

Gratitude, 40

Gregory, Dr., a Militiaman, 38

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

Grancé, Count de, and the Cannon Ball, 112

Grenadier, French, 121

Grog, 103

Guise, Colonel, 24

H., Letter, Use of, 14

Haddock, Admiral, 102

Handel, 82

Hanging Judge, The, 73

Hanway, Jonas, and the Coachman, 107

Hawker, Colonel, and the French Officer, 77

Haydn, 84

Heavy Play, A, 28

Heber's Palestine, 14

Henderson and the Actor, 113

Henri IV. and D'Aubigné, 40

Heroism, 43

Sergeant, 75
Rowland, 101

Hogarth—Picture of the Red Sea, 9

Hood, Sir S., 57

Hospitality, 48

Hough, Dr., and the Barometer, 114

Housemaid, Presence of mind of a, 92

Hulet, the Comedian, 31

Humanity, 51-57

Hume's Speeches, 86

Huntly, Marquis of, and James VI., 95

Ice, Custom-house doubt, 70

Imagination, 58

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

James IV. of Scotland and the Robbers, 92

John Gilpin, Origin of, 14

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

Judge, A Benevolent, 11

Kaimes, Lord, and the Sheepstealer, 75

Kean, Charles, 29

Kennedies, The, 36

Keppel, Admiral, at Algiers, 104

Kings, 60

Kirwan, Dr., 20

Kosciusko, 19

Labat, Mons. of Bayonne, 47

Lady and Highwayman, 100

Lamb, Counsellor, 72

Lamb, Charles, and the Farmer, 116

Law and Lawyers, 66-75

Lely the Painter, and the Alderman, 6

Lessing, 130

Lettsom, Dr., and the Highwayman, 101

Librarians, 76

Lisieux, Bishop of, 53

Liston, 27

Long and Short Barristers, 74

Longueville, Duke of, 40

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

Lyndhurst, Lord,—Retirement from Office, 87

Mackenzie, General, 34

Maclaurin and his Pupils, 130

Magnanimity, 77-81

Mariè Antoinette, 40

Maximilian I. and the Beggar, 11

An English, 89
A French, 89

Memory, Artificial, 127

Mimicry, 30

Miner, Swedish, 3

Molière and the Doctors, 23

Monkey, A Grenadier, 123

Montaigne on Doctors, 23

Montesquieu, M. de, 55

Morand and the Critics, 33

Morland the Painter, 6

Morvilliers and Charles IX., 34

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

Mozart, 84

Mungo Park and the African Woman, 50

Musicians, 82-85

Mysterious Benefactor, 19

Napoleon Bonaparte, 17, 18, 91, 110

Nash and the Doctor, 25

Navy Chaplains, 104

Neckar and the Corporation of Paris, 51

Nelson, Lord—Punctuality, 98

Nena Sahib and the Devil, 107

Nevailles, Marshal de, 48

Norton, Sir F. and Lord Mansfield, 72

O'Brien, Lieutenant, 102

Old Age secured—the Irish Beggar, 11

Old Ambrose, 35

O'Neil, Sir Phelim, 78

Orkney, Countess of, 1

Orleans, Duke of, 39

Ossuna, Duke of, and the Felon, 100

Parisian Stockbroker, 128

Parisian Ragman, 127

Parliament, 86-88

Patience, 88

Pepusch, Dr., 116

Peterborough, Lord, and the Mob, 91

Peter the Great, 71, 113

Philadelphian Lady, 128

Philip II. of Spain, 88

Physicians in China, 23

Pitt, and the Duke of Newcastle, 86

Pius IX., and the Attorney, 12

Poets, 89

Polignac, Compte de, 17

Politeness, 89

Poor-man-of-mutton, 21

Pope the Poet, 125

Presence of Mind, 90-95

Prideaux—Life of Mahomet, 13

Punctuality, 98

Quartering upon the Enemy, 111

Quick the Actor, 32

Racine and his Family, 3

Ragged Regiment, 118

Rank and Ancestry, 95

Reclaimed Robbers, 101

Rejected Addresses, The, 125

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 5

Richardson—opinion of a Picture, 5

Rivardes and the Wooden Leg, 111

Robbers, 100

Robert, King of France, 114

Ross, Lord, 124

Sailors, 101-105

Savage Dr., and the Pope, 132

Savoie, Magdeline De, 110

Schaumbourg, Count, 117

Schools, 105

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

Scott, Mr., of Exeter, 98

Selwyn, G., and the Traveller, 116

Senesino and Farinelli, 30

Sentinel on the Stage, 31

Servants, 107

Shaving a Queen, 27

Sheridan, Dr., and the Scholar, 105

Sheridan, 88, 132, 133

Sidney, Sir Philip, 53

Signboards, 109

Sion College, and George III., 131

Sir and Sire, 17

Sisters of Charity, 129

Smith, Sydney, Charity Sermon, 125

Smiths, The Two, 126

Soldiers, 109-112

Sporting, 134

Stackelberg, Baron Von, 54

Steele and Addison, 124

Sterne and the Old Woman, 134

Strasburgh Lawyer, A, 68

Suwarrow, Marshall, 110

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

Talleyrand, Madame de, 16

Tantara, and the Landscape, 9

Temper, 113

Tenterden, Lord, 74

Thelwall and Erskine, 71

"They're all Out", 87

Thomson the Poet, and Quin, 15

Thurot, Admiral, 79

Time, Value of, 115

Travelling, 116

Turenne, Marshal, 112

Turner, The Painter, 6

Tyrolese Heroine, 136

Van Dyke, 40

Vendean Servant, 91

Vernet—Picture of St. Jerome, 8

Villars, Marshal, 110

Villecerf, Madame de, 22

Voisin, Chancellor of Louis XIX., 34

Wager, Sir C., and the Doctors, 25

War, 117-124

Wardlaw, Archbishop of St. Andrew's, 49

Weeping at a Play, 31

Welch Dispute, A, 97

West, the Painter, 7

William III., and St. Evremond, 131

Willie Law, 22

Wise, Dr., and the Parliament, 131

Ximenes, Cardinal, 123

"Yellow Cabriolet," The, 28

York, Duke of, and the Housekeeper, 108

Zimmerman, 23



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

The Deaf and Dumb Mother.—The late Countess of Orkney, who died at an advanced age, was deaf and dumb, and was married in 1753 by signs. She resided with her husband at his seat, Rostellan, near Cork. Shortly after the birth of her first child, the nurse saw the mother cautiously approach the cradle in which the infant lay asleep, evidently full of some deep design. The Countess, having first assured herself that her babe was fast asleep, took from under her shawl a large stone, which had purPg 2posely been concealed there, and, to the utter horror of the nurse, who largely shared the popular notion that all dumb persons are possessed of peculiar cunning and malignity, raised it up, as if to enable her to dash it down with greater force. Before the nurse could interpose to prevent what she believed would bring certain death to the sleeping and unconscious child, the dreadful stone was flung, not at the cradle, however, but upon the ground, and fell with great violence. The noise awakened the child. The Countess was overjoyed, and, in the fulness of a mother's heart, she fell upon her knees to express her thankfulness that her beloved infant possessed a blessing denied to herself—the sense of hearing. This lady often gave similar indications of superior intelligence, though we can believe that few of them equalled the present in interest.

Filial Affection.—A veteran, worn out in the service of France, was left without a pension, although he had a wife and three children to share his wretchedness. His son was placed at L'Ecole militaire, where he might have enjoyed every comfort, but the strongest persuasion could not induce him to taste anything but coarse bread and water. The Duke de Choiseul being informed of the circumstance, ordered the boy before him, and enquired the reason of his abstemiousness. The boy, with a manly fortitude, replied, "Sir, when I had the honour of being admitted to this royal foundation, my father conducted me hither. We came on foot: on our journey the demands of nature were relieved by bread and water. I was received. My father blessed me, and returned to the protection of a helpless wife and family. As long as I can remember, bread of the blackest kind, with water, has been their daily subsistence, and even that is earned by every species of labour that honour does not forbid. To this fare, sir, my father is reduced; and while he, my mother, and my sisters, are compelled to endure such wretchedness, is it possible that I can enjoy the plenty which my sovereign has provided for me?" The duke felt this tale of nature, gave the boy three louis d'ors for pocket-money, and promised to procure the father a Pg 3pension. The boy begged the louis d'ors might be sent to his father, which, with the patent of his pension, was immediately done. The boy was patronised by the duke, and became one of the best officers in the service of France.

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

Touching Recognition.—Some years ago, in making a new communication between two shafts of a mine at Fahkin, the capital of Delecarlia, the body of a miner was discovered by the workmen in a state of perfect preservation, and impregnated with vitriolic water. It was quite soft, but hardened on being exposed to the air. No one could identify the body: it was merely remembered that the accident, by which he had thus been buried in the bosom of the earth, had taken place above fifty years ago. All enquiries about the name of the sufferer had already ceased, when a decrepid old woman, supported on crutches, slowly advanced towards the corpse, and knew it to bePg 4 that of a young man to whom she had been promised in marriage more than half a century ago. She threw herself on the corpse, which had all the appearance of a bronze statue, bathed it with her tears, and fainted with joy at having once more beheld the object of her affections. One can with difficulty realize the singular contrast afforded by that couple—the one buried above fifty years ago, still retaining the appearance of youth; while the other, weighed down by age, evinced all the fervency of youthful affections.

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

Expedient of Conjugal Affection.—Napoleon used to relate an anecdote shewing the conjugal affection of some women who accompanied his troops when he was at Col de Tende. To enter this mountainous and difficult country, it was necessary for the soldiers to pass over a narrow bridge, and, as the enterprise was a hazardous one, Napoleon had given orders that no women should be permitted to cross it with them. To enforce this order, two captains were stationed on the bridge with instructions, on pain of death, not to suffer a woman to pass. The passage was effected, and the troops continued their march. When some miles beyond the bridge, the Emperor was greatly astonished at the appearance of a considerable number of women with the soldiers. He immediately ordered the two captains to be put under arrest, intending to have them tried for a breach of duty. The prisoners protested their innocence, and stoutly asserted that no women had crossed the bridge. Napoleon, on hearingPg 5 this, commanded that some of the women should be brought before him, when he interrogated them on the subject. To his utter surprise they readily acknowledged that the captains had not betrayed their trust, but that a contrivance of their own had brought them into their present situation. They informed Napoleon, that having taken the provisions, which had been prepared for the support of the army, out of some of the casks, they had concealed themselves in them, and by this stratagem succeeded in passing the bridge without discovery.


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

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

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

Gainsborough.—A countryman was shown GainsPg 6borough's celebrated picture of "The Pigs." "To be sure," said he, "they be deadly like pigs; but there is one fault; nobody ever saw three pigs feeding together but what one on 'em had a foot in the trough."

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

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

Morland.—It is well known that Morland the painter used to go on an expedition with a companion sometimes without a guinea, or perhaps scarcely a shilling, to defray the expenses of their journey; and thus they were often reduced to an unpleasant and ludicrous dilemma. On one occasion the painter was travelling in Kent, in company with a relative, and finding their cash exhausted, while at a distance from their destination, they were compelled to exert their wits, for the purpose of recruiting themselves after a long and fatiguing march. As they approached Canterbury, a homely village ale-house caught their eye; and the itinerant artists hailed, with delight, the sign of the Black Bull, which indicated abundance of home-made bread and generous ale. They entered, and soon made considerable havoc among the good things of mine host,Pg 7 who, on reckoning up, found that they had consumed as much bread, cheese and ale, as amounted to 12s. 6d. Morland now candidly informed his host that they were two poor painters going in search of employment, and that they had spent all their money. He, however, added that, as the sign of the Bull was a disgraceful daub for so respectable a house, he would have no objection to repaint it, as a set-off for what he and his companion had received. The landlord, who had long been wishing for a new sign (the one in question having passed through two generations), gladly accepted his terms, and Morland immediately went to work. The next day the Bull was sketched in such a masterly manner that the landlord was enraptured; he supplied his guests with more provisions, and generously gave them money for their subsequent expenses. About three months after a gentleman well acquainted with Morland's works, accidentally passing through the village, recognised it instantly to be the production of that inimitable painter: he stopped, and was confirmed in his opinion, by the history which the landlord gave of the transaction. In short, he purchased the sign of him for twenty pounds; the landlord was struck with admiration at his liberality; but this identical painting was some time afterwards sold at a public auction for the sum of one hundred guineas!

When Benjamin West was seven years old, he was left, one summer day, with the charge of an infant niece. As it lay in the cradle and he was engaged in fanning away the flies, the motion of the fan pleased the child, and caused it to smile. Attracted by the charms thus created, young West felt his instinctive passion aroused; and seeing paper, pen and some red and black ink on a table, he eagerly seized them and made his first attempt at portrait painting. Just as he had finished his maiden task, his mother and sister entered. He tried to conceal what he had done, but his confusion arrested his mother's attention, and she asked him what he had been doing. With reluctance and timidity, he handed her the paper, begging, at the same time, that she would not be offended. Examining the drawing for a short time, she turned to her daughter, and, with a smile, said, "I declare he has madePg 8 a likeness of Sally." She then gave him a fond kiss, which so encouraged him that he promised her some drawings of the flowers which she was then holding, if she wished to have them. The next year a cousin sent him a box of colours and pencils, with large quantities of canvas prepared for the easel, and half a dozen engravings. Early the next morning he took his materials into the garret, and for several days forgot all about school. His mother suspected that the box was the cause of his neglect of his books, and going into the garret and finding him busy at a picture, she was about to reprimand him; but her eye fell on some of his compositions, and her anger cooled at once. She was so pleased with them that she loaded him with kisses, and promised to secure his father's pardon for his neglect of school. The world is much indebted to Mrs. West for her early and constant encouragement of the talent of her son. He often used to say, after his reputation was established, "My mothers kiss made me a painter!"

Vernet relates, that he was once employed to paint a landscape, with a cave, and St. Jerome in it; he accordingly painted the landscape with St. Jerome at the entrance of the cave. When he delivered the picture, the purchaser, who understood nothing of perspective, said, "the landscape and the cave are well made, but St. Jerome is not in the cave."—"I understand you, sir," replied Vernet, "I will alter it." He therefore took the painting, and made the shade darker, so that the saint seemed to sit farther in. The gentleman took the painting; but it again appeared to him that the saint was not actually in the cave. Vernet then wiped out the figure, and gave it to the gentleman, who seemed perfectly satisfied. Whenever he saw strangers to whom he showed the picture, he said, "Here you see a picture by Vernet, with St. Jerome in the cave." "But we cannot see the saint," replied the visitors. "Excuse me, gentlemen," answered the possessor, "he is there; for I saw him standing at the entrance, and afterwards farther back; and am therefore quite sure that he is in it."Pg 9

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

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

Chantrey's First Sculpture.—Chantrey, when a boy, used to take milk to Sheffield on an ass. To those not used to seeing and observing such things, it may be necessary to state that the boys generally carry a good thick stick, with a hooked or knobbed end, with which they belabour their asses sometimes unmercifully. On a certain day, when returning home, riding on his ass, Chantrey was observed by a gentleman to be intently engaged in cutting a stick with his penknife, and, excited by curiosity, he asked the lad what he was doing, when, with great simplicity of manner, but with courtesy, he replied, "I am cutting old Fox's head." Fox was the schoolmaster of the village. On this, the gentleman asked to see what he hadPg 10 done, pronounced it to be an excellent likeness, and presented the youth with sixpence. This may, perhaps, be reckoned the first money Chantry ever obtained in the way of his art.


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

A Beggar's Wedding.—Dean Swift being in the country, on a visit to Dr. Sheridan, they were informed that a beggar's wedding was about to be celebrated. Sheridan played well upon the violin; Swift therefore proposed that he should go to the place where the ceremony was to be performed, disguised as a blind fiddler, while he attended him as his man. Thus accoutred they set out, and were received by the jovial crew with great acclamation. They had plenty of good cheer, and never was a more joyous wedding seen. All was mirth and frolic; the beggars told stories, played tricks, cracked jokes, sung and danced, in a manner which afforded high amusement to the fiddler and his man, who were well rewarded when they departed, which was not till late in the evening. The next day the Dean and Sheridan walked out in their usual dress, and found many of their late companions, hopping about upon crutches, or pretending to be blind, pouring forth melanPg 11choly complaints and supplications for charity. Sheridan distributed among them the money he had received; but the Dean, who hated all mendicants, fell into a violent passion, telling them of his adventure of the preceding day, and threatening to send every one of them to prison. This had such an effect, that the blind opened their eyes, and the lame threw away their crutches, running away as fast as their legs could carry them.

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

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


A Benevolent Judge.—The celebrated Anthony Domat, author of a treatise on the civil laws, was promoted to the office of judge of the provincial court of Clermont, in the territory of Auvergne, in the south of France. In this court he presided, with general applause, for twenty-four years. One day a poor widow brought an actionPg 12 against the Baron de Nairac, her landlord, for turning her out of her mill, which was the poor creature's sole dependence. M. Domat heard the cause, and finding by the evidence that she had ignorantly broken a covenant in the lease which gave her landlord the power of re-entry, he recommended mercy to the baron for a poor but honest tenant, who had not wilfully transgressed, or done him any material injury. Nairac being inexorable, the judge was compelled to pronounce an ejectment, with the penalty mentioned in the lease and costs of suit; but he could not pronounce the decree without tears. When an order of seizure, both of person and effects was added, the poor widow exclaimed, "O merciful and righteous God, be thou a friend to the widow and her helpless orphans!" and immediately fainted away. The compassionate judge assisted in raising the unfortunate woman, and after enquiring into her character, number of children, and other circumstances, generously presented her with one hundred louis d'ors, the amount of the damages and costs, which he prevailed upon the baron to accept as a full compensation, and to let the widow again enter upon her mill. The poor widow anxiously enquired of M. Domat when he would require payment, that she might lay up accordingly. "When my conscience (he replied) shall tell me that I have done an improper act."

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

Dr. Glynn was remarkable for many acts of kindness to poor persons. He had attended a sick family in the fens near Cambridge for a considerable time, and had never thought of any recompense for his skill and trouble butPg 13 the satisfaction of being able to do good. One day he heard a noise on the college staircase, and his servant brought him word that the poor woman from the fens waited upon him with a magpie, of which she begged his acceptance. This at first a little discomposed the doctor. Of all presents, a magpie was the least acceptable to him, as he had a hundred loose things about his rooms, which the bird, if admitted, was likely to make free with. However, his good nature soon returned: he considered the woman's intention, and ordered her to be shown in. "I am obliged to you for thinking of me, good woman," said he, "but you must excuse my not taking your bird, as it would occasion me a great deal of trouble." "Pray, doctor," answered the woman, "do, pray, be pleased to have it. My husband, my son, and myself have been long consulting together in what way we could show our thankfulness to you, and we could think of nothing better than to give you our favourite bird. We would not part with it to any other person upon earth. We shall be sadly hurt if you refuse our present." "Well, well, my good woman," said Dr. Glynn, "if that is the case, I must have the bird; but do you, as you say you are so fond of it, take it back again, and keep it for me, and I will allow you eighteenpence a week for the care of it. I shall have the pleasure of seeing it every time I come." This allowance Dr. G. punctually paid as long as the bird lived.


An Odd Fault.—It is said that when the learned Humphrey Prideaux offered his Life of Mahomet to the bookseller, he was desired to leave the copy with him for a few days, for his perusal. The bookseller said to the doctor at his return, "Well, Mr. What's your Name, I have perused your manuscript; I don't know what to say of it; I believe I shall venture to print it; the thing is well enough; but I could wish there were a little more humour in it." This story is otherwise told in a note in Swift's works, where the book is said to have been Prideaux'sPg 14 "Connexion of the History of the Old and New Testament," in which, it must be confessed, the difficulty of introducing humour is more striking.

Dictionaries.—Dr. Johnson, while compiling his dictionary, sent a note to the Gentleman's Magazine, to inquire the etymology of the word curmudgeon. Having obtained the desired information, he thus recorded in his work his obligation to an anonymous writer: "Curmudgeon, s. a vicious way of pronouncing cœur mechant. An unknown correspondent." Ash copied the word into his dictionary, in the following manner: Curmudgeon, from the French, cœur, "unknown," and mechant, "correspondent!"

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

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

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

Cowper's "John Gilpin."—It happened one afternoon, in those years when Cowper's accomplished friend, Lady Austen, made a part of his little evening circle, that she observed him sinking into increased dejection. It was her custom, on these occasions, to try all the resources of her sprightly powers for his immediate relief, and at this time it occurred to her to tell him the story of John Gilpin, (which had been treasured in her memory from her childPg 15hood), in order to dissipate the gloom of the passing hour. Its effects on the fancy of Cowper had the air of enchantment. He informed her the next morning that convulsions of laughter, brought on by his recollection of her story, had kept him waking during the greatest part of the night! and that he had turned it into a ballad. So arose the pleasant poem of "John Gilpin."

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

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

Thomson and Quin.—Thomson the poet, when he first came to London, was in very narrow circumstances, and was many times put to shifts even for a dinner. UponPg 16 the publication of his Seasons one of his creditors arrested him, thinking that a proper opportunity to get his money. The report of this misfortune reached the ears of Quin, who had read the Seasons, but never seen their author; and he was told that Thompson was in a spunging-house in Holborn. Thither Quin went, and being admitted into his chamber, "Sir," said he, "you don't know me, but my name is Quin." Thomson said, "That, though he could not boast of the honour of a personal acquaintance, he was no stranger either to his name or his merit;" and invited him to sit down. Quin then told him he was come to sup with him, and that he had already ordered the cook to provide supper, which he hoped he would excuse. When supper was over, and the glass had gone briskly about, Mr. Quin told him, "It was now time to enter upon business." Thomson declared he was ready to serve him as far as his capacity would reach, in anything he should command, (thinking he was come about some affair relating to the drama). "Sir," says Quin, "you mistake me. I am in your debt. I owe you a hundred pounds, and I am come to pay you." Thomson, with a disconsolate air, replied, that, as he was a gentleman whom he had never offended, he wondered he should seek an opportunity to jest with his misfortunes. "No," said Quin, raising his voice, "I say I owe you a hundred pounds, and there it is," (laying a bank note of that value before him). Thomson, astonished, begged he would explain himself. "Why," says Quin, "I'll tell you; soon after I had read your Seasons, I took it into my head, that as I had something to leave behind me when I died, I would make my will; and among the rest of my legatees I set down the author of the Seasons for a hundred pounds; and, this day hearing that you were in this house, I thought I might as well have the pleasure of paying the money myself, as order my executors to pay it, when, perhaps, you might have less need of it; and this, Mr. Thomson, is my business." Of course Thomson left the house in company with his benefactor.

Denon and De Foe.—M. de Talleyrand, having one day invited M. Denon, the celebrated traveller, to dinePg 17 with him, told his wife to read the work of his guest, which she would find in the library, in order that she might be the better able to converse with him. Madame Talleyrand, unluckily, got hold, by mistake, of the "Adventures of Robinson Crusoe," by De Foe, which she ran over in great haste; and, at dinner, she began to question Denon about his shipwreck, his island, &c., and, finally, about his man Friday!


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

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

Polignac.—Monsieur le Compte de Polignac had been raised to honour by Bonaparte; but, from some unaccountable motive, betrayed the trust his patron reposed in him. As soon as Bonaparte discovered the perfidy, he ordered Polignac to be put under arrest. Next day he was to have been tried, and in all probability would have been condemned, as his guilt was undoubted. In the meantime, Madame Polignac solicited and obtained an audience of the Emperor. "I am sorry, madam, for your sake," said he, "that your husband has been implicated in an affair which is marked throughout with such deep ingratitude."Pg 18 "He may not have been so guilty as your majesty supposes," said the countess. "Do you know your husband's signature?" asked the Emperor, as he took a letter from his pocket and presented it to her. Madame de Polignac hastily glanced over the letter, recognised the writing, and fainted. As soon as she recovered, Bonaparte, offering her the letter, said, "Take it; it is the only legal evidence against your husband: there is a fire beside you." Madame de P. eagerly seized the important document, and in an instant committed it to the flames. The life of Polignac was saved: his honour it was beyond the power even of the generosity of an emperor to redeem.


The Price of Bread.—Some years ago, the bakers of Lyons thought they could prevail on M. Dugas, the provost of the merchants in that city, to befriend them at the expense of the public. They waited upon him in a body, and begged leave to raise the price of bread, which could not be done without the sanction of the chief magistrate. M. Dugas told them that he would examine their petition, and give them an early answer. The bakers retired, having first left upon the table a purse of two hundred louis d'ors. In a few days the bakers called upon the magistrate for an answer, not in the least doubting but that the money had effectually pleaded their cause. "Gentlemen," said M. Dugas, "I have weighed your reasons in the balance of justice, and I find them light. I do not think that the people ought to suffer under a pretence of the dearness of corn, which I know to be unfounded; and as to the purse of money that you left with me, I am sure that I have made such a generous and noble use of it as you yourself intended. I have distributed it among the poor objects of charity in our two hospitals. As you are opulent enough to make such large donations, I cannot possibly think that you can incur any loss in your business; and I shall, therefore, continue the price of bread as it was."Pg 19

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

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


Bannister.—Charles Bannister dining one day at the Turk's Head Tavern, was much annoyed by a gentleman in the adjoining box, who had just ordered fish for dinner, and was calling on the waiter for every species of fish sauce known to the most refined epicure. "Waiter," saidPg 20 he, "bring me anchovy sauce, and soy; and have you got Harvey's? and be sure you bring me Burgess's;—and waiter—do you hear?—don't omit the sauce epicurienne." How many more he would have enumerated it is difficult to say, had not Bannister stepped up to him, and bowing very politely, said, "Sir, I beg your pardon for thus interrupting you, but I see you are advertised for in the newspaper of this morning." "Me, sir, advertised for!" exclaimed the gentleman, half petrified with surprise; "pray, sir, what do you mean?" Bannister, taking the paper, pointed to an advertisement addressed to "The Curious in Fish Sauces." The gentleman felt the rebuke, sat down, and ate his dinner without further ceremony.

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

Dr. Kirwan, the celebrated Irish chemist, having one day at dinner with him a party of friends, was descanting upon the antiseptic qualities of charcoal, and added, that if a quantity of pulverised charcoal were boiled together with tainted meat, it would remove all symptoms ofPg 21 putrescence, and render it perfectly sweet. Shortly afterwards, the doctor helped a gentleman to a slice of boiled leg of mutton, which was so far gone as to shed an odour not very agreeable to the noses of the company. The gentleman repeatedly turned it upon his plate, without venturing to taste it; and the doctor observing him, said, "Sir, perhaps you don't like mutton?" "Oh, yes, doctor," he replied, "I am very fond of mutton, but I do not think the cook has boiled charcoal enough with it."

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

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

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

Swift.—A gentleman, at whose house Swift was dining in Ireland, after dinner introduced remarkably small hock glasses, and at length, turning to Swift, addressed him,—"Mr. Dean, I shall be happy to take a glass of hic, hæc, hoc, with you." "Sir," rejoined the doctor, "I shall be happy to comply, but it must be out of a hujus glass."Pg 22

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


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

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

Willie Law, a half-witted man, was the descendant of an ancient family, nearly related to the famous John Law, of Lauriston, the celebrated financier of France. Willie on that account was often spoken to and taken notice of by gentlemen of distinction. Posting one day through Kirkaldy, with more than ordinary speed, he was met by Mr. Oswald, of Dunnikier, who asked him where he was going in such a hurry. "Going!" says Willie, with apparent surprise, "I'm gaen to my cousin Lord Elgin'sPg 23 burial." "Your cousin Lord Elgin's burial, you fool! Lord Elgin's not dead," replied Mr. Oswald. "Oh, never mind," quoth Willie; "there's six doctors out o' Edinbro' at him, and they'll hae him dead afore I get there."

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

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

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

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

Louis XIV., who was a slave to his physicians, askedPg 24 Molière one day what he did with his doctor. "Oh, sire," said he, "when I am ill I send for him. He comes; we have a chat, and enjoy ourselves. He prescribes;—I don't take it, and I am cured."

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

Dr. Moore, author of "Zeluco," used to say that at least two-thirds of a physician's fees were for imaginary complaints. Among several instances of this nature, he mentions one of a clothier, who, after drinking the Bath waters, took it into his head to try Bristol hot wells.Pg 25 Previous, however, to his setting off, he requested his physician to favour him with a letter, stating his case to any brother doctor. This done, the patient got into a chaise and started. After proceeding half way, he felt curious to see the contents of the letter, and on opening it, read as follows:—"Dear Sir,—The bearer is a fat Wiltshire clothier: make the most of him." It is almost unnecessary to add that his cure was from that moment effected, as he ordered the chaise to turn, and immediately proceeded home.

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

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

Gin versus Medicine.—The celebrated Dr. Ward was not more remarkable for humanity and skill than for wit and humour. An old woman, to whom he had administered some medicines proper for a disorder under which she laboured, applied to him, with a complaint that she had not experienced any kind of effect from taking them. "No effect at all?" said the doctor. "None in the least," replied the woman. "Why, then you should have taken a bumping glass of gin." "So I did, sir." "Well, butPg 26 when you found that did not succeed, you should have taken another." "So I did, sir; and another after that." "Oh, you did?" said the doctor; "aye, aye, it is just as I imagined: you complain that you found no effect from my prescription, and you confess yourself that you swallowed gin enough to counteract any medicine in the whole system of physic."

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

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

Astley Cooper.—Probably no surgeon of ancient or modern times enjoyed a greater share of reputation duringPg 27 his life than fell to the lot of Sir Astley, and that in all parts of the world. We cannot give a better example of this than the fact of his signature being received as a passport among the mountains of Biscay by the wild followers of Don Carlos. A young English surgeon, seeking for employment, was carried as a prisoner before Zumalacarrequi, who demanded what testimonials he had of his calling or his qualifications. Our countryman presented his diploma of the College of Surgeons, and the name of Astley Paston Cooper, which was attached to it, no sooner struck the eye of the Carlist leader, than he at once received his prisoner with friendship, and appointed him a surgeon in his army.


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

Liston, in his early career, was a favourite at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and having applied to the manager for a remuneration equal to the increased value of his services, he refused the request, adding, "If you are dissatisfied you are welcome to leave me; such actors as you, sir, are to be found in every bush." On the evening of the day when this colloquy occurred, the manager was driving to another town, where he intended "to carry on the war," when he perceived Liston standing in the middle of a hedge by the road-side. "Good heavens! Liston," cried the manager, "what are you doing there?" "Only looking for some of the actors you told me of this morning," was the reply.Pg 28

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

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

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

The Sailor and the Actress.—"When I was a poor girl," said the Duchess of St. Albans, "working very hard for my thirty shillings a week, I went down to Liverpool during the holidays, where I was always kindly received. I was to perform in a new piece, something like thosePg 29 pretty little dramas they get up now at our minor theatres; and in my character I represented a poor, friendless orphan girl, reduced to the most wretched poverty. A heartless tradesman prosecutes the sad heroine for a heavy debt, and insists on putting her in prison unless some one will be bail for her. The girl replies, 'Then I have no hope, I have not a friend in the world.' 'What? will no one be bail for you, to save you from prison?' asks the stern creditor. 'I have told you I have not a friend on earth,' is the reply. But just as I was uttering the words, I saw a sailor in the upper gallery springing over the railing, letting himself down from one tier to another, until he bounded clear over the orchestra and footlights, and placed himself beside me in a moment.' Yes, you shall have one friend at least, my poor young woman,' said he, with the greatest expression in his honest, sunburnt countenance; 'I will go bail for you to any amount. And as for you (turning to the frightened actor), if you don't bear a hand, and shift your moorings, you lubber, it will be worse for you when I come athwart your bows.' Every creature in the house rose; the uproar was perfectly indescribable; peals of laughter, screams of terror, cheers from his tawny messmates in the gallery, preparatory scrapings of violins from the orchestra, were mingled together; and amidst the universal din there stood the unconscious cause of it, sheltering me, 'the poor, distressed young woman,' and breathing defiance and destruction against my mimic persecutor. He was only persuaded to relinquish his care of me by the manager pretending to arrive and rescue me, with a profusion of theatrical banknotes."

Kean.—In the second year of Kean's London triumph, an elderly lady, whose sympathy had been excited by his forlorn condition in boyhood, but who had lost sight of him in his wanderings till his sudden starting into fame astonished the world, was induced, on renewing their acquaintance, to pay a visit of some days to him and Mrs. Kean, at their residence in Clarges-street. She made no secret of her intention to evince the interest she felt in his welfare by a considerable bequest in her will; but,Pg 30 on accompanying Mrs. K. to the theatre to see Kean perform Luke, she was so appalled by the cold-blooded villany of the character, that, attributing the skill of the actor to the actual possession of the fiendlike attributes, her regard was turned into suspicion and distrust. She left London the next day, and dying soon afterwards, it appeared that she had altered her testamentary disposition of her property, which had once been made in Kean's favour, and bequeathed the sum originally destined for him to a distant relative, of whom she knew nothing but by name.

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

Senesino and Farinelli, when in England together, being engaged at different theatres on the same night, had not an opportunity of hearing each other, till, by one of those sudden revolutions which frequently happen, yet are always unexpected, they were both employed to sing on the same stage. Senesino had the part of a furious tyrant to represent and Farinelli that of an unfortunate hero in chains; but in the course of the very first song, the latter so softened the heart of the enraged tyrant, thatPg 31 Senesino, forgetting his assumed character, ran to Farinelli and embraced him.

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

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

Charles Hulet, a comedian of some celebrity in the early part of the last century, was an apprentice to a bookseller. After reading plays in his master's shop, he used to repeat the speeches in the kitchen, in the evening, to the destruction of many a chair, which he substituted in the room of the real persons in the drama. One night, as he was repeating the part of Alexander, with his wooden representative of Clitus, (an elbow chair), and coming to the speech where the old general is to be killed, this young mock Alexander snatched a poker, instead of a javelin, and threw it with such strength, against poor Clitus, that thePg 32 chair was killed upon the spot, and lay mangled on the floor. The death of Clitus made a monstrous noise, which disturbed the master in the parlour, who called out to know the reason; and was answered by the cook below, "Nothing, sir, but that Alexander has killed Clitus."

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

Mr. Quick, while performing the part of Romeo, was seized with an involuntary fit of laughter, which subjected him to the severe rebuke of his auditors. It happened in the scene of Romeo and the apothecary, who, going for the phial of poison, found it broken; not to detain the scene, he snatched, in a hurry, a pot of soft pomatum. Quick was no sooner presented with it, than he fell into a convulsive fit of laughter. But, being soon recalled to a sense of his duty by the reproofs of the audience, he came forward and made the following whimsical apology:—"Ladies and gentlemen, I could not resist the idea that struck me when the pot of pomatum, instead of the phial of poison, was presented. Had he at the same time given me a tea-spoon, it would not have been so improper; for the poison might have been made up as a lenitive electuary. But, if you please, ladies and gentlemen, we will begin the scene again without laughing."Pg 33

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

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

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

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

DUTY.Pg 34

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

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

Louis the Fourteenth had granted a pardon to a nobleman who had committed some very great crime.Pg 35 M. Voisin, the chancellor, ran to him in his closet, and exclaimed, "Sire, you cannot pardon a person in the situation of Mr. ——." "I have promised him," replied the king, who was always impatient of contradiction; "go and fetch the great seal." "But sire—." "Pray, sir, do as I order you." The chancellor returned with the seals; Louis applied them himself to the instrument containing the pardon, and gives them again to the chancellor. "They are polluted, now, sire," exclaimed the intrepid and excellent magistrate, pushing them from him on the table, "I cannot take them again." "What an impracticable man!" cried the monarch, and threw the pardon into the fire. "I will now, sire, take them again," said the chancellor; "fire purifies all things."


Old Ambrose.—Among the few individuals who accompanied James II. to France, when he was dethroned, was Madame de Varonne, a lady of good family, but of ruined fortune. She was compelled to part with all her servants successively, until she came to her footman, Ambrose, who had lived with her twenty years; and who, although of an austere deportment, was a faithful and valuable servant. At length her resources would not permit her to retain even Ambrose, and she told him he must seek another place. "Another place!" exclaimed the astonished servant; "No; I will never quit you, let what will happen; I will live and die in your service." In vain was Ambrose told by his mistress that she was totally ruined; that she had sold every thing she had, and that she had no other means of subsistence than by seeking some employment for herself. Ambrose protested he would not quit his mistress; he brought her his scanty savings of twenty years, and engaged himself to a brazier for tenpence a day and his board. The money he brought every evening to his mistress, whom he thus supported for four years; at the end of which time she received a pension from thePg 36 French king, which enabled her to reward the remarkable fidelity of her old servant.

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

A young woman, named La Blonde, was in the service of M. Migeon, a furrier, in the Rue St. Honoré, in Paris; this tradesman, though embarrassed in his affairs, was not deserted by his faithful domestic, who remained at his house without receiving any salary. Migeon, some years afterwards died, leaving a wife and two young children without the means of support. The cares of La Blonde were now transferred to the assistance of the distressed family of her deceased master, for whose support she expended fifteen hundred francs, the fruit of her labour, as well as the produce of rent from her small patrimony. From time to time this worthy servant was offered other situations, but to all such offers she replied by the inquiry, "Who will take care of this family if I desert them?" At length the widow Migeon, overcome with grief, became seriously ill. La Blonde passed her days in comforting her dying mistress, and at night went to take care of the sick, in order to have the means of relieving her wants. The widow Migeon died on the 28th of April, 1787. Some persons then proposed to La Blonde to send the two little orphans to the poor house; but the generous girl, indignant at this proposition, replied, "that at Ruel, her nativePg 37 country, her two hundred livres of rent would suffice for their subsistence and her own."

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


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

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

Fontenelle, being praised for the clearness of his style on the deepest subjects, said, "If I have any merit, it is that I have always endeavoured to understand myself."Pg 38

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Alphonsus, King of Naples and Sicily, so celebrated in history for his clemency, was once asked why he was so forgiving to all men, even to those most notoriously wicked? "Because," answered he, "good men are won by justice; the bad by clemency." When some of his ministers complained to him on another occasion of hisPg 40 lenity, which they were pleased to say was more than became a prince: "What, then," exclaimed he, "would you have lions and tigers to reign over you? It is for wild beasts to scourge; but for man to forgive."

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

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


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

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


Curran says, "when a boy, I was one morning playing at marbles in the village ball alley, with a light heart andPg 41 lighter pocket. The gibe and the jest went gaily round, when suddenly there appeared amongst us a stranger, of a very remarkable and very cheerful aspect; his intrusion was not the least restraint upon our merry little assemblage, on the contrary, he seemed pleased, and even delighted; he was a benevolent creature, and the days of infancy (after all the happiest we shall ever see), perhaps rose upon his memory. God bless him! I see his fine form, at the distance of half a century, just as he stood before me in the little ball-alley in the days of my childhood. His name was Dr. Boyse. He took a particular fancy to me. I was winning, and was full of waggery, thinking every thing that was eccentric, and by no means a miser of my eccentricities; every one was welcome to a share of them, and I had plenty to spare after having freighted the company. Some sweetmeats easily bribed me home with him. I learned from poor Boyse my alphabet and my grammar, and the rudiments of the classics. He taught me all he could, and then sent me to the school at Middleton. In short, he made a man of me. I recollect it was about five and thirty years afterwards, when I had risen to some eminence at the bar, and when I had a seat in parliament, on my return one day from court, I found an old gentleman seated alone in my drawing-room, his feet familiarly placed, on each side of the Italian marble chimney-piece, and his whole air bespeaking the consciousness of one quite at home. He turned round—it was my friend of the ball-alley. I rushed instinctively into his arms, and burst into tears. Words cannot describe the scene which followed:—"You are right, sir; you are right. The chimney-piece is your's—the pictures are your's—the house is your's. You gave me all I have—my friend—my father—my benefactor!" He dined with me; and in the evening I caught the tear glistening in his fine blue eye, when he saw poor little Jack, the creature of his bounty, rising in the House of Commons, to reply to a Right Honourable. Poor Boyse! he is now gone; and no suitor had a larger deposit of practical benevolence in the Court above. This is his wine—let us drink to his memory."


Bishop Fowler, of Gloucester, and Justice Powell, had frequent altercations on the subject of ghosts. The bishop was a zealous defender of the reality of them; the justice was somewhat sceptical. The bishop one day met his friend, and the justice told him that since their last conference on the subject, he had had ocular demonstration, which had convinced him of the existence of ghosts. "I rejoice at your conversion," replied the bishop; "give me the circumstance which produced it, with all the particulars:— ocular demonstration, you say?"—"Yes, my lord; as I lay last night in my bed, about the twelfth hour, I was awakened by an extraordinary noise, and heard something coming up stairs!"—"Go on, sir."—"Fearfully alarmed at the noise, I drew my curtain—." "Proceed."—"And saw a faint glimmering light enter my chamber."—"Of a blue colour, was it not?" interrogated the doctor.—"Of a pale blue! and this pale blue light was followed by a tall, meagre, stern figure, who appeared as an old man of seventy years of age, arrayed in a long light coloured rug gown, bound with a leathern girdle: his beard thick and grisly; his hair scant and straight; his face of a dark sable hue; upon his head a large fur cap; and in his hand a long staff. Terror seized my whole frame. I trembled till the bed shook, and cold drops hung upon every limb. The figure advanced with a slow and solemn step."—"Did you not speak to it? there was money hid, or murder committed, without doubt," said the bishop.—"My lord, I did speak to it; I adjured it by all that was holy to tell me whence, and for what purpose it thus appeared."—"And in heaven's name what was the reply?"—"Before he deigned to speak, he lifted up his staff three several times, my lord, and smote the floor, even so loudly that verily the strokes caused the room to reverberate the thundering sound. He then waved the pale blue light which he bore in what is called a lantern, he waved it even to my eyes; and he told me, my lord, he told me that he was—yes, my lord—that he was—not more nor less than—the watchman! whoPg 43 had come to give me notice that my street-door was open, and that unless I rose and shut it, I might be robbed before morning." The justice had no sooner concluded, than the bishop disappeared.


A Dieppe Pilot.—In August, 1777, a vessel from Rochelle, laden with salt, and manned by eight hands, with two passengers on board, was discovered making for the pier of Dieppe. The wind was at the time so high, and the sea so boisterous, that a coasting pilot made four fruitless attempts to get out, and conduct the vessel into port. Boussard, a bold and intrepid pilot, perceiving that the helmsman was ignorant of his dangerous position, endeavoured to direct him by a speaking trumpet and signals; but the captain could neither see nor hear, on account of the darkness of the night, the roaring of the winds, and the tremendous swell of the sea. The vessel in the meantime grounded on a flinty bottom, at a short distance from the advanced jetty. Boussard, touched with the cries of the unfortunate crew, resolved to spring to their assistance, in spite of every remonstrance, and the apparent impossibility of success. Having tied one end of a rope round his waist, and fastened the other to the jetty, he plunged headlong into the raging deep. When he had got very near the ship, a wave carried him off, and dashed him on shore. Several times was he thus repulsed, rolled upon flinty stones, and covered with the wreck of the vessel, which the fury of the waves was tearing rapidly to pieces. He did not however give up his attempt. A wave now threw him under the vessel, and he was given up for lost, but he quickly emerged, holding in his arms a sailor, who had been washed overboard. He brought him on shore motionless and just expiring. In short, after an infinity of efforts and struggles, he reached the wreck, and threw the rope on board. All who had strength enough to avail themselves of this assistance, were successively dragged to land. Boussard, who imagined he had nowPg 44 saved all the crew, worn down by fatigue, and smarting from his wounds and bruises, walked with great difficulty to the light-house, where he fainted through exhaustion. Assistance being procured, he quickly recovered. On hearing that cries still issued from the wreck, he once more collected the little strength he had left, rushed from the arms of his friends, plunged again into the sea, and had the good fortune to save the life of one of the passengers, who was lashed to the wreck, and who had been unable before to profit by the means of escape.

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

Italian Peasant.—A great inundation having taken place in the north of Italy, owing to an excessive fall of snow in the Alps, followed by a speedy thaw, the river Adige carried off a bridge near Verona, all except the middle part, on which was the house of the toll-gatherer, who thus, with his whole family, remained imprisoned by the waves, and in momentary danger of destruction. They were discovered from the bank, stretching forth their hands, screaming, and imploring succour, while fragments of the only remaining arch were continually dropping into the water. In this extreme danger, a nobleman who was present, a Count of Pulverino, held out a purse of a hundred sequins, as a reward to any adventurer who would take a boat and deliver this unhappy family. But the danger of being borne down by the rapidity of the current, or of being dashed against a fragment of the bridge, was so great, that no one in the vast number of spectators had couragePg 45 enough to attempt the exploit. A peasant passing along enquired what was going on, and was informed of the circumstances. Immediately jumping into a boat, he, by strength of oars, gained the middle of the river, brought his boat under the pile, and the whole family safely descended by means of a rope. By a still more strenuous effort, and great strength of arm, he brought the boat and family to shore. "Brave fellow!" exclaimed the count, handing the purse to him, "here is your recompense." "I shall never expose my life for money," answered the peasant; "my labour is a sufficient livelihood for myself, my wife, and children. Give the purse to this poor family, who have lost their all."

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

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

French Peasant Girl.—One evening early in 1858, Melanie Robert, daughter of a small farmer, near Corbeil,Pg 46 was proceeding to Essonnes, when a man armed with a stout stick suddenly presented himself, and summoned her to give up her money. Pretending to be greatly alarmed, she hastily searched her pocket, and collecting some small pieces of coin held them out to the man, who without distrust approached to take them. But the moment he took the money, Melanie made a sudden snatch at the stick, and wresting it from his hand, dealt him so violent a blow with it across the head that she felled him to the ground. She then gave him a sound thrashing, and, in spite of his resistance, forced him to accompany her to the office of the commissary of police, by whom he was committed for trial.

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

A Gamekeeper's Daughter.—The Gazette of Augsburg for January, 1820, contained a singular account of the heroism and presence of mind displayed by the daughter of a gamekeeper, residing in a solitary house near Welheim. Her father and the rest of the family had gone to church, when there appeared at the door an old man apparently half dead with cold. Feeling for his situation, she let him in, and went into the kitchen to prepare him some soup. Through a window which communicated from the kitchen to the room in which she had left him, she perceived that he had dropped the beard he wore when he entered; that he now appeared a robust man; and that he was pacing the chamber with a poignard in his hand. Finding no mode of escape, she armed herself with a chopper in one hand and the boiling soup in the other, and entering the room where he was, first threw the soup in his face, andPg 47 then struck him a blow with the hatchet on his neck, which brought him to the ground senseless. At this moment a fresh knock at the door occasioned her to look out of an upper window, when she saw a strange hunter, who demanded admittance, and on her refusal, threatened to break open the door. She immediately got her father's gun, and as he was proceeding to put his threat in execution, she shot him through the right shoulder, on which he made his way back to the forest. Half an hour after a third person came, and asked after an old man who must have passed that way. She said she knew nothing of him; and after useless endeavours to make her open the door, he also proceeded to break it in, when she shot him dead on the spot. The excitement of her courage being now at an end, her spirits began to sink, and she fired shots, and screamed from the windows, until some gendarmes were attracted to the house; but nothing would induce her to open the door until the return of her father from church.

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

The Douglas.—When King Robert I. died he exacted a promise from Sir James Douglas to convey his heart to the Holy Land, where he had been on the point of going when death arrested him. The party had reached Sluys, so far on their way to Jerusalem, when Alonzo, King ofPg 48 Leon and Castile, at that time engaged in war with the Moorish governor of Granada, Osmyn, sent to demand the aid of Douglas; and by his oath as a knight, which forbade him ever to turn a deaf ear to a call in aid of the Church of Christ, he was obliged to attend to the summons. He fought with his usual heroism, till the Moslems believed he bore a charmed life when they saw him rush into the thickest of the fight and escape unwounded. But the Christian ranks nevertheless began to give way; and to stem the flight the Douglas threw the casket containing the king's heart into the melée, and rushed after it, exclaiming, "Now pass onward as thou wert wont, and Douglas will follow thee or die!" The day after the battle the body of the hero and the casket were found by his surviving companions; and the squire of Douglas finding it was impossible to convey it to Jerusalem, brought back the king's heart to Scotland, and it was interred in Melrose Abbey.

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


Breton Peasants.—At the conclusion of the war in 1814, three hundred British sailors, who had been prisoners, were assembled on the coast of Britanny to embark for England. Being severally billetted on the inhabitants for some days before they embarked, one of them requested permission to see the superintendant, Monsieur Kearnie, which being granted, the British tar thus addressed him: "An please your honour, I don't come to trouble you withPg 49 any bother about ourselves: we are all as well treated as Christians can be; but there is one thing that makes my food sit heavy on my stomach, and that of my two messmates." "What is it, my brave fellow?" replied the superintendent;—"the persons on whom you are quartered don't grudge it you?" "No, your honour;—if they did, that would not vex us." "What, then, do you complain of?" "Only this, your honour—that the poor folk cheerfully lay their scanty allowance before us for our mess, and we have just found out that they have hardly touched a mouthful themselves, or their six babes, for the last two days; and this we take to be a greater hardship than any we found in prison." M. Kearnie told them that from this hardship they should all be relieved. He instantly ordered the billets to be withdrawn, and rewarded all parties for their kindness, so compassionately exercised and interchanged.

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

Rights of Hospitality.—Dr. Johnson, in his tour through North Wales, passed two days at the seat of Colonel Middleton, of Gwynnagag. While he remained there, the gardener found a hare amidst some potatoe plants, and brought it to his master, then engaged in conversation with the doctor. An order was given to carry it to the cook. As soon as Johnson heard this sentence, he begged to have the animal placed in his arms, whichPg 50 was no sooner done, than approaching the open window, he restored the hare to her liberty, shouting after her to accelerate her speed. "What have you done, doctor?" cried the colonel. "Why you have robbed my table of a delicacy—perhaps deprived us of a dinner." "So much the better, sir," replied the humane champion of a condemned hare; "for if your table is to be supplied at the expense of the laws of hospitality, I envy not the appetite of him who eats it. This, sir, is not a hare taken in war, but one which had voluntarily placed itself under your protection; and savage indeed must be that man who does not make his hearth an asylum for the confiding stranger."

Mungo Park.—While Park was waiting on the banks of the Niger for a passage, the king of the country was informed that a white man intended to visit him. On this intelligence, a messenger was instantly dispatched to tell the stranger that his majesty could not possibly admit him to his presence till he understood the cause of his arrival, and also to warn him not to cross the river without the royal permission. The message was accordingly delivered by one of the chief natives, who advised Mr. Park to seek a lodging in an adjacent village, and promised to give him some requisite instructions in the morning. Mr. Park immediately complied with this counsel; but on entering the village he had the mortification to find every door closed against him. He was, therefore, obliged to remain all the day without food, beneath the shade of a tree. About sunset, as he was turning his horse loose to graze, and expected to pass the night in this lonely situation, a woman returning from her employment in the fields stopped to gaze at him, and observing his dejected looks, enquired from what cause they proceeded? Mr. P. endeavoured, as well as he could, to make known his destitute situation. The woman immediately took up his saddle and bridle, and desired him to follow her to her residence, where, after lighting a lamp, she presented him with some broiled fish, spread a mat for him to lie upon, and gave him permission to continue under her roof till morning. Having performed this humane action, she summoned her female companionsPg 51 to their spinning, which occupied the chief part of the night, while their labour was beguiled by a variety of songs—one of which was observed by Mr. Park to be an extemporaneous effusion, created by his own adventure. The air was remarkably sweet and plaintive, and the words were literally the following:—

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


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

Siege of Cajeta.—The City of Cajeta having rebelled against Alphonsus, was invested by that monarch with a powerful army. Being sorely distressed for want of provisions, the citizens put forth all their old men, women,Pg 52 and children, and shut the gates upon them. The king's ministers advised his majesty not to permit them to pass, but to force them back into the city; by which means he would speedily become master of it. Alphonsus, however, had too humane a disposition to hearken to counsel, the policy of which rested on driving a helpless multitude into the jaws of famine. He suffered them to pass unmolested; and when afterwards reproached with the delay which this produced in the siege, he feelingly said, "I had rather be the preserver of one innocent person, than be the master of a hundred Cajetas."

Provost Drummond.—About the middle of last century, George Drummond was provost or chief magistrate of Edinburgh, and renowned for his humane disposition. He was one day coming into the town by the suburb called the West Port, when he saw a funeral procession leaving the door of a humble dwelling, and setting out for the churchyard. The only persons composing the funeral company were four poor-looking old men, seemingly common beggars, one at each end of a pole carrying the coffin, and none to relieve them; there was not a single attendant. The provost at once saw that it must be a beggar's funeral, and he went forward to the old men, saying to them, "Since this poor creature now deceased has no friends to follow his remains to the grave, I will perform that melancholy office myself." He then took his place at the head of the coffin. They had not gone far, till they met two gentlemen who were acquainted with the provost, and they asked him what he was doing there. He told them that he was going to the interment of a poor friendless mendicant, as there were none else to do it; so they turned and accompanied him. Others joined in the same manner, and at last there was a respectable company at the grave. "Now," said the kind-hearted provost, "I will lay the old man's head in the grave," which he accordingly did, and afterwards saw the burial completed in a decent manner. When the solemnity was over, he asked if the deceased had left a wife or family, and learned that he had left a wife, an old woman, in a state of perfect destitution. "Well, then, gentlemen,"Pg 53 said the provost, addressing those around him, "we met in rather a singular manner, and we cannot part without doing something creditable for the benefit of the helpless widow; let each give a trifle, and I will take it upon me to see it administered to the best advantage." All immediately contributed some money, which made up a respectable sum, and was afterwards given in a fitting way to the poor woman; the provost also afterwards placed her in an industrious occupation, by which she was able to support herself without depending on public relief.

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

Bishop of St. Lisieux.—The massacre of St. Bartholomew was not confined to Paris; orders were sent to the most distant provinces to commence the work of destruction. When the governor of the province brought the order to Hennuyer, Bishop of Lisieux, he opposed it with all his power, and caused a formal act of his opposition to be entered on the registers of the province. Charles IX., when remorse had taken place of cruelty, was so far from disapproving of what this excellent prelate had done, that he gave him the greatest praise for his humanity; and Protestants flocked in numbers to adjure their religion at the feet of this good and kind shepherd, whose gentlenessPg 54 affected them more than either the commands of the sovereign, or the violence of the soldiery.

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

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

The Princess Charlotte.—During the residence of Her Royal Highness at Bognor, where she had gone for the recovery of her health, an officer of long standing in the army was arrested for a small sum, and being at a distance from his friends, and unable to procure bail, he was on the point of being torn from his family to be conveyed to Arundel gaol. The circumstance came to the knowledge of the princess, who, in the momentary impulse of generous feeling, exclaimed, "I will be his bail!" Then, suddenly recollecting herself, she inquired the amount of the debt; which being told her, "There," said she, handing a purse with more than the sum, "take this to him;Pg 55 it is hard that he who has exposed his life in the field of battle should ever experience the rigours of a prison."—During the last illness of an old female attendant, formerly nurse to the Princess Charlotte, she visited her every day, sat by her bedside, and with her own hand administered the medicine prescribed. When death had closed the eyes of this poor woman, instead of fleeing in haste from an object so appalling to the young and gay in general, the princess remained and gave utterance to the compassion she felt on viewing the remains in that state from which majesty itself cannot be exempt. A friend of the deceased, seeing Her Royal Highness was much affected, said, "If your Royal Highness would condescend to touch her, perhaps you would not dream of her." "Touch her," replied the amiable princess, "yes, poor thing! and kiss her, too; almost the only one I ever kissed, except my poor mother!" Then bending her head over the coffin of her humble friend, she pressed her lips to the cold cheeks, while tears flowed from her eyes.

M. de Montesquieu being at Marseilles, hired a boat with the intention of sailing for pleasure; the boat was rowed by two young men, with whom he entered into conversation, and learnt that they were not watermen by trade, but silversmiths, and that when they could be spared from their usual business, they employed themselves in that way to increase their earnings. On expressing his surprise at their conduct, and imputing it to an avaricious disposition; "Oh! sir," said the young men, "if you knew our reasons, you would ascribe it to a better motive.—Our father, anxious to assist his family, devoted the produce of a life of industry to the purchase of a vessel, for the purpose of trading to the coast of Barbary, but was unfortunately taken by a pirate, carried to Tripoli, and sold as a slave. In a letter we have received from him, he informs that he has luckily fallen into the hands of a master who treats him with great humanity; but the sum demanded for the ransom is so exorbitant, that it will be impossible for him ever to raise it. He adds, that we must therefore relinquish all hope of ever seeing him again. With the hopes of restoring to his family a beloved father, we are striving by every honest means in ourPg 56 power to collect the sum necessary for his ransom, and we are not ashamed to employ ourselves for such a purpose in the occupation of watermen." M. de Montesquieu was struck with this account, and on his departure made them a handsome present. Some months afterwards, the young men being at work in their shop, were greatly surprised at the sudden arrival of their father, who threw himself into their arms; exclaiming at the same time, that he feared they had taken some unjust method to raise the money for his ransom, for it was too great for them to have gained by their ordinary occupation. They professed their ignorance of the whole affair; and could only suspect they owed their father's release to that stranger to whose generosity they had before been so much obliged. Such, indeed, was the case; but it was not till after Montesquieu's death that the fact was known, when an account of the affair, with the sum remitted to Tripoli for the old man's ransom, was found among his papers.

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

Lord Cochrane.—When this gallant officer was entrusted with the perilous duty of conducting the fire-ships in the attack upon the French fleet in Basque Roads, he had lighted the fusee which was to explode one of thesePg 57 terrific engines of destruction, and had rowed off to some distance, when it was discovered that a dog had been left on board. Lord C. instantly ordered the men to row back, assuring them that there was yet time enough, if they pulled hard, to save the poor animal. They got back to the fire-ship just a few minutes before it would have been too late to save the animal; and when the dreadful explosion took place, were still so near the floating volcano, that the fragments fell in heaps around them.

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

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


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

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

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

Mons. Boutibonne, a man of literary attainments, a native of Paris, served in Napoleon's army, and was present at a number of engagements during the early part of the present century. At the battle of Wagram, which resulted in a treaty of peace with Austria, in November 1809, Mons. Boutibonne was actively engaged during the whole of the fray, which lasted, if I rightly remember, from soonPg 59 after mid-day until dark. The ranks around him had been terribly thinned by the enemy's shot, so that his position at sunset was nearly isolated; and while in the act of reloading his musket, he was shot down by a cannon-ball. The impression produced upon his mind was, that the ball had passed from left to right, through his legs below the knees, separating them from his thighs, as he suddenly sank down, shortened, as he believed, to the extent of about a foot in measurement, the trunk of the body falling backwards on the ground, and the senses being completely paralysed by the shock. In this posture he lay motionless during the remainder of the night, not daring to move a muscle for fear of fatal consequences. He experienced no severe suffering; but this immunity from pain he attributed to the stunning effect produced upon the brain and nervous system. "My wounded companions," said he, "lay groaning in agony on every side, but I uttered not a word, nor ventured to move, lest the torn vessels should be roused into action, and produce fatal hæmorrhage, for I had been made acquainted with the fact that the blood-vessels, wounded in this way, did not usually bleed profusely until reaction took place. At early dawn, on the following morning, I was aroused from a troubled slumber by one of the medical staff, who came round to succour the wounded. 'What's the matter with you my good fellow?' said he. 'Ah! touch me softly, I beseech you,' I replied, 'a cannon-ball has carried off my legs.' He proceeded at once to examine my legs and thighs, and giving me a good shake, with a cry of joy he exclaimed 'Get up at once, there is nothing the matter with you.' Whereupon I sprung up in utter astonishment, and stood firmly on the legs which I believed had been lost to me for ever. I felt more thankful than I had ever done in the whole course of my life before. I had not a wound about me. I had indeed been shot down by an immense cannon-ball, but instead of passing through my legs, as I firmly believed it to have done, the ball had passed under my feet, and had ploughed away a cavity in the earth beneath, at least a foot in depth, into which my feet suddenly sank, giving me the idea that I had been thus shattered by the separation of my legs. Such is the power of imagination."


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

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

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


James the First.—Soon after that would-be Solomon came to the throne of England, he went one day to hear the causes in Westminster Hall, in order to show his learning and wisdom, of which he had no mean opinion. Accordingly, being seated on the bench, a cause came on, which the counsel, learned in the law, set forth to such advantage on the part of the plaintiff, that the RoyalPg 61 Judge thought he saw the justice of it so clearly, that he frequently cried out, "The gude man is i' the richt! the gude man is i' the richt! He mun hae it! he mun hae it!" And when the counsel had concluded, he took it as a high affront that the judges of the court should presume to remonstrate to him, that it was the rule to hear the other side before they gave judgment. Curiosity to know what could be said in so clear a case, rather than any respect to their rules, made him defer his decision; but the defendant's counsel had scarcely begun to open his cause, when his majesty appeared greatly discomposed, and was so puzzled as they proceeded, that he had no patience to hear them out, but starting up in a passion, cried, "I'll hear nae mair! I'll hear nae mair! ye are a' knaves aleeke! Ye gi' each other the lee (lie), and neither's i' the richt!"

Frederick the Great.—Frederick the Great rang the bell one day, and nobody answered. He opened the door, and found the page sleeping on a sofa. About to wake him, he perceived the end of a billet out of his pocket, and had the curiosity to know the contents: Frederick carefully drew it out, and read it; it was a letter from the mother of the young man, who thanked him for having sent her part of his wages, to assist her in her distress; and it concluded by beseeching God to bless him for his filial goodness. The king returned softly to his room, took a roller of ducats, and slid them, with the letter, into the page's pocket; and then returning to his apartment, rung so violently, that the page came running breathlessly to know what had happened. "You have slept well," said the king. The page made an apology, and, in his embarrassment, he happened to put his hand into his pocket, and felt with astonishment the roller. He drew it out, turned pale, and looking at the king, burst into tears, without being able to speak a word. "What is the matter?" said the king, "what ails you?" "Ah, sire," answered the youth, throwing himself at his feet, "somebody would wish to ruin me; I know not how I came by this money in my pocket." "My friend," said Frederick, "God often sends us good in our sleep. Send this to yourPg 62 mother. Salute her in my name, and assure her I shall take care of her and of you."

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

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

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

Louis XIV., playing at backgammon, had a doubtful throw; a dispute arose, and all the courtiers remained silent. The Count de Grammont came in at that instant. "Decide the matter," said the king to him. "Sire," said the count, "your Majesty is in the wrong."—"How so," replied the king; "can you decide without knowing the question?"—"Yes," said the count, "because, had the matter been doubtful, all these gentlemen present would have given it for your majesty."Pg 63

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

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

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

Louis XII.—Josquin, a celebrated composer, was appointed master of the chapel to Louis XII. of France, who promised him a benefice, but contrary to his usual custom, forgot him. Josquin, after suffering great inconvenience from the shortness of his majesty's memory, ventured, by a singular expedient, publicly to remind him of his promise, without giving offence. Being commanded to compose a motet for the chapel royal, he chose the verse of the Psalm, "Oh, think of thy servant as concerning thyPg 64 word," &c., which he set in so supplicating and exquisite a manner, that it was universally admired, particularly by the king, who was not only charmed with the music, but felt the force of the words so effectually, that he soon after granted his petition, by conferring on him the promised appointment.

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

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

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

George III. on Punctuality.—The celebrated mathePg 65matical instrument maker, Mr. Ramsden, was frequently deficient in punctuality, and would delay for months, nay, for years, the delivery of instruments bespoken from him. His majesty, who had more than once experienced this dilatory disposition, once ordered an instrument, which he made Ramsden positively promise to deliver on a certain day. The day, however, came, but not the instrument. At length Ramsden sent word to the king that it was finished; on which a message was sent him, desiring that he would bring it himself to the palace. He, however, answered, that he would not come, unless his majesty would promise not to be angry with him. "Well, well," said the king, "let him come: as he confesses his fault, it would be hard to punish him for it." On this assurance he went to the palace, where he was graciously received; the king, after expressing his entire satisfaction with the instrument, only adding, with a good-natured smile, "You have been uncommonly punctual this time, Mr. Ramsden, having brought the instrument on the very day of the month you promised it; you have only made a small mistake in the date of the year." It was, in fact, exactly a year after the stipulated time.

Doing Homage.—Mr. Carbonel, the wine merchant who served George III., was a great favourite with the king, and used to be admitted to the royal hunts. Returning from the chase one day, his majesty entered affably into conversation with him, and rode with him side by side a considerable way. Lord Walsingham was in attendance; and watching an opportunity, took Mr. Carbonel aside, and whispered something to him. "What's that, what's that Walsingham has been saying to you?" inquired the good-humoured monarch. "I find, sire, I have been unintentionally guilty of disrespect; my lord informed me, that, I ought to have taken off my hat whenever I addressed your majesty; but your majesty will please to observe, that whenever I hunt, my hat is fastened to my wig, and my wig is fastened to my head, and I am on the back of a very high-spirited horse; so that if any thing goes off, we all go off together!" The king accepted, and laughed heartily at, the whimsical apology.Pg 66

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

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

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

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

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


A Bold Trick.—The following anecdote serves to exemplify how necessary it is upon any important occasion to scrutinise the accuracy of a statement before it is takenPg 67 upon trust. A fellow was tried at the Old Bailey for highway robbery, and the prosecutor swore positively that he had seen his face distinctly, for it was a bright moonlight night. The counsel for the prisoner cross-questioned the man so as to make him repeat that assertion, and insist upon it. He then affirmed that this was a most important circumstance, and a most fortunate one for the prisoner at the bar: because the night on which the alleged robbery was said to have been committed was one in which there had been no moon: it was then during the dark quarter! In proof of this he handed an almanack to the bench,—and the prisoner was acquitted accordingly. The prosecutor, however, had stated every thing truly; and it was known afterwards that the almanack with which the counsel came provided, had actually been prepared and printed for the occasion!

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

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

Erskine.—On Mr. Erskine's receiving his appointment to succeed Mr. Dundas, as justiciary in Scotland, he exclaimed that he must go and order his silk robe. "Never mind," said Mr. Dundas, "for the short time you will want it you had better borrow mine!"—"No!" replied Erskine, "how short a time soever I may need it, heaven forbid that I commence my career by adopting the abandoned habits of my predecessor!"Pg 68

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

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

Fools.—A lawyer of Strasburgh being in a dying statePg 69 sent for a brother lawyer to make his will, by which he bequeathed nearly the whole of his estate to the Hospital for Idiots. The other expressed his surprise at this bequest. "Why not bestow it upon them," said the dying man; "you know I got the most of my money by fools, and therefore to fools it ought to return."

Curran.—A farmer, attending a fair with a hundred pounds in his pocket, took the precaution of depositing it in the hands of the landlord of the public-house at which he stopped. Having occasion for it shortly afterwards, he repaired to mine host for the amount, but the landlord, too deep for the countryman, wondered what hundred was meant, and was quite sure no such sum had ever been lodged in his hands. After many ineffectual appeals to the recollection, and finally to the honour of Bardolph, the farmer applied to Curran for advice. "Have patience, my friend," said Curran; "speak to the landlord civilly, and tell him you are convinced you must have left your money with some other person. Take a friend with you, and lodge with him another hundred in the presence of your friend, and then come to me." We may imagine the vociferations of the honest rustic at such advice; however, moved by the rhetoric of the worthy counsel, he followed it, and returned to his legal friend. "And now, sir, I don't see as I'm to be better off for this, if I get my second hundred again—but how is that to be done?" "Go and ask him for it when he is alone," said the counsel. "Aye, sir; but asking won't do I'm afraid, and not without my witness, at any rate." "Never mind, take my advice," said the counsel; "do as I bid you, and return to me." The farmer returned with the hundred, glad at any rate to find that safe again his possession. "Now I suppose I must be content, though I don't see as I'm much better off." "Well, then," said the counsel, "now take your friend with you, and ask the landlord for the hundred pounds your friend saw you leave with him." We need not add, that the wily landlord found that he had been taken off his guard, while our honest friend returned to thank his counsel exultingly, with both of his hundreds in his pocket.Pg 70

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

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

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

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

Lord Brougham tells the following story. It is aPg 71 curious instance of the elucidation of facts in court.—During the assizes, in a case of assault and battery, where a stone had been thrown by the defendant, the following clear and conclusive evidence was drawn out of a Yorkshireman.—"Did you see the defendant throw the stone?" "I saw a stone, and I'ze pretty sure the defendant throwed it." "Was it a large stone?" "I should say it wur a largeish stone." "What was its size?" "I should say a sizeable stone." "Can't you answer definitely how big it was?" "I should say it wur a stone of some bigness." "Can't you give the jury some idea of the stone?" "Why, as near as I recollect, it wur something of a stone." "Can't you compare it to some other object?" "Why, if I wur to compare it, so as to give some notion of the stone, I should say it wur as large as a lump of chalk!"

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

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

Peter the Great, being at Westminster Hall in term time, and seeing multitudes of people swarming about thePg 72 courts of law, is reported to have asked some about him, what all those busy people were, and what they were about? and being answered, "They are lawyers." "Lawyers!" returned he, with great vivacity, "why I have but four in my whole kingdom, and I design to hang two of them as soon as I get home."

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

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

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

Sir Fletcher Norton was noted for his want ofPg 73 courtesy. When pleading before Lord Mansfield, on some question of manorial right, he chanced unfortunately to say, "My lord, I can illustrate the point in an instant in my own person: I myself have two little manors." The judge immediately interposed, with one of his blandest smiles, "We all know that, Sir Fletcher."

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

Hanging Judge.—Counsellor Grady, in a late trial in Ireland, said, he recollected to have heard of a relentlessPg 74 judge; he was known by the name of the Hanging Judge, and was never seen to shed a tear but once, and that was during the representation of The Beggar's Opera, when Macheath got a reprieve!

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

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

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

The Scotch bar had once to boast in Mr. Erskine, of Cardross, of a pleader quite as diminutive as Mr. Collis. He had usually a stool brought to him to stand upon when addressing the court, which gave occasion for aPg 75 witty rival once to observe, that "that was one way of rising at the bar."

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

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

During the long vacation, the sergeant usually retired to his country seat at Rowell in Northamptonshire. It happened, during one autumn, that some of the neighbourPg 76ing sportsmen, among whom was the present Earl Spencer, being in pursuit of a fox, Reynard, who was hard pressed, took refuge in the court-yard of this venerable sage. At this moment the sergeant was reading a case in point, which decided that in a trespass of this kind the owners of the ground had a right to inflict the punishment of death. Mr. Hill accordingly gave orders for punishing the fox, as an original trespasser, which was done instantly. The hunters now arrived with the hounds in full cry, and the foremost horseman, who anticipated the glory of possessing the brush, was the first to behold his victim stretched lifeless on the ground, pinioned to the earth by plebeian pitchforks. The hunters were very anxious to discover the daring culprit who had presumed to deprive the field and the pack of their prey; when the venerable sergeant made his appearance, with his book in his hand, and offered to convince them that execution had taken place according to legal authority. The sportsmen got outrageous, but the learned sergeant was not intimidated; he knew the force of his authorities, and gravely invited the attention of his auditory to a case from one of the old reporters, that would have puzzled a whole bar of modern practitioners to controvert. The effect was ludicrous; the extraordinary appearance of the worthy sergeant, not in his bargown, but in what these adventurous mortals called a mere bedgown; the quaintness of his manner, the singularity of the occurrence, and the novelty of the incident, threw them completely out.


Budæus, a very learned man, librarian to Francis the First of France, was one day engaged in deep study, when his servant came running to him in a great fright, to tell him that the house was on fire. "Go," said he, with perfect calmness, and hardly raising his eyes from his book, "and inform your mistress, 'tis her concern, you know I never interfere in domestic matters."Pg 77

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

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


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

Colonel Hawker, who commanded the 14th Light Dragoons in most of the serious engagements in the Peninsula, having formerly lost an arm in action, was attended by an orderly man, who held a guiding rein toPg 78 the bridle of the colonel's charger; this attendant being slain by his side, just as the enemy's cavalry had broken the line of the 14th, by a heavy charge of superior numbers, great slaughter ensued on both sides, when a French officer immediately opposed to Colonel Hawker, lifted up his sabre, and was in the act of cutting him down, but observing the loss of his arm, he instantly dropped the point on the colonel's shoulder, and, bending his head, passed on. A truly noble adversary!

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

Magnanimous Rebel.—Sir Phelim O'Neil, one of the leaders in the Irish rebellion of 1641, while in prison, previous to his trial, was frequently solicited, by promises of a free pardon, and large rewards, to bear testimony that the king (Charles the First) had been actively instrumental in stirring up that rebellion. It was one of the arts of the factions of that period to throw the odium of the massacre which followed the Irish rebellion upon Charles; but whatever may have been the political sins of that unhappy prince, impartial history has not ranked this among the number. Sir Phelim declared, that he could not, in conscience, charge the king with any thing of the kind. His trial was drawn out to the length of several days, that he might be worked upon in that time; but he persisted with constancy and firmness in rejecting every offer made to him by the commissioners. Even at the place of execution, the most splendid advantages were pressed upon him, upon the condition of falsely accusing King CharlesPg 79 in that point. Men saw with admiration this unfortunate chieftain under all the terrors of death, and the strongest temptations man could be under, bravely attesting the king's innocence, and sealing the truth of his testimony with his blood. When on the ladder, and ready to be thrown off, two marshals came riding in great haste, and cried aloud, "Stop a little." Having passed through the, crowd of spectators and guards, one of them whispered something into the ear of Sir Phelim, who made answer in so loud a voice, as to be heard by several hundreds of the people. "I thank the lieutenant-general for the intended mercy; but I declare, good people, before God and his holy angels, and all of you that hear me, that I never had any commission from the king for what I have done, in levying, or in prosecuting this war; and do heartily beg your prayers, all good Catholics and Christians! that God may be merciful unto me, and forgive me my sins." On this the guards beat off those that stood near the place of execution, and in a few minutes Sir Phelim was no more.

Admiral Thurot.—It has been said of the French naval commander Thurot, that he was strictly honest in circumstances that made the exertion of common honesty an act of the highest magnanimity. When this officer appeared on the coast of Scotland, and landed in order to supply his three vessels with provisions, he paid a liberal price for every thing he wanted, and behaved with so much affability, that a countryman ventured to complain to him of an officer, who had taken 50 or 60 guineas from him. The officer, on being called on to vindicate himself against the charge, acknowledged the fact, but said, that he had divided the money among his men. Thurot immediately ordered the officer to give his bill for the money, which he said should be stopped out of his pay, if they were so fortunate as to return to France. On another occasion, one of Thurot's officers gave a bill upon a merchant in France, for some provisions that he had purchased. Thurot hearing of the circumstance, informed the countryman that the bill was of no value; and reprimanding the officer severely for the cheat, compelled him to give another on a merchant, whom he knew would pay the money. What makes thisPg 80 act of integrity still more striking and praiseworthy, is, that Thurot's men at this time were so dissatisfied, as to be ready to break out in open mutiny.

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

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

So singular an instance of generosity gave the lady more surprise than joy. She again threw herself at the feet of the chevalier, and protested that she would never rise until he had accepted of that mark of her gratitude. "Since you will have it so," replied Bayard, "I will not refuse it; but may I not have the honour to salute your amiable daughters?" The young ladies soon entered, and Bayard thanked them for their kindness in enlivening him with their company. "I should be glad," said he, "toPg 81 have it in my power to convince you of my gratitude; but we soldiers are seldom possessed of jewels worthy the acceptance of your sex. Your amiable mother has presented me with two thousand five hundred ducats; I make a present to each of you of one thousand, for a part of your marriage portion. The remaining five hundred I give to the poor sufferers of this town, and I beg you will take on yourselves the distribution."

One of the finest actions of a soldier of which history makes mention, is related in the history of the Marechal de Luxemburg. The marechal, then Count de Boutteville, served in the army of Flanders in 1675, under the command of the Prince of Condé. He perceived in a march some soldiers that were separated from the main body, and he sent one of his aides-de-camp to bring them back to their colours. All obeyed, except one, who continued his road. The count, highly offended at such disobedience, threatened to strike him with his stick. "That you may do," said the soldier, with great coolness, "but you will repent of it." Irritated by this answer, Boutteville struck him, and forced him to rejoin his corps. Fifteen days after, the army besieged Furnes; and Boutteville commanded the colonel of a regiment to find a man steady and intrepid for a coup-de-main, which he wanted, promising a hundred pistoles as a reward. The soldier in question, who had the character of being the bravest man in the regiment, presented himself, and taking thirty of his comrades, of whom he had the choice, he executed his commission, which was of the most hazardous nature, with a courage and success beyond all praise. On his return, Boutteville, after having praised him highly, counted out the hundred pistoles he had promised. The soldier immediately distributed them to his comrades, saying, that he had no occasion for money; and requested that if what he had done merited any recompense, he might be made an officer. Then addressing himself to the count, he asked if he recognised him? and on Boutteville replying in the negative, "Well," said he, "I am the soldier whom you struck on our march fifteen days ago. Was I not right when I said that you would repent of it?" The Count dePg 82 Boutteville, filled with admiration, and affected almost to tears, embraced the soldier, created him an officer on the spot, and soon made him one of his aides-de-camp.


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

Handel being only a musician, was obliged to employ some person to write his operas and oratorios, which accounts for their being so very defective as poetical compositions. One of those versifiers employed by him, once ventured to suggest, in the most respectful manner, that the music he had composed to some lines of his, was quite contrary to the sense of the passage. Instead of taking this friendly hint as he ought to have done, from one who (although not a Pindar) was at least a better judge of poetry than himself, he looked upon the advice as injurious to his talents, and cried out, with all the violence ofPg 83 affronted pride, "What! you teach me music? The music is good music: confound your words! Here," said he, thrumming his harpsichord, "are my ideas; go and make words to them."

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

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

One Sunday, having attended divine worship at a country church, Handel asked the organist to permit him to play the people out; to which, with a politeness characteristic of the profession, the organist consented. Handel accordingly sat down to the organ, and began to play in such a masterly manner, as instantly to attract the attention of the whole congregation, who, instead ofPg 84 vacating their seats as usual, remained for a considerable space of time, fixed in silent admiration. The organist began to be impatient (perhaps his wife was waiting dinner); and at length addressing the performer, told him that he was convinced that he could not play the people out, and advised him to relinquish the attempt; which being done, they were played out in the usual manner.

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

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

When Haydn was in England, one of the princes comPg 85missioned Sir Joshua Reynolds to take his portrait. Haydn went to the painter's house, and sat to him, but soon grew tired. Sir Joshua, careful of his reputation, would not paint a man of acknowledged genius, with a stupid countenance; and deferred the sitting till another day. The same weariness and want of expression occurring at the next attempt, Reynolds went and communicated the circumstance to his royal highness, who contrived the following stratagem. He sent to the painter's house a German girl, in the service of the queen. Haydn took his seat for the third time, and as soon as the conversation began to flag, a curtain rose, and the fair German addressed him in his native language, with a most elegant compliment. Haydn, delighted, overwhelmed the enchantress with questions; his countenance recovered its animation, and Sir Joshua rapidly seized its traits.

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


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

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

The Duke of Newcastle, who was at the head of the Treasury, frequently differed with his colleague in office, Mr. Pitt, the first Earl of Chatham, though the latter, by his firmness, usually prevailed. A curious scene occurred at one of their interviews. It had been proposed to send Admiral Hawke to sea, in pursuit of M. Conflans. The season was unfavourable, and almost dangerous for a fleet to sail, being the end of the month of November, and very stormy. Mr. Pitt was at that time confined to his bed by gout, and was obliged to receive visitors in his chamber, in which he could not bear to have a fire. The Duke of Newcastle waited upon him one very raw day, to discuss the affair of the fleet, but scarcely had he entered the chamber, when shivering with cold, he said, "What, have you no fire?" "No," replied Mr. Pitt, "I can never bear a fire when I have the gout." The duke sat down by the side of the invalid, wrapt up in his cloak, and began to enter upon the subject of his visit. There was a second bed in the room, and the duke, unable longer to endure the cold, said, "With your leave, I'll warm myself in this other bed;" and without taking off his cloak, he actually got into the bed, and resumed the debate. The duke began to argue against exposing the fleet to hazard in such weather, and Mr. Pitt was as determined it should put to sea. "The fleet must absolutely sail," said Mr. Pitt, accompanying his words with the most expressive gesture.Pg 87 "It is impossible," said the duke, with equal animation, "it will certainly be lost." Sir Charles Frederick, of the ordnance department, arrived just at this time, and finding them both in this laughable posture, had the greatest difficulty to preserve his gravity, at seeing two ministers of state deliberating on the affairs of the country in so ludicrous a situation.

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

Lord Lyndhurst, it is said, tells this story of his surrender of the great seal in 1846. "When I went to the palace," says his lordship, "I alighted at the grand staircase; I was received by the sticks gold and silver, and other officers of the household, who called in sonorous tones from landing to landing, and apartment to apartment, 'Room for the Lord High Chancellor of England.' I entered the presence chamber; I gave the seals to her Majesty; I had the honour of kissing her hand; I left the apartment by another door and found myself on a back staircase, down which I descended without any one taking any notice of me, until, as I was looking for my carriage atPg 88 the outer door, a lackey bustled up, and with a patronising air, said, 'Lord Lyndhurst, can I do anything for you?'"

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


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

Philip, the second King of Spain, had once spent several hours of the night in writing a long letter to the Pope, and having finished it, gave it to his secretary to fold it up and seal it. The secretary was half asleep, and instead of shaking the sand-bottle over it in order to dry it, he emptied that which contained the ink by mistake, so that all the ink ran out upon the letter and completely spoiled it; perceiving the accident, he was readyPg 89 to drop with confusion, upon which the King quietly said: "Well, give me another sheet of paper;" and then began to write the letter over again with great tranquillity.


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

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


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

A French Mayor.—A mayor of a small village in France, having occasion to give a passport to a distinguished personage in his neighbourhood who was blindPg 90 of one eye, was in great embarrassment on coming to the description of his person. Fearful of offending the great man, he adopted the following ingenious expedient of avoiding the mention of his deformity, and wrote "Black eyes—one of which is absent."

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


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

Carving.—An accomplished gentleman, when carving a tough goose, had the misfortune to send it entirely out of the dish, and into the lap of the lady next to him; on which he very coolly looked her full in the face, and with admirable gravity and calmness, said, "Madam, may I trouble you for that goose." In a case like this, a person must, necessarily, suffer so much, and be such an object of compassion to the company, that the kindest thing he can do is to appear as unmoved as possible.Pg 91

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

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

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

The Gendarmes and the Priest.—During the Revolution a priest took refuge in the house of a farmer. Some gendarmes having heard of it came one evening to the house. The whole family were gathered round the hearth, and among them was the priest, disguised as a servant. When the soldiers entered every one grew pale; they asked thePg 92 farmer if there was not a priest concealed in the house. "Gentlemen," returned he, without losing his presence of mind, "you see very well there is no priest here; but one might conceal himself in the house without my knowledge; so I will not prevent you from doing your duty; search the house from cellar to garret." Then he said to the priest, "I say, Jacques, take your lantern and show these gentlemen everywhere; let them see every corner of the farm." The gendarmes made a minute inspection of the house, uttering many imprecations and many menaces against the priest, promising themselves to pay him well for the trouble he had cost them, if they succeeded in discovering him. Seeing their search was useless, they prepared to leave. As they were going the farmer said, "Pray gentlemen, remember the boy." They gave the disguised priest a small coin, and thanking him for his civility took their leave.

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

King James the Fourth of Scotland, who used often to amuse himself in wandering about the country in different disguises, was once overtaken by a violent storm in a dark night, and obliged to take shelter in a cavern near Wemys. Having advanced some way in it, the king discovered aPg 93 number of men and women ready to begin to roast a sheep, by way of supper. From their appearance, he began to suspect that he had not fallen into the best of company; but, as it was too late to retreat, he asked hospitality from them till the tempest was over. They granted it, and invited the king, whom they did not know, to sit down, and take part with them. They were a band of robbers and cut-throats. As soon as they had finished their supper, one of them presented a plate, upon which two daggers were laid in form of a St. Andrew's cross, telling the king, at the same time, that this was the dessert which they always served to strangers; that he must choose one of the daggers, and fight him whom the company should appoint to attack him. The king did not lose his presence of mind, but instantly seized the two daggers, one in each hand, and plunged them into the hearts of the two robbers who were next him; and running full speed to the mouth of the cavern, he escaped from their pursuit, through the obscurity of the night. The rest of the band were seized next morning and hanged.

The Marquess del Campo.—When the attempt was made upon the life of George III., by Margaret Nicholson, who attempted to stab him as he was going to St. James's to hold a levee, a council was ordered to be held as soon as the levee was over. The Marquess del Campo, the Spanish ambassador, being apprised of that circumstance, and knowing that the council would detain the king in town three or four hours beyond the usual time, took post horses, and set off for Windsor. Alighting at the castle, he called upon a lady there with whom he was acquainted. The queen, finding that the king did not return at the usual time, and understanding that the marquess was in the palace, sent to ask him if he had been at the levee. He replied that he had, and that he had left his majesty in perfect health, going to council. When the king arrived, he, of course, told her majesty the extraordinary occurrence of the morning. The queen expressed great surprise that the Marquess del Campo, who had been nearly three hours in the palace, had not mentioned the subject to her; he was then sent for, when he told theirPg 94 majesties, that finding upon his arrival at the castle, that no rumour of the attempt upon the life of his majesty had reached the queen, he did not think it expedient to apprise her of it till his majesty's arrival gave full assurance of his safety; but, at the same time, fearing that some incorrect and alarming reports might be brought down, he deemed it right to remain in the palace, in order in that case, to be able to remove all apprehensions from her majesty's mind, by acquainting her with the real facts. The king, taking the ambassador graciously by the hand, complimented him on his presence of mind, and assured him, that he scarcely knew a man in the world to whom he was so much obliged.

Miss Bailly.—A few days before the battle of Falkirk, so disastrous to the English army, Lord Loudon made a bold attempt to seize the Pretender at Moy, a castle belonging to the chief of the clan of Mackintosh, about six miles from Inverness, where he was then staying, and where he conceived himself in perfect security. His lordship would probably have succeeded in this design, but for the singular courage and presence of mind of a young girl. While some English officers were drinking in the house of Mrs. Bailly, an innkeeper in Inverness, and passing the time till the hour of setting out for the intended capture, her daughter, a girl of about thirteen or fourteen years of age, who happened to wait on them, paid great attention to their conversation, and from certain expressions which they dropped she discovered their design. As soon as she could do so unobserved, she left the house, escaped from the town, notwithstanding the vigilance of the sentinels, and took the road to Moy, running as fast as she was able, without shoes or stockings, which to accelerate her progress she had taken off, in order to inform the Prince of the danger which menaced him. She reached Moy, quite out of breath, before Lord Loudon and his troops; and the Prince had just time to escape, in his robe-de-chambre, nightcap, and slippers, to the neighbouring mountains, where he passed the night in concealment. This girl, to whom the Prince owed his life,Pg 95 was in great danger of losing her own, from the excessive fatigue and excitement; but by care and attention she eventually recovered.

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


The anecdote is well known of the celebrated Dr. Busby keeping on his hat when visited by King Charles II., and apologizing for his apparent want of respect, by saying, that he should never be able to keep his scholars in subjection, if they thought that there was a greater man in the world than himself. The same feeling seems to havePg 96 actuated the Gaelic chiefs, who were excessively proud of their rank and prerogatives. When the first Marquess of Huntly, then the chief of the clan Gordon, was presented at the court of James VI., he did not so much as incline his head before his sovereign. Being asked why he failed in this point of etiquette? he replied, that he had no intention whatever of showing any disrespect to his king, but that he came from a country where all the world were accustomed to bow down before him. A similar instance occurred with the head of another family. When George II. offered a patent of nobility to the chief of the Grants, the proud Celt refused it, saying, "Wha would then be Laird of Grant?"

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

An anecdote is told of a gentleman in Monmouthshire, which exhibits the pride of ancestry in a curious point of view. His house was in such a state of dilapidation that the proprietor was in danger of perishing under the ruins of the ancient mansion, which he venerated even in decay. A stranger, whom he accidentally met at the foot of the Skyrrid, made various enquiries respecting the country, the prospects, and the neighbouring houses, and, among others, asked—"Whose is this antique mansion before us?" "That, sir, is Werndee, a very ancient house; for out of it came the Earls of Pembroke of the first line, and the Earls of Pembroke of the second line; the Lord Herberts of Cherbury, the Herberts of Coldbrook, Ramsay, Cardiff, and York; the Morgans of Acton; the Earl of Hunsdon; the houses of Ircowm and Lanarth, and all the Powells. Out of this house also, by the female line, came the Duke of Beaufort." "And pray, sir, who lives therePg 97 now?" "I do, sir." "Then pardon me, and accept a piece of advice; come out of it yourself, or you'll soon be buried in the ruins of it."

A curious anecdote is related respecting a contest for precedence, between the rival Welch Houses of Perthir and Werndee, which, though less bloody, was not less obstinate than that between the Houses of York and Lancaster. Mr. Proger, of Werndee, dining with a friend at Monmouth, proposed riding home in the evening; but his friend objecting because it was late and likely to rain, Mr. Proger replied, "With regard to the lateness of the hour, we shall have moonlight; and should it happen to rain, Perthir is not far from the road, and my cousin Powell will, I am sure, give us a night's lodging." They accordingly mounted their horses; but being soon overtaken by a violent shower, rode to Perthir, and found all the family retired to rest. Mr. Proger, however, calling to his cousin, Mr. Powell opened the window, and looking out, asked, "In the name of wonder, what means all this noise? Who is there?" "It is only I, your cousin Proger of Werndee, who am come to your hospitable door for shelter from the inclemency of the weather, and hope you will be so kind as to give my friend and me a lodging." "What! Is it you, cousin Proger? You and your friend shall be instantly admitted, but upon one condition, that you will allow, and never hereafter dispute, that I am the head of the family." "What did you say?" returned Mr. Proger. "Why, I say, if you expect to pass the night in my house, you must allow that I am the head of the family." "No, sir, I never will admit that; were it to rain swords and daggers, I would ride this night to Werndee, rather than lower the consequence of my family. Come up, Bold, come up." "Stop a moment, cousin Proger; have you not often confessed that the first Earl of Pembroke (of the name of Herbert) was the youngest son of Perthir; and will you set yourself above the Earls of Pembroke?" "True, I must give place to the Earl of Pembroke, because he is a peer of the realm; but still, though a peer, he is of the youngest branch of my family, being descended from the fourth son of Werndee, who was your ancestor,Pg 98 and settled at Perthir; whereas I am descended from the eldest son. Indeed, my cousin Jones of Lanarth is of an older branch than you, and yet he never disputes that I am the head of the family." "Why, cousin Proger, I have nothing more to say; so, good night to you." "Stop a moment, Mr. Powell," said the stranger, "you see how it pours; do admit me at least; I will not dispute with you about our families." "Pray, sir, what is your name, and where do you come from?" "My name is * * *, and I come from the county of * * *." "A Saxon of course; it would be very curious indeed, sir, should I dispute with a Saxon about families; no, sir, you must suffer for the obstinacy of your friend, and so a pleasant ride to you both."


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

Mr. Scott, of Exeter, travelled on business till about eighty years of age. He was one of the most celebrated characters in the kingdom for punctuality, and by his methodical conduct, joined to uniform diligence, he gradually amassed a fortune. For a long series of years, thePg 99 proprietor of every inn he frequented in Devon and Cornwall knew the day, and the very hour, he would arrive. A short time before he died, a gentleman on a journey in Cornwall stopped at a small inn at Port Isaac to dine. The waiter presented him with a bill of fare, which he did not approve of; but observing a fine duck roasting, "I'll have that," said the traveller. "You cannot, sir," said the landlord; "it is for Mr. Scott of Exeter." "I know Mr. Scott very well," rejoined the gentlemen; "he is not in your house." "True, sir," said the landlord, "but six months ago, when he was here last, he ordered a duck to be ready for him this day, precisely at two o'clock;" and, to the astonishment of the traveller, he saw the old gentleman, on his Rosinante, jogging into the inn-yard about five minutes before the appointed time.

Sir W. Scott.—A gentleman who, in the year 1826, travelled with Sir Walter Scott in the coach from Edinburgh to Jedburgh, relates the following anecdote illustrative of his regard for punctuality, and his willingness to serve all who placed confidence in him, particularly those engaged in literary pursuits.—"We had performed half the journey," writes our informant, "when Sir Walter started as from a dream, exclaiming: 'Oh, my friend G——, I have forgotten you till this moment!' A short mile brought us to a small town, where Sir Walter ordered a post-chaise, in which he deposited his luggage, consisting of a well-worn short hazel stick, and a paper parcel containing a few books; then, much to my regret, he changed his route, and returned to the Scottish capital. The following month I was again in Edinburgh, and curiosity induced me to wait on the friend G—— apostrophised by Sir Walter, and whose friendship I had the honour to possess. The cause of Sir Walter's return, I was informed, was this:—He had engaged to furnish an article for a periodical conducted by my friend, but the promise had slipped from his memory—a most uncommon occurrence, for Sir Walter was gifted with the best of memories—until the moment of his exclamation. His instant return was the only means of retrieving the error. Retrieved, however, it was; and the following morningPg 100 Mr. G—— received several sheets of closely-written manuscript, the transcribing of which alone must have occupied half the night."


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

Ingenious Contrivance.—Many years ago, when stagecoaches were not unfrequently attacked by highwaymen, a party was once travelling on a lonely road, when one of the gentlemen mentioned to the company that he had ten guineas with him, which he was afraid of losing. Upon this an elderly lady who sat next to him, advised him to take his money from his pocket, and slip it into his boot, which he did. Not long after the coach was attacked, when a highwayman rode up to the window, on the lady's side, and demanded her money; upon which she immediately whispered to him that if he would examine that gentleman's boot, he would find ten guineas. The man took the hint, and the gentleman was obliged to submit patiently; but when the robber had gone, he loaded his fellow-traveller with abuse, declaring her to be in confederacy with the highwayman. She replied thatPg 101 certainly appearances were against her; but if the company in the stage would sup at her house the following evening, she would explain a conduct which appeared so mysterious. After a debate among themselves, they consented to go the next evening according to her invitation. They were ushered into a magnificent room, where an elegant supper was served, after which, the lady taking a pocket-book from her pocket, showed that it contained various notes to the amount of several hundred pounds, and addressing herself to the gentleman who had been robbed: "I thought, sir," said she, "it was better to lose ten guineas, than all this valuable property, which I had about me last night; and I have now the pleasure of returning what you so kindly lent me."

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

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


The Wounded Sailor.—When Admiral Benbow was a common sailor, his messmate, who was stationed with him at the same gun, lost his leg by a cannon shot. The poor fellow instantly called out to his friend, who immediately took him up on his shoulder, and began with great care to descend with him into the cockpit; but it happened that just as the poor fellow's head came upon a level with the deck, another ball carried that off also.Pg 102 Benbow, however, knew nothing of the matter, but carried the body down to the surgeon, and when he came to the bottom of the ladder, called out that he had brought him a patient, desiring some one to bear a hand, and help him easily down. The surgeon turned about, but instead of giving any assistance, exclaimed, "You blockhead, what do you do here with a man that has lost his head?" "Lost his head!" says Benbow; "the lying fellow, why he told me it was his leg; but I never in my life believed what he said without being sorry for it afterwards."

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

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

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

Admiral Haddock, when on his death-bed, called his son, and thus addressed him: "Considering my rank inPg 103 life, and public services for so many years, I shall leave you but a small fortune; but, my boy, it is honestly got, and will wear well; there are no seamen's wages or provisions, nor one single penny of dirty money, in it."

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

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

Grog.—The British sailors had always been accustomed to drink their allowance of brandy or rum pure, until Admiral Vernon ordered those under his command to mix it with water. The innovation gave great offence to the sailors, and, for a time, rendered the commander very unpopular among them. The admiral, at that time, wore a grogram coat, for which reason they nick-named himPg 104 "Old Grog," hence, by degrees, the mixed liquor he introduced universally obtained the name of "Grog."

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

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

Dey of Algiers.—When Admiral Keppel was sent to the Dey of Algiers, to demand restitution of two ships which the pirates had taken, he sailed with his squadron into the bay of Algiers, and cast anchor in front of the Dey's palace. He then landed, and, attended only by his captain and barge's crew, demanded an immediate audience of the Dey; this being granted, he claimed full satisfaction for the injuries done to the subjects of his Britannic Majesty. Surprised and enraged at the boldness of the admiral's remonstrance, the Dey exclaimed, "That he wondered at the king's insolence in sending him a foolish beardless boy." To this the admiral made a spirited reply, which caused the Dey to forget the laws of all nations in respect to ambassadors, and he ordered his mutes to attend with the bowstring, at the same time telling the admiral he should pay for his audacity with his life. Unmoved by this menace, the admiral took the Dey to a window facingPg 105 the bay, and showed him the English fleet riding at anchor, and told him, that if he dared to put him to death, there were Englishmen enough in that fleet to make him a glorious funeral pile. The Dey was wise enough to take the hint. The admiral obtained ample restitution, and came off in safety.

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


Dr. Sheridan had a custom of ringing his scholars to prayers, in the school-room, at a certain hour every day. The boys were one day very attentively at prayers, except one, who was stifling a laugh as well as he could, which arose from seeing a rat descending from the bell-rope into the room. The poor boy could hold out no longer, but burst into an immoderate fit of laughter, which set the others off as soon as he pointed out to them the cause. Sheridan was so provoked that he declared he would whip them all if the principal culprit was not pointed out to him, which was immediately done. When this poor boy was hoisted up, and made ready for flogging, the witty school-master told him that if he said anyPg 106 thing tolerable on the occasion, as he looked on him as the greatest dunce in his school, he would forgive him. The trembling culprit, immediately addressed his master in the following lines.

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

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

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

An Appropriate Version.—The late Dr. Adam, Rector of the Grammar School, Edinburgh, was supposed by his scholars to exercise a strong partiality for such as were of patrician descent; and on one occasion was very smartly reminded of it by a boy of mean parentage, whom he was reprehending rather severely for his ignorance—much more so than the boy thought he would have done, had he been the son of a right honourable, or even less. "You dunce," exclaimed the rector, "I don't think you can even translate the motto of your own native place, of the gude town of Edinburgh. What,Pg 107 sir, does 'Nisi Dominus frustra,' mean?" "It means, sir," rejoined the boy, "that unless we are lords' sons, it is in vain to come here."

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


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

Coleridge, among his other speculations, started a periodical, in prose and verse, entitled The Watchman, with the motto, "that all might know the truth, and that the truth might make us free." He watched in vain! His incurable want of order and punctuality, and his philosophical theories, tired out his readers, and the work was discontinued after the ninth number. Of the unsaleable nature of this publication, he himself relates an amusing illustration. Happening one morning to rise at an earlier hour than usual, he observed his servant girlPg 108 putting an extravagant quantity of paper into the grate in order to light the fire, and mildly checked her for her wastefulness: "La! sir," replied Nanny; "it's only Watchmen."

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

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

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

SIGNS.Pg 109

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

'Drink, weary traveller—drink and pray;'

and say instead

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

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

"Rove not from pole to pole, but step in here,
Where nought excels the shaving, but the beer."


Equality in Danger.—The French General, Cherin, was once conducting a detachment through a very difficult defile. He exhorted his soldiers to endure patiently the fatigues of the march. "It is easy for you to talk," said one of the soldiers near him; "you who are mounted on a fine horse—but we poor devils!"—On hearing these words, Cherin dismounted, and quickly proposed to the discontented soldier to take his place. The latter did so; but scarcely had he mounted, when a shot from thePg 110 adjoining heights struck and killed him. "You see," says Cherin, addressing his troops, "that the most elevated place is not the least dangerous." After which he remounted his horse, and continued the march.

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

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

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

Magdeline de Savoie.—Anne Duc de Montmorenci, who was prime minister and great constable of FrancePg 111 during the reigns of Francis I., Henry II., Francis II., and Charles IX., was very unwilling to take up arms against the Prince of Condé and the Coligny's, to whom he was endeared by the ties of friendship, as well as those of consanguinity. He was however induced to give way by the following animated and forcible speech of his wife, Magdeline de Savoie: "It is then in vain, sir, that you have taken as a motto to your escutcheon, the word of command that your ancestors always gave at the outset of every battle in which they were engaged (Dieu aide du premier Chretien). If you do not fight with all your energy in defence of that religion which is now attempted to be destroyed, who then is to give an example of respect and of veneration for the Holy See, if not he who takes his very name, his arms, his nobility, from the first baron of France who professed the holy religion of Christ?"

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

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

Quartering.—At an election for Shrewsbury, in the reign of George I., a half-pay officer, who was a nonresident burgess, was, with some other voters, brought down from London at the expense of Mr. Kynaston, one of the candidates. The old campaigner regularly attended and feasted at the houses which were opened for the electors in Mr. Kynaston's interest until the last day ofPg 112 the polling, when, to the astonishment of the party, he gave his vote to his opponent. For this strange conduct he was reproached by his quondam companions, and asked what could have induced him to act so dishonourable a part as to become an apostate. "An apostate," answered the old soldier, "an apostate! by no means—I made up my mind about whom I would vote for before I set out upon this campaign, but I remembered Marlborough's constant advice to us when I served with the army in Flanders, 'Always quarter upon the enemy, my lads—always quarter upon the enemy.'"

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

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

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


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

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

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

A Neat Reply.—In certain debates in the House of Lords, in 1718, the bills proposed were opposed by Bishop Atterbury, who said, "he had prophesied last winter, that this bill would be attempted in the present session, and he was sorry to find he had proved a true prophet." Lord Coningsby, who usually spoke in a passion, rose, and remarked, that "one of the right reverends had set himself forth as a prophet; but for his part, he did not know what prophet to liken him to, unless to that famous prophet Balaam, who was reproved by his own ass." The bishop, in reply, with great readiness and temper exposed this rude attack, concluding in these words: "Since the noble lordPg 114 hath discovered in our manners such a similitude, I must be content to be compared to the prophet Balaam; but, my lords, I am at a loss how to make out the other part of the parallel. I am sure that I have been reproved by nobody but his lordship." From that day forth, Lord Coningsby was called "Atterbury's Pad."

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

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

Casaubon, in his "Treatise on the Passions," relates the following pleasing anecdote of Robert, one of the greatest monarchs that ever swayed the sceptre of France. Having once surprised a rogue who had cut away the half of his mantle, he took no other notice of the offence thanPg 115 by saying mildly to him, "Save thyself, sinner, and leave the rest for another who may have need of it."

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


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

Buffon thus relates the manner in which he acquired a habit of early rising. "In my youth," says he, "I was excessively fond of sleep, and that indolence robbed me of much time. My poor Joseph (a domestic who served him for sixty-five years) was of the greatest benefit to me in overcoming it. I promised him a crown for every time he should make me get up at six o'clock. He failed not the next day to rouse me, but I only abused and threatened him. He tried the day following, and I did the same, which made him desist. 'Friend Joseph,' said I to him at last, 'I have lost my time and you have gained nothing. You do not know how to manage the matter. Think only of my promise, and do not regard my threatenings.' The day following he accomplished his point. At first I begged, then entreated and abused, and would have discharged him; but he disregarded me, and raised me up by absolute force. He had his reward every day for my ill-humour at the moment of waking, by thanks, and a crown an hourPg 116 after. I owe to poor Joseph at least ten or twelve volumes of my works."

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

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


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

Charles Lamb.—A farmer, by chance a companion in a coach with Charles Lamb, kept boring him to death with questions, in the jargon of agriculturists, about crops. At length he put a poser—"And pray, sir, how are turnips this year?" "Why that, sir," stammered out Lamb, "will depend upon the boiled legs of mutton."Pg 117

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

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


Camp Dinner.—During the war, in which the eccentric Count Schaumbourg Lippe commanded the artillery in the army of Prince Frederick of Brunswick, against the French, he one day invited several Hanoverian officers to dine with him in his tent. When the company were in high spirits, and full of gaiety, several cannon balls flew in different directions about the tent. "The French," exclaimed the officers, "are not far off." "No, no," replied the Count, "the enemy, I assure you, are at a great distance; keep your seats." The firing soon afterwards recommenced; when one of the balls carrying away the top of the tent, the officers suddenly rose from their chairs, exclaiming, "The French are here!" "No," replied the Count, "the French are not here; and, therefore, gentlemen, I desire you will again sit down, and rely upon my word." The balls continued to fly about; the officers, however, continued to eat and drink without apprehension, though not without whispering their conjectures to each other upon the singularity of their entertainment. The Count, at length, rose from the table, and addressing himPg 118self to the company, said, "Gentlemen, I was willing to convince you how well I can rely upon the officers of my artillery; for I ordered them to fire during the time we continued at dinner, at the pinnacle of the tent, and they have executed my orders with great punctuality."

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

The Ladies of Beauvais.—Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, laid siege to the City of Beauvais in the year 1472. After investing it closely for twenty-one days, his troops made a general assault, and were on the point of carrying the place, when a band of women, headed by a lady of the name of Jeanne Hachette, rushing to the walls, opposed such a resistance, with showers of stones, and other missiles, that the tide of fortune was instantaneously turned. A Burgundian officer, who attempted to plant the duke's standard on the walls, was fiercely attacked by Jeanne Hachette, who, snatching the standard from his hands, threw him headlong over the wall. The assailants, in short, were completely repulsed; nor was the distaff, once thrown aside, resumed, till the ladies of Beauvais had forced the Duke of Burgundy to retire in shame from their walls. In memory of this gallant achievement, the Municipality of Beauvais ordered a general procession of the inhabitants to take place every year, on the 10th of July, the day on which the siege was raised, in which the ladies were to have the privilege of preceding the men. As long as Jeanne Hachette lived, she marched in this annual procession, at the head of the women, bearing the standard which she had captured from the Burgundian officer; andPg 119 at her death this standard was deposited in the church of the Dominicans, and a portrait of the heroine placed in the Town-Hall of Beauvais.

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

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

Algerine Captain.—Louis XIV., who had once bombarded Algiers, ordered the Marquess du Quesne to bombard it a second time, in order to punish the treachery and insolence of the Moors. The despair in which the Corsairs found themselves at not being able to beat the fleet off their coasts, caused them to bring all the French slaves, and fasten them to the mouths of their cannon, where they were blown to pieces, the different limbs of their bodies falling even among the French ships. An Algerine captain, who had been taken on a cruize, and well treated by the French while he had been their prisoner, one day perceived, among those unfortunate Frenchmen who were doomed to the cruel fate just mentioned, an officer named Choiseul, from whom he had received the most signal acts of kindness. The Algerine immediately begged, entreated, and solicited in the most pressing manner, to save the life of the generous Frenchman; but all in vain. At last, when they were going to fire the cannon to which ChoiseulPg 120 was fixed, the captain threw himself on the body of his friend, and closely embracing him in his arms, said to the cannonier, "Fire! since I cannot serve my benefactor, I shall at least have the consolation of dying with him." The Dey, in whose presence this scene passed, was so affected with it, that he commanded the French officer to be set free.

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

War by Candle Light.—Shortly after the commencement of the last Peninsular war, a tax was laid on candles, which, as a political economist would prove, made them dearer. A Scotch wife, in Greenock, remarked to her chandler that the price was raised, and asked why. "It's a' owin' to the war," said he. "The war!" said thePg 121 astonished matron, "gracious me! are they gaun to fight by candle licht?"

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

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

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

George I.—During the siege of Fort St. Philip, a youngPg 122 lieutenant of marines was so unfortunate as to lose both his legs by a chain-shot. In this miserable and helpless condition he was conveyed to England, and a memorial of his case presented to a board; but nothing more than half-pay could be obtained. Major Manson had the poor lieutenant conducted to court on a public day, in his uniform; where, posted in the ante-room, and supported by two of his brother officers, he cried out, as the king was passing to the drawing-room, "Behold, sire, a man who refuses to bend his knee to you; he has lost both in your service." The king, struck no less by the singularity of his address, than by the melancholy object before him, stopped, and hastily demanded what had been done for him. "Half-pay," replied the lieutenant, "and please your majesty." "Fye, fye on't," said the king, shaking his head; "but let me see you again next levee-day." The lieutenant did not fail to appear, when he received from the immediate hand of royalty a present of five hundred pounds, and an annuity of two hundred pounds a-year for life.

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

George the Second.—It was once found an impracticable task to make George the Second acquiesce in a judgment passed by a court-martial on the conduct of two officers high in the army. One of the officers had made himself amenable to military law, by fighting in opposition to the orders of his commander in chief, instead of retreatPg 123ing; by which act of disobedience, the general's plans were frustrated. On these circumstances being detailed to the king, his majesty exclaimed, "Oh! the one fight, the other run away." "Your majesty will have the goodness to understand, that General ---- did not run away; it was necessary for the accomplishment of his schemes, that he should cause the army to retreat at that critical moment; this he would have conducted with his wonted skill, but for the breach of duty in the officer under the sentence of the court-martial." "I understand," impatiently returned the king; "one fight, he was right; the other run away, he was wrong." It was in vain that ministers renewed their arguments and explanations; his majesty could not, or would not, understand the difference between a disgraceful flight and a politic retreat; they were therefore obliged to end a discussion which merely drew forth the repetition of the same judgment—"The one face the enemy and fight, he right; the other turn his back and not fight, he wrong."

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

An Odd Grenadier.—During the famous siege of Gibraltar, in the absence of the fleet, and when an attack was daily expected, one dark night, a sentinel, whose post was near a tower facing the Spanish lines, was standing at the end of his walk, looking towards them, his head filled withPg 124 nothing but fire and sword, miners, breaching, storming, and bloodshed, while by the side of his box stood a deep narrow-necked earthen jug, in which was the remainder of his supper, consisting of boiled pease. A large monkey (of which there were plenty at the top of the rock), encouraged by the man's absence, and allured by the smell of the pease, ventured to the jug; and, in endeavouring to get at its contents, thrust his neck so far into the jug, as to be unable to withdraw it. At this instant, the soldier approaching, the monkey started up to escape, with the jug on his head. This terrible monster no sooner saluted the eyes of the sentry, than his frantic imagination converted poor pug into a blood-thirsty Spanish grenadier, with a tremendous cap on his head. Full of this dreadful idea, he instantly fired his piece, roaring out that the enemy had scaled the walls. The guards took the alarm; the drums were beat; signal-guns fired; and in less than ten minutes, the governor and his whole garrison were under arms. The supposed grenadier, being very much incommoded by his cap, and almost blinded by the pease, was soon overtaken and seized; and by this capture, the tranquillity of the garrison was soon restored, without that slaughter and bloodshed which every man had prognosticated at the beginning of this dire alarm.


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

Steele & Addison.—A gentleman who was dining with another, praised the meat very much, and askedPg 125 who was the butcher? "His name is Addison."—"Addison!" echoed the guest, "pray is he any relation to the essayist?"—"In all probability he is, for he is seldom without his steel (Steele) by his side."

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

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

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

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

"Rejected Addresses."—The fame of the brothers James and Horatio Smith was confined to a limited circle, until the publication of "The Rejected Addresses." JamesPg 126 used to dwell with much pleasure on the criticism of a Leicestershire clergyman: "I do not see why they ('The Addresses') should have been rejected: I think some of them very good." This, he would add, is almost as good as the avowal of the Irish Bishop, that there were some things in "Gulliver's Travels" which he could not believe.

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

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

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

Erskine.—Lord Kellie was amusing the company with an account of a sermon he had heard in Italy, in which the preacher related the miracle of St. Anthony preaching to the fishes, who, in order to listen to his pious discourse, held their heads out of the water. "I can credit the miracle," said Erskine, "if your lordship was at church." "I certainly was there," said the peer. "Then, rejoined Erskine, there was at least one fish out of water."Pg 127

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

Parisian rag-picker.—An old chiffonnier (or rag picker) died in Paris in a state apparently of the most abject poverty. His only relation was a niece, who lived as servant with a greengrocer. This girl always assisted her uncle as far as her slender means would permit. When she heard of his death, which took place suddenly, she was upon the point of marriage with a journeyman baker, to whom she had been long attached. The nuptial day was fixed, but Suzette had not yet bought her wedding clothes. She hastened to tell her lover that their marriage must be deferred, as she wanted the price of her bridal finery to lay her uncle decently in the grave. Her mistress ridiculed the idea, and exhorted her to leave the old man to be buried by charity. Suzette refused. The consequence was a quarrel, in which the young woman lost at once her place and her lover, who sided with her mistress. She hastened to the miserable garret where her uncle had expired, and by the sacrifice not only of her wedding attire, but of nearly all the rest of her slender wardrobe, she had the old man decently interred. Her pious task fulfilled, she sat alone in her uncle's room weeping bitterly, when the master of her faithless lover, a young good-looking man, entered. "So, my good Suzette, I find you have lost your place!" cried he, "I am come to offer you one for life—will you marry me?" "I, Sir? you are joking." "No, indeed, I want a wife, and I am sure I can't find a better." "But everybody will laugh at you for marrying a poor girl like me," "Oh! if that is your only objection we shall soon get over it; come, come along; my mother is prepared to receive you." Suzette hesitated no longer; but she wished to take with her a memorial of her deceased uncle: it was a cat thatPg 128 he had kept for many years. The old man was so fond of the animal that he was determined even death should not separate them, and he had caused her to be stuffed and placed near his bed. As Suzette took puss down, she uttered an exclamation of surprise at finding her so heavy. The lover hastened to open the animal, when out fell a shower of gold. There were a thousand louis concealed in the body of the cat, and this sum, which the old man had contrived to amass, became the just reward of the worthy girl and her disinterested lover.

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

During the speculations of 1837-38, Mr. C., a young merchant of Philadelphia, possessed of a handsome fortune, caught the mania, entered largely into its operations, and for a time was considered immensely rich. But when the great revulsion occurred he was suddenly reduced to bankruptcy. His young wife immediately withdrew from the circles of wealth and fashion, and adapted her expenses, family and personal, to her altered circumstances. At the time of Mr. C.'s failure, his wife was in debt to Messrs. Stewart and Company, merchants of Philadelphia, about two hundred dollars for articles which she had used personally. This debt, she had no means of liquidating. However after the lapse of twelve years, and when the creditors had of course looked upon the debt as lost, Mrs. C. was able to take the principal, add to it twelve years' interest, enclose the whole in a note and address it to Messrs. Stewart and Company. Messrs. Stewart andPg 129 Company, upon the receipt of the money, addressed a note in reply to Mrs. C., in which they requested her acceptance of the accompanying gift, as a slight testimonial of their high appreciation of an act so honourable and so rare as to call forth unqualified admiration. Accompanying the letter was sent a superb brocade silk dress, and some laces of exquisite texture and great value.

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

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

Dreaming.—It is a custom among the Canadian Indians, that when one dreams that another has rendered him any service, the person dreamed of thinks it a duty to fulfil the dream, if possible. A chief one morning came to the governor, Sir William Johnstone, and told him that he had last night dreamed that Sir William had made him a present of the suit of regimentals he wore. The governor readily presented them to him; but as the Indian was going out, "Stop," said Sir William, "I had almost forgot, but I dreamed about you last night; I dreamed that youPg 130 gave me such a piece of land," describing a large tract. "You shall have it," said he, "but if you please, Sir William, we will not dream any more."

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

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

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

Maclaurin.—This celebrated Professor of Mathematics in Edinburgh College, and the able expounder of Newton's Principia, always dislocated his jaw, and was unable to shut his mouth, when he yawned. At the same time his instinct of imitation was so strong, that he could not resist yawning when he witnessed that act in others. His pupils were not slow in discovering, and taking advantage of this physical weakness. When tired of his lecture, they either began to yawn, or open their mouths in imitation of that act, and the prelection was interrupted. The Professor stood before them with his mouth wide open,Pg 131 and could not proceed till he rang for his servant to come and shut it. In the meantime the mischievous disciples of Euclid had effected their escape.

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

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

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

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

Swift disliked nothing so much as being troubled with applications from authors to correct their works. A poor poet having written a very indifferent tragedy, got himPg 132self introduced to the dean in order to have his opinion of it; and in about a fortnight after, called at the deanery. Swift returned the play, carefully folded up, telling him he had read it, and taken some pains with it, and he believed the author would not find above half the number of faults that it had when it came into his hands. The poor author, after a thousand acknowledgments, retired in company with the gentleman who had introduced him, and was so impatient to see the corrections, that he stopped under the first gateway they came to, when to his utter astonishment and confusion, he saw that the dean had taken the pains to blot out every second line throughout the whole play, so carefully as to render them quite illegible.

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

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

Sheridan.—This distinguished wit, upon being asked by a young member of parliament how he first succeeded in establishing his fame as an orator, replied, "Why, sir, it was easily effected. After I had been in St. Stephen's Chapel a few days, I found that four-fifths of the house were composed of country squires, and great fools; my first effort, therefore, was by a lively sally, or an ironical remark, to make them laugh; that laugh effaced from their stupid pates the recollection of what had been urged in opposition to my view of the subject, and then I whipped in an argument, and had all the way clear before me."Pg 133

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

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

Sheridan was once travelling to town in one of the public coaches, for the purpose of canvassing Westminster, at the time that Mr. Paull was his opponent, when he found himself in company with two Westminster electors. In the course of conversation, one of them asked his friend to whom he meant to give his vote? The other replied, "to Paull, certainly; for, though I think him but a shabby sort of a fellow, I would vote for anyone rather than that rascal Sheridan!" "Do you know Sheridan?" inquired the stranger. "Not I, sir," was the answer, "nor should I wish to know him." The conversation dropped here; but when the party alighted to breakfast, Sheridan called aside the other gentleman and said, "Pray who is that very agreeable friend of your's? He is one of the pleasantest fellows I ever met with; I should be glad to know his name?" "His name is Mr. T.; he is an eminent lawyer, and resides in Lincoln's Inn Fields." Breakfast being over, the party resumed their seats in the coach; soon after which, Sheridan turned the discourse to the law. "It is," said he, "a fine profession. Men may rise from it to the highest eminence in the state, and it gives vast scope to the display of talent; many of the most virtuous and noble characters recorded in our history have been lawyers. I am sorry, however, to add, that some of the greatest rascals have also been lawyers; but of all the rascals of lawyers I ever heard of, the greatestPg 134 is one T., who lives in Lincoln's Inn Fields." The gentleman fired up at the charge, and said very angrily, "I am Mr. T., sir." "And I am Mr. Sheridan," was the reply. The jest was instantly seen; they shook hands, and instead of voting against the facetious orator, the lawyer exerted himself warmly in promoting his election.

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

Sporting.—Burton, in his "Anatomie of Melancholy," tells us of a physician in Milan, who kept a house for the reception of lunatics, and by way of cure, used to make his patients stand for a length of time in a pit of water, some up to the knees, some up to the girdle, and others as high as the chin, according as they were more or less affected. An inmate of this establishment, who happened, for the time to be pretty well recovered, was standing at the door of the house, and seeing a gallant cavalier ride past with a hawk on his fist, and his spaniels after him, asked, "What all these preparations meant?" The cavalier answered, "To kill game." "What may the game be worth which you kill in the course of a year?" rejoined the patient. "About five or ten crowns." "And what may your horse, dogs, and hawks, cost you for a year?"Pg 135 "Four hundred crowns." On hearing this, the patient, with great earnestness of manner, bade the cavalier instantly begone, as he valued his life and welfare; "for" said he, "if our master come and find you here, he will put you into his pit up to the very chin."

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

Another.—The subject of this anecdote was a sister of General Isaac Worrell. She died two or three yearsPg 136 since in Philadelphia. The following tribute to her patriotism and humanity, was paid by a New Jersey newspaper, in July, 1849.—"The deceased was one of those devoted women who aided to relieve the horrible sufferings of Washington's army at Valley Forge—cooking and carrying provisions to them alone, through the depth of winter, even passing through the outposts of the British army in the disguise of a market woman. And when Washington was compelled to retreat before a superior force, she concealed her brother, General Worrell—when the British set a price on his head—in a cider hogshead in the cellar for three days, and fed him through the bung-hole; the house being ransacked four different times by the troops in search of him, without success. She was above ninety years of age at the time of her death."

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


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