« PreviousContinue »
been praying to the true God to obscure the splendour of that great luminary which his enemies worshipped ; that by such a signal he inight subdue them to his laws, and to the dominion of the king of Spain. “In two hours," added the crafty Spaniard, this will certainly happen.” He knew that there would be an eclipse precisely at that time; and the poor Indians, not having the least acquaintance with astronomy, were so astonished to see the prediction of the Spaniard fulfilled, that from that moment they submitted themselves to the religion and government of Spain.
Military Mentor, v. 1, p. 171.
SCIPIO the younger, in foure and fiftie yeares (for so long he lived) neither bought nor solde, nor yet built: and it is for certaine reported, that in so great an house and substance as his might seeme to be, there was never found but three and thirtie pound weight of silver plate and two of gold, notwithstanding the city of Great Carthage was in his hand, and he had enriched his souldiers more than any captaine ever did before him.
Holland's Plutarch's Mor. p. 433.
Two sailors went into a church at Plymouth, on the thanksgiving-day, both of whom belonged to the Temeraire, in the ever memorable battle off Trafalgar. The clergyman, in the course of his sermon, mentioned the words “ glorious victory,” on which one of the tars observed to the other,
Hear, Jack, there's the Victory.” The clergyman pronounced the word “ victory” a second
time; on which the tar observed, “ Mind, Jack, there's the Victory again." The clergyman not long after mentioned the word “victory" a third time; on which the irritated tar observed to his companion, “ D-n my eyes, Jack, if we stay here any longer that fellow has mentioned the Victory three times, and never mentioned the Temeraire, that was in the hottest part of the engagement, and took two ships."
Naval Anecdotes, p. 432.
The attention of philosophers and naturalists was at a certain period long and ardently excited by a number of fossil skeletons discovered in a marsh on the banks of the Ohio. These were considered at the time, as bones of elephants, but afterwards proved by an eminent and indefatigable anatomist, not to be remains of that animal, but of a species of the carnivorous kind, more enormous in bulk, and now wholly extinct or unknown.
A modern theorist of a lively and eccentric cast has, in his own opinion, easily solved the mystery, by supposing that the bones in question are the remains of certain angelic beings, the original tenants of this our terrestrial globe in its primitive state; till for their transgressions both were involved in ruin; after which, this shattered plannet was refitted for the accommodation of its present inhabitants !!!
Cabinet, p. 102.
The subjoined extract of a letter from admiral Nelson to his lady, dated Vanguard, St. Peter's island, off Sardinia, May 24, 1798, is one of the
many instances which have been adduced of the religious tendency of the writer's mind. It relates to the storm, in which admiral Nelson's detached squadron was separated and much damaged, while in quest of the French fleet:
“ My Dearest Fanny, “ I ought not to call what has happened to the Vanguard by the cold name of accident; I firmly believe it was the Almighty's goodness to check my consuminate vanity. I hope it has made me a better officer, as I feel it has made me a better man; I kiss with all humility the rod. Figure to yourself on Sunday evening, at sun-set, a vain man walking in his cabin, with a squadron around him, who looked up to their chief to head them to glory, and in whom their chief placed the firmest reliance, that the prondest ships of equal numbers belonging to France would have lowered their fags; and with a very rich prize lying by him.-Figure to yourself on Monday morning, when the sun rose, this proud conceited man, his ship dismasted, his fleet dispersed, and himself in such distress, that the meanest frigate out of France would have been an unwelcome guest. But it has pleased Almighty God to bring us into a safe port, wherę, although we are refused the rights of humanity, yet the Vanguard will, in two days, get to sea again as an English man of war.
HAIR powder was first introduced by ballad singers at the fair of St. Germaine, in the year 1641. In the beginning of the reign of George I, only two ladies wore powder in their hair, and
they were pointed at for their singularity. At the coronation of George II. there were only two hair dressers in London. In the year 1795, it was calculated, that there were in the kingdom of Great Britain, fifty thousand hair dressers ! supposing each of them to use one pound of flour in a day, this upon an average would amount to 18,250,000 pounds in one year, which would make 5,314,280 quartern loaves, which at only nine-pence each, amounts to 1,146,4201. British money. This statement does not take in the quantity of flour used by the soldiers, or that which
is consumed by those who dress their own hair.
Cabinet, p. 99.
Dean Swift one time was on a visit to the Ludlow family, who, wishing to make the place agreeable to the dean, it appears had invited a number of his friends for that purpose.
One night after the family had retired to rest, Sheridan had occasion to go into the yard. Not easily finding the outer door, or the same perhaps being locked, he returned to his room: but from dire necessity, for omnes còdem cogimur, was compelled to find the yard in his own chamber. The dean, whose observation nothing escaped, comes to the knowledge of it, and taxes Sheridan with the fact. Sheridan stiffly denies, and Swift as stiffy affirms, it. A half-crown, slipped into the hand of the chamber-maid, puts the matter out of doubt; and the assizes being at hand, the dean determines to try Sheridan according to law. For this purpose the neighbours are summoned; the better sort as grand jurors, the inferior as a petty jury,
who should try the culprit. Those who know the influence which the higher orders possess over the lower in Ireland, will easily credit this part of the story; especially as that influence was then much greater than it is at present; to say nothing of Swift's own authority, whose commands were always absolute. A tribunal was erected, and all things prepared in due and regular form. A plain kitchen table is turned with its top downward, and into this dock Sheridan is put wigless and bareheaded; while Swift himself mounts the seat of justice, with his own wig frizzed and bushed into a full bottom, and set inverted on his head: a servant maid's scarlet cloak is flung over his shoulders, to represent the robes of a judge, and Aaron's band is converted into that of chief justice. The grand jury are sworn, and the bill found; the petty jury sworn in their turn, and the prisoner put on his trial. The crier commands silence, and the lawyers are ranged. The utmost gravity and decorum prevail; and the only smile that passed on the occasion, arose from the ludicrous circumstance of Mr Stopford, who being feed for the crown, declared he could not do his duty as a true lawyer, unless he should be feed on both sides. A second fee, therefore, is given him in open court on behalf of the prisoner; and he told my mother he actually received by the double fee eighteen shillings. He is said to have conducted himself with wonderful humour and address through the whole of the trial. The Jacksons and Grattans had likewise their respective stations in the cause. Most of the servants are examined, and the pot-de-chambre care