Page images
PDF
EPUB

Miscellanies.

[ocr errors]

Earl of OrFORD.—Among the whimsical eccentricities and fanciful experiment, of the Earl of Orford, who died in 1691, was a determination to drive four red deer (stags) in a phæton, instead of horses, and these he actually reduced to perfect discipline for his excursions and short journies upon the road. His lordship was, however, effectually cured of his passion for deerdriving by the cry of a pack of hounds, who caught the scent of his four-in-hand, and set them off with the celerity of a whirlwind, until they bounded with his lordship into an inn yard, to which he had been accustomed to drive them.-Sportsman's Cabinet, vol. I.

CALVINISM AND ARMINIANISM.-Two sailors were some time since conversing together about two strange terms, concerning which persons had been wrangling. Jack," said one, very innocently, “what is the meaning of Calvinism and Arminianism ?" Jack very gravely replied, “ Tom, I'll tell you ; they are the French names of two ropes that come down from the fore-topmast cross-trees, and lead down by the catharpins alongside the futtock shrouds, and make fast abaft the fore-mast on the forecastle."

At the late Lewes Assizes, a landlord brought some wine to a gentleman dining in a private room, which he did not approve, and he requested it might be changed. The landlord expressed his surprise at this, as he said it was greatly admired by the gentlemen of the bar, who were drinking it above stairs. “Aye," replied the other, very coolly, “they are not judges."

Cossacks.—Whenever a quarrel among the Cossacks causes them to combat each other, they fight as in England, with their fists, and never with knives, daggers, or any sharp instrument. This practice is so established a characteristic of that people that it gave rise to a very remarkable wager. Teploff and Gelagin, two of the late Empress Catherine's privy councillors, happened to be in her presence when it was told her that a Cossack priest, then a monk in the convent of St. Alexander Newski, had been arrested for cutting the throat of a young woman with whom he had quarrelled; upon which Teploff offered to wager with Gelagin that the monk was not a Cossack. The bet was made, and won by Teploff, the monk proving to be a Russian. Upon being ques

9

[ocr errors]

as the

tioned how he could possibly divine the probable success of his wager, he answered, “ Because no Cossack would strike a woman; or, if he did, he would use his hand, and not a knife.".

DRAWING INFERENCES.—Two clerical gentlemen having called on a reverend brother in the country at rather an early hour in the morning, found the minister in bed, so were ushered into the garden to look about them till his reverence could get himself in a condition to receive them. Finding John, the minister's man, busy at work, one of them entered into familiar conversation with this " lesser prop of the church," and amongst other things inquired, “Weel, John, how long ha’e ye been wi' the minister" “ Indeed," quo' John, “ I have been twa score years, sir.” “ Aye, twa score years ! then ye'll be able to preach yoursel by this time, John ?" “ Na, na, sir,” replied honest John, “ I canna preach, but I dinna think but I could draw a few inferences." is Weel, John,” continued his interrogator,

what inference would ye draw frae that portion o' Scripture which says, ass snuffeth up the east wind.” “ If I were to draw any,” replied the minister's man, shaking his head slowly and significantly, “ it would be, that he would snuff lang at it ere he would get fat on't.”—Caledonian Mercury.

THE CARVER.—“ Ah! damme Bob, how are you? when did you return from the north ? " " Why, I have but just arrived Dick. I dined in Newcastle yesterday : they are a strange set of people,

I had a goose for dinner, and you won't guess what they gave me to carve it with.” “Why I don't know Bob,” replied, Dick, “perhaps they gave you a sword ;" “ No. “An axe ?" « No." “A reaping hook ?"

“ No.”

Why what the devil did they give you then?” “Why they gave me a knife andfork."

A punning friend the other day, in remarking upon the New Marriage Act taking place on the first of September, said he supposed it was intended to make game of the ladies.

ALDERMAN BOYDELL.-A young engraver, just entering into life, and who afterwards rose to great eminence in his profession, applied to Alderman Boydell for employment. Having never executed any considerable work, he had only some trifling specimens of his ability to show. The Alderman, however, was satisfied from them that the young artist possessed abilities worthy of encouragement, and offered him a picture, if he thought himself equal to it. The young man undertook it, and agreed on twentyfive guineas as the remuneration. When the plate was quite finished, he waited on the Alderman, finally to deliver it with a proof. Mr. Boydell examined it so long, and, as it seemed, so minutely, that the artist was apprehensive that he was not quite pleased with it, and resolved to ask him-adding, “that he should be happy to make any improvement or correction that Mr. Boydell may suggest." « Oh no," replied the Alderman

Dick ;

[ocr errors]

VOL. II.

I am extremely pleased with it, and desire no alteration : it is charming ; and instead of twenty-five guineas, I shall give you five and thirty; very charming indeed! the more I look at it the more I like it ; I shall give you fifty guineas." He went to his desk and wrote a cheek on his banker, which he gave to the artist, telling him to call on him in a few days, as he had further employment for him. The young man endeavoured to express his gratitude for this unexpected and munificent liberality of his new patron ; but his speech utterly failed him, when, casting his eyes on the check which he held in his hands, he found it to be for one hundred guineas ! This happy event was the foundation both of his fortune and fame.-Museum.

BEST MODE OF LIGHTIMG A FIRE. Fill the grate with fresh coals, quite up to the upper bar bat one; then lay on the wood in the usual manner, rather collected in a mass than seattered. Over the wood place the cinders of the preceding day, piled as high as the grate will admit, and placed loosely in rather large fragments, in order that the drift may be free; a bit or two of fresh coal may be added to the cinders when onee they are lighted, but no small coal must be thrown on at first. When at is prepared, light the wood, when the cinders, in a short time, becoming thoroughly ignited, the gas rising from the coals below, which will now be affected by the heat, will take fire as it passes through them; leaving a very small portion of smoke to go up the chimney! One of the advantages of this mode of lighting a fire is, that small coal is better suited to the purpose than large, except a few pieces in front, to keep the small from falling out of the grate. A fire lighted in this way will burn all day, without any thing being done to it. When apparently quite out, on being stirred, you have in a few minutes a glowing fire.

When the upper part begins to cake it must be stirred, but the lower must not be touched.

Bon Mot.-Doctor Lenigar, titular archbishop of Dublin, a man of very lively parts, happened, in a mixed company, to be introduced to a Mr. Swan, a gentleman of a cynical turn, whose practice it was to attempt to raise a laugh at the expence of some one in company. They sat near each other at table, where the Doctor engaged general attention by his sprightly manner. Mr. Swan, to silence him, said “ Doctor-I forgot your name. “Lenigar, Sir," returned the Doctor. “I ask your pardon," replied Swan, “I have the misfortune scarce ever to recollect names ; you'll not be offended therefore, if in the course of conversation I call you Dr. Vinegar ?" “ Oh! not at all, sir," returned the Doctor, “ I have the very same defeet ; and it is very probable, though I now name you Swan, I may bye and bye call you goose, The laugh was against the Cynic, who stole away as soon as he decently could.

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

Poetry.

VISIT TO RANELAGH.

(From Bloomfield's Poems.)

To Ranelagh, once in my life,

By good-natur'd force I was driven; The nations had ceas'd their long strife,

And PEACE* beam'd her radiance from Heav'n. What wonders were there to be found

That a clown might enjoy or disdain ? First we trac'd the

gay ring

all around, Aye—and then we went around it again. A thousand feet rustled on inats,

w
A carpet that once had been green ;
Men bow'd with their outlandish hats,

With corners so fearfully keen !
Fair maids, who at home in their haste

Had left all clothing else but a train,
Swept the floor clean, as slowly they pac'd,

And then-walk'd round and swept it again. The music was truly enchanting !

Right glad was I when I came near it ; But in fashion I found I was wanting :

'Twas the fashion to walk and not hear it! A fine youth, as beauty beset him,

Look'd smilingly round on the train “The King's nephew," they cried, as they met him,

Then—we went round and met him again, Huge paintings of heroes and peace

[ocr errors]

Seem'd to smile at the sound of the fiddle,
Proud to fill up each tall shining space

Round the lanthornt that stood in the middle.

* A grand fete, in honour of the peace of 1802.

+ The intervals between the pillars in the centre of the Rotunda were fitted up by transparent paintings.

And George's head too ; Heav'n screen him !

May he finish in peace his long reign ! And what did we when we had seen him ?

Why—we went round and saw him again. A bell rang, announcing new pleasures,

A crowd in an instant prest hard, Feathers nodded, perfumes shed their treasures,

Round a door that led into the yard. 'Twas peopled all o'er in a minute,

As a white flock would cover a plain ! We had seen every soul that was in it,

Then we went round and saw them again. But now came a scene worth the showing,

The fire works! midst laughs and huzzas, With explosions the sky was all glowing,

Then down stream'd a million of stars ; With a rush the bright rockets ascended,

Wheels spurted blue fires like a rain i We turn'd with regret when 'twas ended,

Then-star'd at each other again. There thousands of gay lamps aspir'd.

To the tops of the trees and beyond ; And, what was most hugely admir’d,

They look'd up-side-down in a pond ! The blaze scarce an eagle could bear ;

And an owl had most surely been slain ; We return'd to the circle, and there

And there we went round it again.
'Tis not wisdom to love without reason,

Or to censure without knowing why:
I had witness'd no crime, nor no treason,

“O life, 'tis thy picture," said I. 'Tis just thus we saunter along

Months and years bring their pleasure or pain ; We sigh midst the right and the wrong ;

And then we go round them again!

THE NIGHT PIECE.

Her eyes the glow-worm lend thee;
The shooting stars attend thee ;

And the elves also,

Whose little eyes glow
Like sparks of fire, befriend thee!

« PreviousContinue »