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whatever was presented by those around him; and astonished the idle and barren propounders of an ordinary theme, by the treasures which he drew from the mine they had unconsciously opened. He generally seemed, indeed, to have no choice or predilection for one subject of discourse rather than another; but allowed his mind, like a great cyclopædia, to be opened at any letter his associates might choose to turn up, and only endeavoured to select, from his inexhaustible stores, what might be best adapted to the taste of his present hearers. As to their capacity he gave himself no. trouble; and indeed, such was his singular talent for making all things plain, clear, and intelligible, that scarcely any one could be aware of such a deficiency in his presence. His talk, too, though overflowing with information, had no resemblance to lecturing or solemn discoursing, but, on the contrary, was full of colloquial spirit and pleasantry. He had a certain quiet and grave humour, which ran through most of his conversation, and a vein of tem. perate jocularity, which gave infinite zest and effect to the condensed and inexhaustible information which formed its main staple and characteristic. There was a little air of affected testiness, too, and a tone of pretended rebuke and contradiction, with which he used to address his younger friends, that was always felt by them as an endearing mark of his kindness and familiarity,—and prized accordingly, far beyond all the solemn compliments that ever proceeded from the lips of authority. His voice was deep and powerful,—though he commonly spoke in a low and somewhat monotonous tone, which harmonized admirably with the weight and brevity of his observations; and set off to the greatest advantage the pleasant anecdotes which he delivered with the same grave brow and the same calm smile playing soberly on his lips. There was nothing of effort, indeed, or impatience, any more than of pride or levity, in his demeanour: and there was a finer expression of reposing strength, and mild self-possession in his manner, than we ever recollect to have met with in
He had in his character the utmost abhorrence for all sorts of forwardness, parade, and pretensions; and indeed never failed to put all such impostures out of countenance, by the manly plainness and honest intrepidity of his language and deportment.
In his temper and dispositions, he was not only kind and affectionate, but generous, and considerate of the feelings of all around him; and gave the most liberal assistance and encouragement to all young persons who showed any indications of talent, or applied to him for patron
age or advice. His health, which was delicate from his youth upwards, seemed to become firmer as he advanced in years; and he preserved, up almost to the last moment of his existence, not only the full command of his extraordinary intellect, but all the alacrity of spirit and the social gaiety which had illumined his happiest days. His friends in this part of the country never saw him more full of intellectual vigour and colloquial animation-never more delightful or more instructive-than in his last visit to Scotland in autumn 1817. Indeed, it was after that time that he applied himself, with all the ardour of early life, to the invention of a machine for mechanically copying all sorts of sculpture and statuary ;—and distributed among his friends some of its earliest performances, as the productions of young artist, just entering on his eighty-third year!"
This happy and useful life came, at last, to a gentle close. He had suffered some inconvenience through the summer; but was not seriously indisposed till within a few weeks from his death. He then became perfectly aware of the event which was approaching; and with his usual tranquillity and benevolence of nature, seemed only anxious to point out to his friends around him the many sources of consolation which were afforded by the circumstances under which it was about to take place. He expressed his sincere gratitude to Providence for the length of days with which he had been blessed, and his exemption from most of the infirmities of age; as well as for the calm and cheerful evening of life that he had been permitted to enjoy, after the honourable labours of the day had been concluded. And thus, full of years and honours, in all calmness and tranquillity, he yielded up his soul, without pang or struggle,—and passed from the bosom of his family to that of his God.
35.-APOPHTHEGMS.-II. DAYS BEFORE Books.—In the old ignorant times, before women were readers, the history was handed down from mother to daughter, &c., and William of Malmesbury picked up his history, from the time of Venerable Bede to his time, out of old songs, for there was no writer in England from Bede to him. So my nurse had the history from the Conquest down to Charles I. in ballad. Before printing, Old Wives' Tales were ingenious; and since printing came in fashion, till a little before the Civil Wars, the ordinary sort of people were not taught to read, Now-a-days, books are common, and most of the poor people understand letters; and the many good books and variety of turns of affairs, have put all the old fables out of doors. And the divine art of printing and gunpowder have frighted away Robin Good-fellow and the fairies.-AUBREY.
A LESSON FOR PRETENDERS.—I remember when I was in the Low Countries, and lived with Sir John Ogle at Utrecht, the reply of that valiant gentleman, Colonel Edmunds, to a countryman of his newly come out of Scotland, went current; who desiring entertiinment of him, told him- My lord his father, and such knights and gentlemen, his cousins and kinsmen, were in good health. Quoth Colonel Edmunds, Gentlemen (to his friends by), believe not one word he says ; my father is but a poor baker of Edinburgh, and works hard for his living, whom this knave would make a lord, to curry favour with me, and make ye believe I am a great man born.—PEACHAM. Complete Gentleman, 1627.
MR. PITT.-On his · Additional Force Bill,' in 1805, Mr. Pitt had a meeting of country gentlemen-militia colonels, we think-to consider the measure. One of these gentlemen objected to a clause for calling out the force, which he insisted should pot be done except in case of actual invasion. Pitt replied, “that would be too late; ' but the gentleman still insisted on the case of actual invasion. By and by, they came to another clause, to render the force more disposable; the same gentleman objected again, and insisted very warmly that he never would consent to its being sent out of England - except, I suppose,' rejoined Pitt, “in case of actual invasion.'—Quarterly Review.
TENDERNESS OF CONSCIENCE.-Thomas Curson, born in Allhallows, Lombard Street, armourer, dwelt without Bishopsgate. It happened that a stage-player borrowed a rusty musket, which had lain long leger in his shop: now though his part were comical, he therewith acted an unexpected tragedy, killing one of the standers by, the gun casually going off on the stage, which he suspected not to be charged. Othe difference of divers men in the tenderness of their consciences ! some are scarce touched with a wound, whilst others are wounded with a touch therein. This poor armourer was highly afflicted therewith, though done against his will, yea without his knowledge, in his absence, by another, out of mere chance.
Hereupon he resolved to give all his estate to pious uses: no sooner had he gotten a round sum, but presently he posted with it in his apron to the Court of Aldermen, and was in pain till by their direction he had settled it for the relief of poor in his own and other parishes, and disposed of some hundreds of pounds accordingly, as I am credibly informed by the then churchwardens of the said parish. Thus as he conceived himself casually (though at a great distance) to have occasioned the death of one, he was the immediate and direct cause of giving a comfortable living to many.-FULLER.
TRANSLATION.—Shakespeare was godfather to one of Ben Jonson's children, and after the christening, being in a deep study, Jonson came to cheer him up, and asked him why he was so melancholy? “No, faith, Ben (says he), not I, but I have been considering a great while what should be the fittest gift for me to bestow upon my god-child, and I have resolved at last." “ I prythee, what?" says he, “ I'faith, Ben, I'll e'en give him a dozen good Latten Spoons, and thou shalt translate them.”-L'ESTRANGE. Anecdotes and Traditions (a volume published by the Camden Society).
KEEP TO YOUR Calling.–Bishop Grostest of Lincoln told his brother, who asked him to make him a great man- Brother,” said he, “if your plough is broken, I'll pay the mending of it; or if an ox is dead, I'll pay for another; but a ploughman I found you, and a ploughman I'll leave
.”—AUBREY. CONSCIENCE.—A stranger came recommended to a merchant's house at Lubeck. He was hospitably received ; but, the house being full, he was lodged at night in an apartment handsomely furnished, but not often used. There was nothing that struck him particularly in the room when left alone, till he happened to cast his eyes on a picture which immediately arrested his attention.
a single head; but there was something so uncommon, so frightful and unearthly, in its expression, though by no means ugly, that he found himself irresistibly attracted to look at it. In fact he could not tear himself from the fascination of this portrait, till his imagination was filled by it, and his rest broken. He retired to bed, dreamed, and awoke from time to time with the head glaring on him. In the morning his host saw by his looks that he had slept ill, and inquired the cause, which was told. The master of the house was much vexed, and said that the picture ought to have been removed, that it
was an oversight, and that it always was removed when the chamber was used. The picture, he said, was, indeed, terrible to every one; but it was so fine, and had come into the family in so curious a way, that he could not make up his mind to part with it, or to destroy it. The story of it was this :—“My Father,” said he, was at Hamburgh on business, and, whilst dining at a coffee house, he observed a young man of a remarkable appearance enter, seat himself alone in ner, and commence a solitary meal. His countenance bespoke the extreme of mental distress, and every now and then he turned his head quickly round as if he heard something, then shudder, grow pale, and go on with his meal after an effort as before. My father saw this same man at the same place for two or three successive days, and at length became so much interested about him that he spoke to him. The address was not repulsed, and the stranger seemed to find some comfort from the tone of sympathy and kindness which my father used. He was an Italian, well informed, poor but not destitute, and living economically upon the profits of his art as a painter. Their intimacy increased ; and at length the Italian, seeing my father's involuntary emotion at his convulsive turnings and shudderings, which continued as formerly, interrupting their conversation from time to time, told him his story. He was a native of Rome, and had lived in some familiarity with, and been much patronized by, a young nobleman; but upon some slight occasion they had fallen out, and his patron, besides using many reproachful expressions, had struck him. The painter brooded over the disgrace of the blow. He could not challenge the nobleman, on account of his rank; he therefore watched for an opportunity, and assassinated him. Of course he fled from his country, and finally had reached Hamburgh. He had not, however, passed many weeks from the night of the murder, before, one day, in the crowded street, he heard his name called by a voice familiar to him; he turned short round, and saw the face of his victim looking at him with a fixed eye. From that moment he had no peace : at all hours, in all places, and amidst all companies, however engaged he might be, he heard the voice, and could never help looking round; and, whenever he so looked round, he always encountered the same face staring close upon him. At last, in a mood of desperation, he had fixed himself face to face, and eye to eye, and deliberately drawn the phantom visage as it glared upon him; and this was the picture