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The Italian said he had struggled long, but life was a burden which he could now no longer bear; and he was resolved, when he had made money enough to return to Rome, to surrender himself to justice, and expiate his crime on the scaffold. He gave the finished picture to my father, in return for the kindness which he had shown him.”—COLERIDGE. Table Talk.
King James mounted his horse one time, who formerly used to be very sober and quiet, but then began to bound and prance. de'il o' my saul, sirrah,” says he,
be not quiet I'se send you to the five hundred kings in the lower House of Commons; they'll quickly tame you."-L'ESTRANGE.
THE SAFEST LENDERS.—The Lord Bacon was wont to commend the advice of the plain old man at Buxton, that sold besoms; a proud lazy young fellow came to him for a besom upon trust; to whom the old man said, “ Friend, hast thou no money? borrow of thy back, and borrow of thy belly; they'll ne'er ask thee again, I shall be dunning thee every day."- Bacon.
MEMORY.—Memory, of all the powers of the mind, is the most delicate, and frail ; it is the first of our faculties that age invades. Seneca, the father, the rhetorician, confesseth of himself, he had a miraculous one, not only to receive, but to hold. I myself could, in my youth, have repeated all that ever I had made, and so continued till I was past forty; since, it is much decayed in me.
Yet I can repeat whole books that I have read, and poems of some selected friends, which I have liked to charge my memory. with. It was wont to be faithful to me, but shaken with age now, and sloth, which weakens the strongest abilities, it may perform somewhat, but cannot promise much. By exercise it is to be made better, and serviceable. Whatsoever I pawned with it while I was young and a boy, it offers me readily, and without stops : but what I trust to it now, or have done of later years, it lays up more negligently, and oftentimes loses ; so that I receive mine own (though frequently called for) as if it were new and borrowed. Nor do I always find presently from it what I seek; but while I am doing another thing, that I laboured for will come: and what I sought with trouble, will offer itself when I am quiet. Now in some men I have found it as happy as nature, who, whatsoever they read or pen, they can say without book presently; as if they did then write in their mind. And it is more a wonder in such as have a swift style, for their memories are commonly
slowest ; such as torture their writings, and go into council for every word, must needs fix somewhat, and make it their own at last, though but through their own vexation.--Ben Jonson.
TREASON.--John Thelwall had something very good about him. We were once sitting in a beautiful recess in the Quantocks, when I said to him, “Citizen John, this is a fine place to talk treason in!” “Nay! citizen Samuel,” replied he, “it is rather a place to make a man forget that there is any necessity for treason !”--COLERIDGE. Table Talk.
DANGER.-A notorious rogne, being brought to the bar, and knowing his case to be desperate, instead of pleading, he took to himself the liberty of jesting, and thus said, “I charge you, in the king's name, to seize and take away that man (meaning the judge) in the red gown, for I go in danger because of him."-- Bacon.
BEGGING A Fool.-[One of the abuses of old times was that the king, who had the custody of lunatics, entrusted the keeping of the rich unfortunates to avaricious courtiers, who thus acquired additional means of private extravagance.]
The Lord North begged old Bladwell for a fool (though he could never prove him so), and having him in his custody as a lunatic, he carried him to a gentleman's house one day that was a neighbour. The Lord North and the gentleman retired awhile to private discourse, and left Bladwell in the dining-room, which was hung with a fair hanging. Bladwell walked up and down, and viewing the imagery spied a fool at last in the hanging, and without delay draws his knife, flies at the fool, cuts him clean out, and lays him on the floor. My lord and the gentleman coming in again, and finding the tapestry thus defaced, he asks Bladwell what he meant by such a rude, uncivil act; he answered, “ Sir, be content, I have rather done you a courtesy than a wrong, for if ever my Lord North had seen the fool there, he would have begged him, and so you might have lost your whole suit.”— L'ESTRANGE. Anecdotes and Traditions.
TOBACCO.—Sir Walter Raleigh was the first that brought tobacco into England, and into fashion. In our part of North WiltsMalmesbury hundred—it came first into fashion by Sir Walter Long. They had first silver pipes. The ordinary sort made use of a walnutshell and a straw. I have heard my grandfather Lyte say, that one pipe was handed from man to man round the table. Sir W. R. standing in a stand at Sir Ro. Poyntz's park at Acton, took a pipe of tobacco, which made the ladies quit it till he had done. Within these thirty-five years 'twas scandalous for a divine to take tobacco. It was sold then for its weight in silver. I have heard some of our old yeomen neighbours say, that when they went to Malmesbury or Chippenham market, they culled out their biggest shillings to lay in the scales against the tobacco ; now, the customs of it are the greatest his majesty hath.-AUBREY.
THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD.— I received one morning a message from poor Goldsmith that he was in great distress, and, as it was not in his power to come to me, begging that I would come to him as soon as possible. I sent him a guinea, and promised to come to him directly. I accordingly went as soon as I was dressed, and found that his landlady had arrested him for his rent, at which he was in a violent
passion. I perceived that he had already changed my guinea, and had got a bottle of madeira and a glass before him: I put the cork into the bottle, desired he would be calm, and began to talk to him of the means by which he might be extricated. IIe then told me that he had a novel ready for the press, which he produced to me. I looked into it, and saw its merit; told the landlady I should soon return; and, having gone to a bookseller, sold it for sixty pounds. I brought Goldsmith the money, and he discharged his rent, not without rating his landlady in a high tone for having used him so ill.—JOHNSON, in Bosuell.
CANDOUR.—Marivaux, a celebrated French writer of romances, who flourished in the first half of the last century, having one day met with a sturdy beggar, who asked charity of him, he replied, “My good friend, strong and stout as you are, it is a shame that you do not go to work.”
Ah, master,” said the beggar, “ if you did but know how lazy I am.” • Well,” replied Marivaux, “ I see thou art an honest fellow, here is half-a-crown for you.”—SEWARD's Anecdotes.
AMBITION.—Cineas was an excellent orator and statesman, and principal friend and counsellor to Pyrrhus; and falling in inward talk with him, and discerning the king's endless ambition, Pyrrhus opened himself unto him, that he intended first a war upon Italy, and hoped to achieve it; Cineas asked him, “Sir, what will you
do then?” Then,” said he, we will attempt Sicily." Cineas said, “Well, sir, what then?" Said Pyrrhus, “ If the gods favour us, we may conquer Africa and Carthage.” “What then, sir ?” saith Cineas. “ Nay, then,” saith Pyrrhus, “we may take our rest, and sacrifice and feast every day, and
make merry with our friends." · Alas, sir,” said Cineas, “ may we not do so now, without all this ado?"-BACON.
OBSERVATION.—A dervise was journeying alone in the desert, when two merchants suddenly met him ; “ You have lost a camel,” said he, to the merchants. Indeed we have,” they replied. Was he not blind in his right eye, and lame in his left leg ?” said the dervise. “ He was,” replied the merchants. “ Had he not lost a front tooth?" said the dervise. He had,” rejoined the merchants. “ And was he not loaded with honey on one side, and wheat on the other?” “ Most certainly he was,” they replied ; " and as you have seen him so lately, and marked him so particularly, you can, in all probability, conduct us unto him.” “ My friends," said the dervise, “I have never seen your camel, nor ever heard of him, but from you." "A pretty story, truly," said the merchants; “ but where are the jewels which formed a part of his
“I have neither seen your camel, nor your jewels," repeated the dervise. On this they seized his person, and forth with hurried him before the cadi, where, on the strictest search, nothing could be found upon him, nor could any evidence whatever be adduced to convict him, either of falsehood, or of theft. They were then about to proceed against him as a sorcerer, when the dervise, with great calmness, thus addressed the court :- I have been much amused with your surprise, and own that there has been some ground for your suspicions; but I have lived long, and alone; and I can find ample scope for observation, even in a desert. I knew that I had crossed the track of a camel that had strayed from its owner, because I saw no mark of any human footstep on the same route; I knew that the animal was blind in one eye, because it had cropped the herbage only on one side of its path; and I perceived that it was lame in one leg, from the faint impression which that particular foot had produced upon the sand; I concluded that the animal had lost one tooth, because, wherever it had grazed, a small tuft of herbage had been left uninjured in the centre of its bite. As to that which formed the burthen of the beast, the busy ants informed me that it was corn on the one side, and the clustering flies that it was honey on the other.”—Colton. Lacon.
QUALIFICATIONS OF A HORSEMAN.—A motion being made in the House of Commons that such as were chosen to serve in the Parliament troops should be faithful and skilful riders, Mr. Waller's opinion was de manded, who approved the form of it as excellent ; " for," says he, “it
is most necessary the riders be faithful lest they run away with their horses, and skilful lest their horses run away with them."-L'ESTRANGE. Anecdotes and Traditions.
DR. WILLIAM HARVEY.—He was always very contemplative, and the first that I hear of that was curious in anatomy in England. He had made dissections of frogs, toads, and a number of other animals, and had curious observations on them; which papers, together with his goods, in his lodgings at Whitehall, were plundered at the beginning of the rebellion ; he being for the king, and then with him at Oxon ; but he often said, that of all the losses he sustained, no grief was so crucifying to him as the loss of these papers, which for love or money he could never retrieve or obtain. When King Charles I. by reason of the tumults left London, he attended him, and was at the fight of Edge-hill with him; and during the fight, the Prince and Duke of York were committed to his care. He told me that he withdrew with them under a hedge, and took out of his pocket a book and read; but he had not read very long before a bullet of a great gun grazed on the ground near him, which made him remove his station. He told me that Sir Adrian Scrope was dangerously wounded there, and left for dead, amongst the dead men, stript; which happened to be the saving of his life. It was cold clear weather, and a frost that night, which staunched his bleeding, and about midnight, or some hours after his hurt, he awaked, and was fain to draw a dead body upon him for warmth's sake. I have heard him say, that after his book of the circulation of the blood came out, he fell mightily in his practice, and 'twas believed by the vulgar that he was crack-brained; and all the physicians were against his opinion, and envied him; with much ado at last, in about twenty or thirty years' time, it was received in all the universities in the world, and as Mr. Hobbes says in his book, ‘De Corpore,' he is the only man, perhaps, that ever lived to see his own doctrine established in his lifetime.-AUBREY.
RETALIATION.—A nobleman, resident at a castle in Italy, was about to celebrate his marriage feast. All the elements were propitious except the ocean, which had been so boisterous as to deny the very necessary appendage of fish. On the very morning of the feast, however, a poor fisherman made his appearance with a turbot so large that it seemed to have been created for the occasion. Joy pervaded the castle, and the fisherman was ushered with his prize into the saloon, where VOL. 1