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Rainsforth, they were spoken with themselves, to know of them whether they would be set at liberty ?”-Bacon.
CANNING AND THE AMBASSADOR.- What dull coxcombs your diplomatists at home generally are ! I remember dining at Mr. Frere's once in company with Canning and a few other interesting men. Just before dinner Lord called on Frere, and asked himself to dinner. From the moment of his entry he began to talk to the whole party, and in French-all of us being genuine English-and I was told his French was execrable. He had followed the Russian army into France, and seen a good deal of the great men concerned in the war ; of none of those things did he say a word, but went on, sometimes in English and sometimes in French, gabbling about cookery and dress and the like. At last he paused for a little—and I said a few words, remarking how a great image may be reduced to the ridiculous and contemptible by bringing the constituent parts into prominent detail, and mentioned the grandeur of the deluge and the preservation of life in Genesis and the Paradise Lost, and the ludicrous effect produced by Drayton's description in his Noah's Flood :
“And now the beasts are walking from the wood,
And to the Ark brings on the fair-eyed cow,” &c. Hereupon Lord resumed, and spoke in raptures of a picture which he had lately seen of Noah's Ark, and said the animals were all marching two and two, the little ones first, and that the elephants came last in great majesty and filled up the fore-ground. “Ah! no doubt, my lord,” said Canning; “your elephants, wise fellows! staid behind to ир
their trunks !” This floored the ambassador for half an hour. COLERIDGE.--Table Talk.
HENRY MARTIN.—His speeches in the house were not long, but wondrous poignant, pertinent, and witty. He was exceeding happy in apt instances; he alone bad sometimes turned the whole house. Making an invective speech one time against old Sir Henry Vane, when he had done with him he said, But for young Sir Harry Vane-and so sat him down. Several cried out—"What have you to say to young Sir Harry?” He rises up: Why if young Sir Harry lives to be old, he will
be old Sir Harry! and so sat down, and set the whole house a laughing, as he oftentimes did. Oliver Cromwell once in the house called him jestingly or scoffingly, Sir Harry Martin. H. M. rises and bows, “I thank your majesty, I always thought when you were king that I should be knighted.” A godly member made a motion to have all profane and unsanctified persons expelled the house. H. M. stood up and moved that all fools should be put out likewise, and then there would be thin house. He was wont to sleep much in the house (at least dogsleep); Alderman Atkins made a motion that such scandalous members as slept and minded not the business of the house should be put out. H. M. starts up—“Mr. Speaker, a motion has been made to turn out the Nodders ; I desire the Noddees may also be turned out.” -AUBREY'S MSS.
THE DESOLATION OF TYRANNY.—The Khaleefeh, 'Abd El-Melik, was, in the beginning of his reign, an unjust monarch. Being, one night, unable to sleep, he called for a person to tell him a story for his amusement. O Prince of the Faithful,” said the man thus bidden, “there was an owl in El-Mósil, and an owl in El-Basrah : and the owl of ElMósil demanded in marriage, for her son, the daughter of the owl of El-Basrah : but the owl of El-Basrah said, “I will not, unless thou give me, as her dowry, a Hundred desolate farms.' "That I cannot do,' said the owl of El-Mósil, at present; but if our sovereign (may God, whose name be exalted, preserve him !) live one year, I will give thee what thou desirest.' - This simple fable sufficed to rouse the prince from his apathy, and he thenceforward applied himself to fulfil the duties of his station.—LANE. Notes to Arabian Nights.
PERFECTION.— A friend called on Michael Angelo, who was finishing a statue; some time afterwards he called again; the sculptor was still at his work; his friend looking at the figure, exclaimed, you have been idle since I saw you last; by no means, replied the sculptor, I have retouched this part, and polished that; I have softened this feature, and brought out this muscle; I have given more expression to this lip and more energy to this limb: Well, well, said his friend, but all these are trifles; it may be so, replied Angelo, but recollect that trifles make perfection, and that perfection is no trifle.-COLTON. Lacon.
CIVIL WAR.—When the civil wars broke out, the Lord Marshall had leave to go beyond sea. Mr. Hollar went into the Low Countries, where he stayed till about 1649. I remember he told me, that when
he first came into England (which was a serene time of peace) that the people, both poor and rich, did look cheerfully, but at his return, he found the countenances of the people all changed, melancholy, spiteful, as if bewitched.-AUBREY'S MSS.
WALLER.-As his disease increased upon Waller, he composed himself for his departure; and calling upon Dr. Birch to give him the Holy Sacrament, he desired his children to take it with him, and made an earnest declaration of his faith in Christianity. It now appeared what part of his conversation with the great could be remembered with delight. He related that, being present when the Duke of Buckingham talked profanely before King Charles, he said to him, “My Lord, I am a great deal older than your Grace, and have, I believe, heard more arguments for atheism than ever your Grace did; but I have lived long enough to see there is nothing in them, and so I hope your Grace will.”—DR. JOHNSON. Life of Waller.
JOHN KEMBLE.—I always had a great liking-—I may say, a sort of nondescript reverence—for John Kemble. What a quaint creature he was ! I remember a party, in which he was discoursing in his measured manner after dinner, when the servant announced his carriage. He nodded, and went on. The announcement took place twice afterwards; Kemble each time nodding his head a little more impatiently, but still going on. At last, and for the fourth time, the servant entered, and said,—“Mrs. Kemble says, Sir, she has the rheumatise and cannot stay." “ Add ism !” dropped John, in a parenthesis, and proceeded quietly in his harangue.
Kemble would correct any body at any time, and in any place. Dear Charles Matthews-a true genius in his line, in my judgment—told me he was once performing privately before the king. The king was much pleased with the imitation of Kemble, and said, " I liked Kemble
very much. He was one of my earliest friends. I remember once he was talking, and found himself out of snuff. I offered him my box. He declined taking any~'he, a poor actor, could not put his fingers into a royal box. I said, 'take some, pray; you will obleege me!' Upon which Kemble replied, "It would become your royal mouth better to say, oblige me;' and took a pinch.”—COLE
Table Talk. THE INVENTOR OF THE STOCKING FRAMES.—Mr. William Lee, A.M., was of Oxon (I think Magdalen Hall). He was the first inventor of
the weaving of worsted stockings by an engine of his contrivance. He was a Sussex man born, or else lived there. He was a poor curate, and, observing how much pains his wife took in knitting a pair of stockings, he bought a stocking and a half, and observed the contrivance of the stitch, which he designed in his loom, which (though some of the instruments of the engine be altered) keeps the same to this day. He went into France, and there died before his loom was made there. So the art was not long since in no part of the world but England. Oliver, Protector, made an act that it should be felony to transport this engine. This information I took from a weaver (by this engine), in Pear-poole Lane, 1656. Sir J. Hoskyn, Mr. Stafford Tyndale, and I, went purposely to see it.-AUBREY'S MSS.
SAINT BARTHOLOMEW.- The deputies of the reformed religion, after the massacre that was upon St. Bartholomew's day, treated with the king and queen-mother, and some other of the council for a peace. Both sides were agreed upon the articles. The question was, upon the security of performance. After some particulars propounded and rejected, the queen-mother said, “Why, is not the word of a king sufficient security?" One of the deputies answered, “No, by St. Bartholomew, madam."-BACON.
THE AGE BEFORE NEWSPAPERS.—I am so put to it for something to say,
that I would make a memorandum of the most improbable lie that could be invented by a viscountess-dowager; as the old Duchess of Rutland does when she is told of some strange casualty, “ Lucy, child, step into the next room and set that down.”—“Lord, Madam!” says Lady Lucy, “it can't be true!”—“Oh, no matter, child; it will do for news into the country next post.”—HORACE WALPOLE.
BURNING OF WICKLIFFE'S BODY BY ORDER OF THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE. — Hitherto [A. D. 1428] the corpse of John Wickliffe had quietly slept in his grave about forty-one years after his death, till his body was reduced to bones, and his bones almost to dust. For though the earth in the chancel of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, where he was interred, hath not so quick a digestion with the earth of Aceldama, to consume flesh in twenty-four hours, yet such the appetite thereof, and all other English graves, to leave small reversions of a body after so many years. But now such the spleen of the Council of Constance, as they not only cursed his memory as dying an obstinate heretic, but ordered that his bones (with this charitable caution,
if it may be discerned from the bodies of other faithful people) be taken out of the ground, and thrown far off from any Christian burial. In obedience hereunto, Richard Fleming, Diocesan of Lutterworth, sent bis officers (vultures with a quick sight scent at a dead carcass) to ungrave him. Accordingly to Lutterworth they came, Sumner, Commissary, Official, Chancellor, Proctors, Doctors, and their servants, (so that the remnant of the body would not hold out a bone amongst so many hands,) take what was left out of the grave, and burnt them to ashes, and cast them into Swift, a neighbouring brook, running hard by. Thus this brook has conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn into the narrow seas, then into the main ocean; and thus the ashes of Wickliffe are the emblem of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all the world over.-FULLER. Church History.
Och Clo.—The other day I was what you would call floored by a Jew. He passed me several times crying for old clothes in the most nasal and extraordinary tone I ever heard. At last I was so provoked, that I said to him, Pray, why can't you say old clothes' in a plain way as I do now?” The Jew stopped, and looking very gravely at me, said in a clear and even fine accent, “Sir, I can say old clothes as well as you can; but if you had to say so ten times a minute, for an hour together, you would say Och Clo as I do now;" and so he marched off. I was so confounded with the justice of his retort, that I followed and gave him a shilling, the only one I had.—COLERIDGE. Table Talk.
MERCIFUL LAW.—The book of deposing king Richard the Second, and the coming in of Henry the Fourth, supposed to be written by Doctor Hayward, who was committed to the Tower for it, had much incensed Queen Elizabeth ; and she asked Mr. Bacon, being then of her learned council, “Whether there were any treason contained in it?” Mr. Bacon intending to do him a pleasure, and to take off the queen's bitterness with a merry conceit, answered, “No, Madam, for treason I cannot deliver opinion that there is any,
The queen apprehending it gladly, asked, “How, and wherein ?" Mr. Bacon answered, “ Because he has stolen many of his sentences and conceits out of Cornelius Tacitus.”_-Bacon.
PARLIAMENTARY DESPATCH.--Mr. Popham, when he was Speaker, and the lower house had sat long, and done in effect nothing; coming one day to Queen Elizabeth, she said to him, “Now, Mr. Speaker,