« 上一頁繼續 »
To Bond-street next, to cheapen fans and laces,
These follies drive away the morning spleen;
Not such their home whom love has taught to know From that blest source what real transports flow. Home! 'tis the name of all that sweetens life; It speaks the warm affection of a wife, The lisping babe that prattles on the knee, In all the playful grace of infancy; The spot where fond parental love may trace. The growing virtues of a blooming race: Oh! 'tis a word of more than magic spell, Whose sacred power the wanderer best can tell; He, who long distant from his native land, Feels at her name his eager soul expand: Whether as Patriot, Husband, Father, Friend, To that dear point his thoughts, his wishes bend; And still he owns, where'er his footsteps roam Life's choicest blessings center all--at hone.
COCK FIGHTING. The origin of cock-fighting is thus truly and classically recorded: When Then istocles led an army of his countrymen against their barbarian neighbour's, he beheld two cocks engaging in furious combat. The spectacle was not lost upon him; he made his forces halt, and thus addressed them: “ These cocks, my gallant soldiery, are not fighting for their country, their paternal gods, nor do they endure this for the monuments of their ancestors, for their offspring, or for the sake of glory in the cause of liberty; the only motive is, that the one is heroically resolved not to yield to the other.” This impressive harangue rekindled their valor, and led them to conquest. After their decisive victories over the Persians and Athenians, it was decreed by law, that one day should be set apart in every year for the public exhibition of cock-fighting, at the expense of the state.
GARRICK AND JOHNSON. Mr. GARRICK was once present with Dr. Johnson at the table of a nobleman, where, amongst other guests, was one, of whose near connexions some disgraceful anecdote was then in circulation. It had reached the ears of Johnson, who, after dinner, took an opportunity of relating it in the most acrimonious manner. Garrick, who sat next to him, pinched his arm, trod upon his toe, and made use of other means to interrupt the thread of his narration; but all was in vain. The doctor proceeded, and when he had finished his story, he turned gravely round" to Garrick, of whom before he had taken no notice whatever. “ Thrice,” said he, “Davy, have you trod upon my toe; thrice have you pinched my arm; and now, if what I have related be a falsehood, convict me before this company.” Garrick replied not a word; but he frequently declared afterwards, that he never felt so much perturbation, even when he met “ his father's ghost."
CURIOUS HOAX. The neighbourhood of Bedford-street, Covent-Garden, was lately the scene of much confusion. Some wag had taken the trouble of going to different tradespeople, and of ordering various articles of furniture, and of other descriptions, to be sent to the house
of Mr. Griffith, an apothecary in that street. At an early hour in the morning, carpets, boxes of candles, articles of household furniture, &c. were sent. The family being out of town, and no person but the maid servant at home, she of course refused to receive them; the consequence was, that the porters were obliged to take up their loads and walk home again, amid the jeers of an immense concourse of people, assembled to witness this curious hoax. Fresh arrivals in the course of the day induced the crowd still to remain: among these arrivals were a patent mangle, an enormous large rocking cradle, three wagon loads of coals, &c. At length, to complete the joke, at the dining hour, eight post-chaises, from different parts of the country, with some of the most intimate friends of Mr. Griffith, all anxious, having received cards of invitation for that purpose, to taste his poultry and game; but the populace made game of them, and, disappointments being the order of the day, the horses' heads were turned, and the guests departed. The arrival of goods continued till a late hour in the evening.
INSTANCE OF STRENGTH, Exemplified in the person of King John the First of Portugal. John was so secure in the affections of his subjects, that he frequently walked abroad without any attendant. In one of his morning perambulations, he chanced to observe an old man who was lame and blind, at the opposite side of a rivulet, waiting till some one came to guide his steps over a plank thrown across it. As there was no one at hand but the king, he instantly approached, threw him on his shoulder, and carried him, in that posture, to the end of the next road. The poor man, surprised at the ease with which he was carried, exclaimed, “ I wish Don John had a legion of such stout fellows to humble the pride of the Castilians, who deprived me of the use of my leg."
Here, at the request of the king, he gave a short account of the *several actions in which he had been engaged. . In the sequel, his majesty recollected that this was Fonseca, the brave soldier who had courageously fought by his side in the memorable battle of Aljubarrotta, that fixed the crown on his head. Grieved to see him in such a distressed state, he desired him to call next morning at the royal palace, to know how he came to be neglected by his servants in power. “Who shall I inquire for?” quoth the brave
Belisarius. “ For your gallant companion in the battle of Aljubarrotta,” replied the king, departing:
A person who stood at a distance, and who witnessed the scene, shortly after accosted Fonseca, and informed him of what his sovereign had done. " Ah,” said he, when he recovered his surprise, “I am now convinced of the truth of what has so often been asserted, the shoulders of monarchs are certainly accustomed to bear great burdens. I rejoice in having devoted the prime of my life to the service of one who, like the prince of Uz, is legs to the lame, and eyes to the blind.”
Dr. HENNIKER being in private conversation with the late earl of Chatham, his lordship asked him, amongst other questions, how he defined wit. “ My lord,” said the doctor, “ wit is like what a pension would be, given by your lordship to your humble servant—a good thing well applied.”
PARENTAL DIGNITY. When Lawrence Celsus was elected Doge, in the year 1631, his father, who was still living, evinced on the occasion a most singular weakness of mind.
This old man, thinking himself much superior to his son, could not condescend to be uncovered in his presence; and not being able to avoid it, without failing of that respect which was due to the chief of the state, he determined to go always bareheaded.
This conduct of a person otherways respectable, only afforded the nobles a subject for ridicule, without making any impression on their minds. But the doge, much hurt to see that his father had made himself an object of raillery by his absurd behaviour, ordered a cross to be put in the front of the cap which he wore as doge. His father had not the least objection to resume the use of a cap; and, whenever he saw his son, he would take it off, saying thus: “ It is the cross which I salute, and not my son; for having given him life, he should be inferior to me.”
Fabius Maximus, the Roman dictator, thought very differently to the doge's father. This great man went on horseback to meet his son, Quintius Fabius Maximus, who had just been created consul. The young man seeing his father approach bim, without descending from his horse, commanded him to dismount. Fabius
immediately obeyed, and embraced his son. “It rejoices me,” said he, “ to see that you conduct yourself like a consul.”
This fierce Roman thought it more honourable to have a son who knew how to maintain his dignity, than to see himself respected by the first magistrate of the republic.
MAGNANIMITY OF GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS. The uncommon method which Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, employed to obtain the friendship of Banier, so celebrated for his attachment to this prince, and distinguished for the many victorious battles he fought, deserves to be recorded. Perhaps there never was a king who adopted such means to get a friend.
Gustavus's father, Charles the Tenth, whose reign was marked with cruelty, killed Banier's father. One day when Gustavus was hunting with the young Banier, he requested him to quit the chase, and ride with him into a wood. When they came into a thick part of it, the king alighted from his horse, and said to Banier, “ My father was the death of yours. If you wish to revenge his death by mine, kill me immediately; if not, be my friend for ever." Banier, overcome by his feelings, and astonished at such magnanimity, threw himself at Gustavus's feet, and swore eternal friendship for him.
The following account of the discovery of a book is very remarkable. It is contained in a letter from Dr. Samuel Ward, then master of Sydney College, Cambridge, to Archbishop Usher, dated June 27, 1626.
There was the last week a codfish brought from Colchester to our market to be sold: in the cutting up of which, there was found in the inaw of the fish a thing that was hard, which proved to be a book bound in parchment; the leaves were glewed together with a jelly; and being taken out, it did smell much at first, but after washing it, Mr. Mede did look into it. It was printed, and he formed a table of the contents. The book was intitled “A Preparation to the Cross.” Now it is found to have been made by Richard Tracey, of whom Boyle makes mention, and says that he flourished in 1550.
The book so recovered, was published the following year, with this quaint title, “ Vox Piscis; or, the Book Fish: containing three