ePub 版

Barcelona; and no sooner had Philip perused the letter than he summoned to his presence the master of the horse. "A young man," said he, "the son of a person of very high quality, has killed an officer for doing his duty, and while he was doing it; tell me what punishment in your opinion ought to await him?" After a moment's hesitation the duke replied, that the offence was of so high a nature, that the young man ought to be confined for the remainder of his life in prison, and his father be obliged to provide for the widow and family of the deceased. "You have spoken," returned Philip, "on this occasion, like a king; and I must now speak to you like a father. The criminal is your own son; send him to one of your castles, and keep him there till he is thoroughly sensible of his guilt. With respect to the widow and family of the deceased, I cannot dispense with that part of your judgment; and I am persuaded that you will make no difficulty in assigning them a handsome maintenance." The duke, on his knees, acknowledged the lenity of his sovereign, and ever after, in the greatest extremities of his fortune, adhered to him with a fidelity which proved him worthy of the obligation.


DR. LYNFORD CARYL was a gentleman distinguished, says Gilbert Wakefield, for the affability of his manners, the regularity of his life, and, to the best of my knowledge, an unimpeachable integrity. His most conspicuous singularity was a balanced precision, and a sententious brevity of expression, of which the following anecdote affords a proof.-On the occasion of an university election, contended with uncommon ardour and animosity on both sides, in which services Dr. Caryl was esteemed without an equal for dexterous and prudent management, after the committee, of which he was a member, had been deliberating with great seriousness on the posture of affairs, he observed, on their separation for adjournment, with inimitable solemnity, interposing, as his custom was, half-a-dozen seconds between every word, "Gentlemen!-we-shalleither-lose-this-election-or-we-shall-win-this-election."


Here a considerable pause took place, and he seemed to labour with the pregnancy of the sentiment. The committee looked at each other with a mixture of merriment and wonder; unable to fathom the profundity of this sage remark. They were reminded, I presume, of that fine ridicule of the oracle-mongers of antiquity:

"O Laertiade! quicquid dicam, aut erit aut non." Their impatience and propensity to laughter interrupted the speaker before the conclusion of his assertion. He began afresh: "Gen-tle-men!-we-shall-either

lose-this-election-or-we-shall-win-this-election-by-asingle-vote." A prediction exactly correspondent to the event.


THERE is a species of grateful remorse, which sometimes has been known to operate forcibly on the minds of the most hardened in impudence. Towards the beginning of the last century, an actor celebrated for mimicry, was to have been employed by a comic author, to take off the person, the manner, and the singularly awkward delivery of the celebrated Dr. Woodward,who was intended to be introduced on the stage in a laughable character. The mimic dressed himself as a countryman, and waited on the doctor with a long catalogue of ailments, which he said attended on his wife. The physician heard with amazement, diseases and pains of the most opposite nature, repeated and redoubled on the wretched patient. For, since the actor's greatest wish was to keep Dr. Woodward in his company, as long as possible, that he might make the more observations on his gestures, he loaded his poor imaginary spouse with every infirmity, which had any probable chance of prolonging the interview. At length, heing become completely master of his errand, he drew from his purse a guinea, and with a scrape, made an uncouth offer of it. "Put up thy money, poor fellow," cried the doctor, "put up thy money. Thou hast need of all thy cash and all thy patience too, with such a bundle of diseases tied to thy back."

The actor returned to his employer, and recounted the whole conversation, with such true feeling of the

physician's character, that the author screamed with approbation. His raptures were soon checked, for the mimic told him, with the emphasis of sensibility, that he would sooner die, than prostitute his talents to the rendering such genuine humanity a public laughing stock.


IN the course of his voyage to America, Mr. Wesley, hearing an unusual noise in the cabin of General Oglethorpe, (the governor of Georgia, with whom he sailed,) stepped in to enquire the cause of it: on which the general immediately addressed him; "Mr. Wesley, you must excuse me, I have met with a provocation too great for man to hear. You know, the only wine I drink is Cyprus wine, as it agrees with me the best of any. I therefore provided myself with several dozens of it, and this villain Grimaldi (his foreign servant, who was present, and almost dead with fear,) has drank up the whole of it. But I will be revenged of him. I have ordered him to be tied hand and foot, and to be carried to the man of war which sails with us. The rascal should have taken care how he used me so, for I never forgive "Then I hope, sir, (said Mr. Wesley, looking calmly at him,) you never sin." The general was quite confounded at the reproof; and putting his hand into his pocket, took out a bunch of keys, which he threw at Grimaldi: "There, villain, (said he) take my keys, and behave better for the future."



LINNÆUS, great as his talents were, had one striking defect. His vanity was unbounded He was one day exhibiting his museum to a lady, who, in her admiration, exclaimed, "I no longer wonder that Linnæus is so well known over the whole province of Upsala."He, who had expected to hear her say "the whole universe," instead of the whole province, was so mortified, that he would shew her nothing more. The sun of botanists--the man who had put nature to the rack to discover her dearest secrets-the ocean of science-the moving mountain of erudition-these phrases of impudent ridicule were not too gross for his greedy vanity.

A DESCRIPTION OF ADAM'S PEAK,* BY JOHN DAV Y, M.D. F.R.S. IN A LETTER ADDRESSED TO SIR H. DAVY, F.R.S. LL. D. Colombo, May 1, 1817. I AM just returned from Adam's Peak. It is a noble mountain, surrounded by mountains, and surpassing them all. The road to its summit, for eight miles, is steep, difficult, and, in a few places, dangerous; it passes through fine wood, or impenetrable jungle, over the faces of enormous masses of rock, on the brink of precipices, and through the beds of rivers. In the most difficult places the ascent is facilitated by rude ladders, made of the boughs of trees, by steps cut in the solid rock, and by strong iron-chains. The road, such as it is, is decidedly artificial, made for the use of pilgrims; and is not, as it is commonly reported, the bed of a mountain torrent. Its direction, the loose sand, and gravel, and clay, with which it is covered in many places, are circumstances incompatible with the idea. The area of the top of the mountain is about seventytwo feet by fifty-four. This spot is sacred: it contains the imaginary impression of the foot of Buddou, is consecrated to devotion, surrounded by a low wall, and

The Mahometan writers say, that Azrael, though he was aware that Adam would rebel, executed the commission of creating him, which other angels had declined, and for this reason was called the Angel of Death. They add, that the earth of which Adam was formed was carried to a place in Arabia, near Mecca, where, after having been prepared by the angels, the human form was given to it by God himself. The angel Eblis, afterwards the devil, being in dread of a superior, treated with contempt the materials of the human frame, which had been left to dry for forty days, or, according to some writers, for forty years. The Almighty, they say, animated the clay with an intelligent soul, and placed it in Paradise, and, after it was so placed, Eve was formed out of the left side. Mahommed stated this paradise to be in the seventh heaven. When our parents were cast down from it, Adam is said to have fallen on the island of Serendib, or Ceylon, and Eve near Mecca. After having been separated two hundred years, the angel Gabriel united them on a mountain near Mecca, and then removed them to Ceylon, in which island the peopling of the world was commenced.-ED.

skirted by a grove of sacred trees. These trees are said to be a new species of rhododendron; they are of a respectable size. Their foliage, which is ever-green, is dark and thick; and their flowers bright red, large, and magnificent. The natives hold these trees in high veneration, no one ventures to touch a leaf, and much less gather a flower. The tradition is, that they were planted by the God of the Hills when Buddou left the earth, and took his departure from this mountain. If report be correct, they are found in no other part of the island. The imaginary impression of the foot of Buddou is on a rock, nearly in the centre of the inclosed ground: its resemblance to the impression of a human foot is very rude indeed. It is an oblong, five feet four inches long, and two feet seven inches wide in the widest part, which is over the toes. The toes are five in number, and all of the same length. The whole is surrounded by a margin of brass, ornamented with a few bad gems, chiefly rock-crystal, the green jargon, and the ruby, or rock-crystal, with a foil underneath it, to represent this precious stone. It is covered with a small square wooden building, which we found (it being the season of the pilgrimage) decorated, and very gay with flowers, and streamers. The sacred impression of the foot, to which the mountain owes all its interest amongst the natives, is, I have good reason to believe, in a great measure artificial, and the work of priestcraft. Some religious enthusiast probably first climbed the mountain, and, to give it celebrity, made this impression, and invented a story to suit it. Be that as it may, at present there are evident marks of design about it. I could observe on its surface traces of the labour of the workman: and the partitions which are between the toes, though resembling the native rock exactly in appearance, I found, on examination, to be a composition of lime and sand. The influence of religion on the minds of the natives, is well exemplified in the immense number of pilgrims that annually ascend this steep and rugged mountain. The number must amount to many thousands. We saw, at least, two or three hundred. They were of all ranks and descriptions of people, from the highest to the lowest casts, women as well as men: all ages, from the child that was carried

« 上一頁繼續 »