ePub 版

what could I do? I could not swallow, and clapping my hands upon my mouth, the cursed liquor squirted through my nose and fingers like a fountain, over all the dishes; and I was crushed by bursts of laughter from all quarters. In vain did Sir Thomas reprimand the servants, and Lady Friendly chide her daughters; for the measure of my shame and their diversion was not yet complete. To relieve me from the intolerable state of perspiration which this accident had caused, without considering what I did, I wiped my face with that ill-fated handkerchief which was still wet from the consequences of the fall of Xenophon, and covered my features with streaks of ink in every direction. The baronet himself could not support the shock, but joined his lady in the general laugh; while I sprung from the table in despair, rushed out of the house, and ran home in an agony of confusion and disgrace, which the most poignant sense of guilt could not have excited.

Thus, without having deviated from the path of moral rectitude, I am suffering torments like a "goblin damned." The lower half of me has been almost boiled, my tongue and mouth grilled, and 1 bear the mark of Cain on my forehead: yet these are but trifling considerations to the everlasting shame which I must feel, whenever this adventure shall be mentioned; perhaps by your assistance, when my neighbours know how much I feel on the occasion, they will spare a bashful man; and (as I am just informed my poultice is ready) I trust you will excuse the haste in which I subscribe myself,





THIS man, notorious for the weakness of his intellect, and the meanness of his disposition, was very fond of detracting from the merit of others. One day, when Pope Eugenio IV. was at Florence, a lad of ten years old was introduced to his holiness in the presence of the cardinal. The youth addressed the pope in a

speech, which, for gravity and wisdom, much exceeded his years. "It is common," observed Angelotto, when the rest of the audience praised the oration, "for young persons, endowed with premature talents, to fall into an early decay of parts.". Then, my lord cardinal," replied the youth," you must have had very extraordinary talents when you were young."




MAHOMED EFFENDI, Dey of Algiers, about the middle of the last century, was reckoned the most able, and likewise the most equitable of those princes who have, for many years, governed the Algerines. His promotion to sovereign power was involuntary; for he, no doubt, dreaded the fate of his predecessors, of whom no less than twenty-three perished by violent deaths. He was compelled, nevertheless, by the janissaries, to accept of a dignity, which, notwithstanding his justice and sagacity, proved as fatal to himself as to former princes; for he also, a short time after his advanceinent, fell by assassination. The following instance of his justice, in which, however, his procedure was somewhat summary, was also, and certainly with as much reason, accounted an instance of his sagacity:-Slaves among the Algerines are permitted, either by shopkeeping or otherwise, and on paying their master a certain sum, to earn a little money for themselves. This they may employ, and very frequently do employ, in purchasing their freedom. A slave, named Almoullah, kept an oil-shop, and found his gains increase so very fast, that he soon accumulated seventy sequins, amounting to about thirty pounds sterling. Other fifty sequins would have procured him his freedom. Fearing, however, that, as he was reckoned wealthy, he might be robbed, and have no redress, he gave his money in trust to a Moor, who lived in his neighbourhood, and in whose friendship, as well as integrity, he had the utmost confidence. His profits soon afterwards became so considerable, that he found himself in possession of the fifty sequins be so earnestly wished for. He thus anticipated, with secret rapture, his delivery from bondage, and return to his native land.

Repairing therefore to his Moorish friend, he said to him, "How much beholden am I, worthy Hadgi, to your goodness, in having taken charge of my little earnings! I now intend, as I have gained wherewithal to procure my liberty, to make the best bargain I can with my master, and return to my friends and kindred. I will therefore relieve you of the charge which you so kindly undertook." Hadgi beheld him, or rather pretended to behold him, with a look of astonishment; he affected to believe him mad, and denied his having any knowledge whatever of the transaction he alluded to. Almoullah, nevertheless, insisted peremptorily on having his money restored to him; so that, after much altercation, the Moor apprehending that he could not otherwise secure the possession of what he had so unjustly retained, ran to the palace of Mahomet, whom he found administering justice, and, raising his voice, entreated that he would punish a slave for aspersing his" untainted character." But Almoullah, conscious of his integrity, had undauntedly followed him; and obtaining leave of the dey, he told his story with circumstantial firmness, and then prostrated himself on the carpet at the foot of the throne. Mahomet, having heard him, beckoned to a chiaoux, or minister of justice. "Go," said he, " to the house of Hadgi, search it narrowly, and bring hither all the money you find in it." The chiaoux bowed, obeyed, and soon returned. The dey having then ordered a new earthen pot, with clean water poured into it, and a charcoal fire to be placed before him, he put the pot on the fire, and when the water boiled, he threw in the money. Soon after, having taken it out, and letting the water stand till it cooled, he found on the surface a thick greasy scum. This convincing him that the money belonged to the oilman, he instantly restored it to him; and, at the same time, he gave a sign to the chiaoux, who, dragging away the self-condemned and convicted Moor, fixed his head, without loss of time, on the wall of the city.


THE oath of a deemster, or judge, in the Isle of Man, runs thus:-" By this book, and by the holy contents


thereof, and by the wonderful works that God hath miraculously wrought in heaven above, and in the earth beneath, in six days and seven nights: I, John F. Cdo swear, that I will, without respect of fa vour or friendship, love or gain, consanguinity or affinity, envy or malice, execute the laws of this isle justly, betwixt our sovereign lord the king and his subjects within the isle, and betwixt party and party, as indifferently as the herring's back-bone doth lie in the middle of the fish."


AT the period when the Parisian monsters, in human shape, were murdering their victims in the prisons, the Abbé Guillon was a prisoner in the Abbey prison. An order for the liberty of the Abbé Guillon arrived: he was called to the court-yard in the midst of the massacre, and the order was given to him which was to rescue him from death. He took the paper in his band, which, after reading, instead of seizing the means it presented of escape, he gave back, saying, that there was another abbé of the name of Guillon in the prison, for whom he saw that the order was intended. Having said this, he returned to die.


JOHN the First, called Don John, was so secure in the affections of his subjects, that he frequently walked abroad without any attendants. 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 next road. The poor man, surprised at the ease with which he was carried, exclaims, "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 en

gaged. 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 Aljubarrota, 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 enquire for?" quoth the brave Belisarius. "For your gallant companion at the battle of Aljubarrota,' replied the king, departing. A person who, at a distance, witnessed the scene, shortly after accosted Fonseca, and informed him of what his sovereign had done. "Ah!" said he, when he recovered from his surprise, "I am now convinced of the truth of what has often been asserted; the shoulders of monarchs are certainly accustomed to bear great burthens. 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.


LADY DAVIES, the widow of the attorney-general of Ireland, having spoken something relative to Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham, that he should not be alive till the end of August (which really happened), got the reputation of a cunning woman among the common people. She then became so mad, that she fancied the spirit of the prophet Daniel was infused into her, and this fancy she grounded on an anagram which she made of her own name, Eleanor Davies, "Reveal, O Daniel!" and though the anagram had too much by an 1, and too little by an s, yet she found"Daniel" and "reveal" in it. For this she was brought before the High Commission Court; but, whilst the bishops and the divines were reasoning the point with her out of the holy scriptures, Lamb, the dean of the arches, took a pen in his hand, and wrote the following exact anagram upon her name, "Dame Eleanor Davies, never so mad a ladie;" which having been proved to be true, by the rules of art, " Madam," said he, "I see you build much on anagrams: I have found out one which, I hope, will fit you." Having

« 上一頁繼續 »