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HOW TO TURN A PENNY.--The Persian King's avarice is the common jest, as well as the bane of the country, and numberless amusing instances are related of this his ruing passion. They tell, that as he was one day walking with the late minister, Meerza Sheffea, he found a rupee lying on the ground, which picking up and showing to the minister, he said, “ What think you, Meerza, you are a man of learning, do you think you could in any way increase this rupee to a thousand tomauns ?” The Meerza replied, that it passed his poor comprehension ; but the King, ah! the King was all-powerful ; and no doubt it could be done if his Majesty said so. The King calling an attendant, enquired what fruit had lately come in season ; and being informed that apples had just come in, he desired that the worth of the rupee in that fruit might be instantly procured. It produced fifty or sixty apples; of these he sent three or four a-piece to several of the noblemen and highest officers at court, not excepting the minister himself, and each of these were forced by etiquette to send in returu a considerable offering for the King, with another for the royal messenger. Fifteen hundred tomauns were collected in this way, and three hundred for the messengers, all of which his Majesty pocketed, distributing only ten tomauns among his envoys.-Fraser's Khorassan.
Belling THE BELLES.--The Polish ladies are very vigilant over the conduct of their daughters, and intrigues are not so easily carried on here, as in England ; and in some districts, (which is perfectly ridiculous,) they are forced to wear little bells, both before and behind, in order to proclaim where they are, and what they are doing.Memoirs of the Margravine of Anspach, vol. 1. p. 148.—[It was particularly fortunate for the quiet of the country, that the Margraviue was not a Polish lady, for in her case, there would have been no end to these tintinabulary alarms.]
THE ESSENCE OF OPERA.
Sujet de cet Opera.
Adore une jeune Princesse ;
Çelebrons le bonheur des fidèles amans!
Imogene. Cher Prince, on nous unit !
Imogene. Amour !-(Tumulte de guerre. Le Prince paráit, poursuivi par ses ennemis.
Almanzor. Helas !
Peuples, chantez, dansez, montrez votre douleur !
(Pallas dans un nuage. A Almanzor.)
Pallas te rend le jour !
LUXURY.-The husbandman returns from the field, and from manuring his ground, strong and healthy, because innocent and laborious ; you will find no diet-drinks, no boxes of pills, nor galley-pots, amongst his provisions; no, he neither speaks nor lives French, he is not so much of a gentleman, forsooth. His meals are coarse and short, his employment warrantable, his sleep certain and refreshing, neither interrupted with the lashes of a guilty mind, nor the aches of a crazy body. And when old age comes upon him, it comes alone, bringing no other evil with it but itself; but when it comes to wait upon a great and worshipful sinner, (who, for many years together, has had the reputation of eating well and doing ill,) it comes (as it ought to do, to a person of such quality) attended with a long train and retinue of rheums, coughs, catarrhs, and dropsies, together with many painful girds and achings, which are at least called the gout. How does such an one go about, or is carried rather, with his body bending inward, his head shaking, and his eyes always watering, (instead of weeping) for the sins of his ill-spent youth. In a word, old age seizes upon such a person, like fire upon a rotten house; it was rotten before, and must have fallen of itself; so that is no more but one ruin preventing another.-South's Sermons.
A LEARNED LADY.-Many of the female singers at Naples, I am confident, neither know how to read or write. I was one day at the house one of these performers by profession ; after many entreaties that she would favour us with an air, from which she excused herself on the plea of having had a violent cold for a month past, and a swelled throat, which prevented her from singing, she complied with our request. In taking the music-book to place it on the piano-forte, she turned it, as if by mistake, upside down, so that on opening the first leaf, at the bottom of the page, the words “fine dell' Ana,” were written with the letters reversed. As I perceived the mistake, I took the book and placed it right. The lady was piqued, and, not wishing to appear ignorant, took the book rather abruptly, and placed it again as it was before. "Sappia,” said she, “ Signora che questa un aria Ebrea, cavata della Sinagoga dei Giudei, che comincia par il fine." I immediately apologized, and avowed my want of knowledge, as I had no idea that Moses was acquainted with Italian music, or that Rabbis sung ariettes.- Memoirs of the Margravine of Anspuch, vol. 1. p. 308.
Fair Words.-Was ever the hungry fed or the naked clothed with good looks or fair speeches? These are but thin garments to keep out the cold, and but a slender re past to conjure down the rage of a craving appetite. My enemy perhaps is ready to starve or perish through poverty, and I tell him I am heartily glad to see him, and should be ever ready to serve him, but still my hand is close, and my purse shut; I neither bring him to my table, nor lodge him under my roof; he asks for bread, and I give him a compliment, a thing, indeed, not so hard as a stone, but altogether as dry. I treat him with art and outside : and lastly, at parting, with all the ceremonies of dearness, I shake him by the hand, but put nothing into it. In a word, I play with his distress, and dally with that which will not be dallied with, want and misery, and a clamorous necessity.
For will fair words and a courtly behaviour pay debts and discharge scores? If they could, there is a sort of men who would not be so much in debt as they are. Can a man look and speak himself out of his creditor's hands ? Surely then, if my words cannot do this for myself, neither can they do it for my enemy. And therefore this has nothing of the love spoken of in the text. It is but a scene and a mere mockery, for the receiving that cannot make my enemy at all the richer, the giving of which makes me not one penny the poorer. It is indeed the fashion of the world thus to amuse men with empty caresses, and to feast them with words and air, looks and legs ; nay, and it has this peculiar privilege above all other fashions, that it never alters; but certainly no man ever yet quenched his thirst with looking upon a golden cup, nor made a meal with the outside of a lordly dish.
But we are not to rest here; fair speeches and looks are not only very insignificant as to the real effects of love, but are for the most part the instruments of hatred in the execution of the greatest mischiefs. Few men are to be ruined till they are made confident of the contrary: and this cannot be done by threats and rougliness, and owning the mischief that a man designs; but the pitfall must be covered, to invite the man to venture over it ; all things must be sweetened with professions of love, friendly looks, and embraces. For it is oil that whets the razor, and the smoothest edge is still the sharpest: they are the complacencies of an enemy that kill, the closest bugs that stifle, and love must be pretended before malice can be effectually practised. In a word, he must get into his heart with fair speeches and promises before he can come at it with his dagger. For surely no man fishes with a bare hook, or thinks that the net itself can be any enticement to the bird.—South's Sermons.
THE REAL COCKNEY SPORTSMAN.We see game preserved beyond all use or necessity, at an enormous expence, until every farm and cover is changed into an overgrown poultry-yard, that the cockney of the woods and stubble-fields, attended like a young gentleman from school, by the gamekeeper, who, 0, rare ! is to manage his dogs for him, and show where the game lies, may gravely sally forth to have a shoot at that which is already his own--that which he has paid for beforehand, at an average expence exceeding two guineas a head—that which his keepers and dogs would bring home to any amount without his interference, if the killing department were not too pleasurable to the grown-up child to admit of delegation--that which be cannot consume, and must be given away by cartloads, to be received with gratitude on the principle that, fools make feasts, and wise men eat them—"that which he expects to find close at hand without labour, and without skill, and without enterprise ; not perceiving that in those very circumstances consist all that is manly or animating, and without discovering that he is merely a game-butcher, and has less pretension to the boasted appellation of a sportsman than the Londoner, who pays by the pound weight for the privilege of fishing in a stew, or gives 10s. for leave to fire into a duck-pond. In both cases success is certain, and in both the happy wight makes a prize of his owu pocket. But the calculating young trader does not consider feats like thest the pride and business of his life. He is only foolish on a holiday, and still carrying something of the useful and sagacious citizen about him, he at least hopes to bring himself home by eating whatever he can catch or kill, and so far evinces a portion of that natural instinct in which the hunter's employment originates. If he desires to exhibit his dexterity to peculiar advantage, he judiciously takes his aim at a sparrow, because it is a small object, and is not silly enough to imagine that there can be any thing very meritorious in hitting a bird of large dimensions at a few yards distance, with a full charge of wide-spreading shot; nor would he be 80 weak as to be fattered by the " Ah, sir, you have hit him hard !” of a low artful game-keeper, who inwarılly laughs to see the pheasant half knocked to pieces, which his master has thought proper to preserve at seven times its market-price, for that most eligible and humane purpose. The shrewd youth from behind the shop counter would as soon think of shooting at his best beaver hat thrown up into the air. If he revels out his frolic once a year, there is still a measure and a “ method in his madness.” But the country Cockney, often old enough to be his father, who preserves game which he does not want, and cannot consume, for the mere pleasure of extinguishing animal life by the half-dozen and the dozen, betrays such a mixture of unmanly cruelty, extravagance, and imbecility, that the practice would call loudly for reprobation, eren if it did not fill our gaols with poachers and our poor-houses with their wives and children.— Letter in the Newspapers.
THE REASON WHY THE DEVIL ALWAYS BUILDS A CHAPEL NEAR A HOUSE OF PRAYER. -Hypocrisy draws near to religion for shelter; for the majesty of good things is such that the confines of them are rererend.-Lord Bacon.
THE GLOOMY TASTES of Louis XV.-The King was habitually inelancholy, and liked every thing which recalled the idea of death, in spite of the strongest fears of it. Of this the following is an instance. Madame de Pompadour was on her way to Crécy, when one of the king's grooms made a sign to her coachman to stop, and told him, that the King's carriage had broken down, and that, knowing her to be at no great distance, his liajesty had sent him forward to heg her to wait for him.
He soon overtook us, and seated himself in Madame de Pompadour's carriage, in which were, I think, Madame de Château Rénaud and Madame de Mirepoix. The lords in attendance placed themselves in some other carriages. I was behind, in a chaise, with Gourbillon, Madame de Pompadour's valet de chambre. We were surprised, in a short time, by the King stopping his carriage. Those which followed, of course, stopped also. The king called a groom, and said to him : “ You see that little eminence ; there are crosses; it must certainly be a burying-ground; go and see whether there are graves newly dug.” The groom galloped up to it, returned, and said to the king: “There are three quite freshly made." Madame de Pompadour, as she told me, turned away her head with horror; and the little Maréchal gaily said: “ This is indeed enough to make one's mouth water.” Niad. de Pompadour spoke of it when I was undressing her in the evening. " What a strange pleasure,” said she, to endeavour to fill one's mind with images which one ought to endeavour to banish, especially when one is surrounded with so many sources of happiness! But that is the King's way; he loves to talk about death. He said, some days ago, to M. de Fontanieu, who was seized with a bleeding of the nose, at the levee, "Take care of yourself : at your age it is a forerunner of apoplexy,' The poor man went home frightened, and absolutely ill.”—Memoirs of Madame du Hausset,
THE SLIDE of Alpracy.--"First, Harry, I should tell you the purpose for which it was made. On the south side of Mount Pilate, there were great forests of spruce fir; and at the time of which I am speaking, a great deal of that timber was necessary for ship-building. These forests were, however, in a situation which seemed almost inaccessible, such was the steepness and ruggedness of that side of the mountain. It had rarely been visited but by the hunters of the chamois or wild goat, and they gave information of the great size of these trees, and extent of the forests. There these trees had stood for ages useless, and there they might have stood useless to this day, but for the enterprize and skill of a Gerinan engineer, of the name of Rupp. His spirit of inquiry being roused by the accounts of the chamois hunters, he made his way up by their paths, surveyed the forests, and formed the bold project of purchasing and cutting down the trees, and constructing, with some of the bodies of the trees themselves, a singular kind of wooden road or trough, down which others would be sent headlong into the lake below, which fortunately came to the very foot of the mountain. When once upon the lake, they were to be made into rafts, and without the aid of ships or boats to carry them, they were to be iloated down the lake. It was proposed, that from thence they should be conveyed by a very rapid stream called the Reup, into the river Aar, and thence into the Rhine, down which these rafts could be easily navigated to Holland, where the timber was wanted. They might further be transported into the German ocean, where they could be conveyed to whatever port was desired.”
“ But now, Sir, for the slide,” said Harry, “ you said, I think, that it was a kind of trough made of the bodies of trees; did you mean the mere trunk, without their being sawed up into boards ?"
" The trunks of the trees," replied Sir Rupert, " just roughly squared with the are. Three trees so prepared, and laid side by side, formed the bottom; another set formed each of the sides ; and all, strongly fasiened together, composed this enormous trough, which was about three or four feet deep, and about six feet wide at the top. It extended to a length of more than eight miles, from the place where the forest stood on the side of the mountain to the lake below. Each tree that was to be sent down had its branches lopped off, its bark stripped, and its outer surface made tolerably smooth. Men were stationed all the way down, at about half a mile distant from each other, who were to give telegraphic signals, with a large board like a door, wliich they set up when all was right, and all ready to begin, and lowered when any thing was wrong. These signals were communicated from man to man, so that in a few seconds the intelligence was known all along the line that a tree was to be launched. The tree, roaring louder and louder, as it flew down the slide, soon announced itself, and as Playfair describes it, came in sight at perhaps half a mile distance, and in one instant after shot past with the noise of thunder and the rapidity of lightning."
“ How I should like to have seen it,” said Harry, “ Sir, did not you say that Mr. Playfair himself saw a tree go down ?"
Yes, he and his young nephew saw five trees descend. One of them a spruce fir a hundred feet long, and four feet diameter at the lower end, which was always launched foremost into the trough. After the telegraphic signals had been repeated up the line again, another tree followed. Each was about six minutes in descending along a distance of more than eight miles. In some places the route was not straight but somewhat circuitous, and in others almost horizontal, though the average declivity was about one foot in seventeen."
“ Did Mr. Playfair and bis nephew stand at the top, or the bottom of the hill, sir ?" said Lucy; "did they look down upon the falling trees, or up the hill to them as they were descending ?”
Up to them,” said Sir Rupert : " they stationed themselves near the bottom of the descent, and close to the edge of the slide, so that they might see the trees projected into the lake. Their guide, however, did not relish this amusement; be hid himself behind a tree, where, for his comfort, the engineer, Mr. Rupp, told him he was not in the least degree safer than they were. The ground where they stood had but a very slight declivity, yet the astonishing velocity with which the tree passed, and the force with which it seemed to shake the trough, were, Mr. Playfair says, altogether formidable. You, Harry, who are a mechanic, must be aware that with bodies of such weight descending with such accelerated rapidity, there would be great danger if any sudden check occurred; but so judicious were the signals, and all the precautions taken by the engineer, that during the whole time the slide of Alpnach was in use, very few accidents happened. The enterprise, begun and completed so as to be fit for use in the course of a few months, succeeded entirely, and rewarded, I believe with fortune, I am sure with reputation, the ingenious and courageous engineer by whom it was planned and executed, in defiance of all the proj hecies against him. The learned as well as the unlearned, when they first heard of it, condemned the attempt as rash and absurd. Some set to work with calculations, and proved, as they thought, and I own as I should have thought, that the friction would be so great, that no tree could ever slide down, but that it must wedge itself and stick in the trough. Others imagined they saw a far greater danger from the rapidity of the motion, and predicted that the trough would take fire."
“ That is what I should have been most afraid of,” said Harry.
“ This must have happened, but for a certain precaution, which effectually counteracted the danger. Can you guess what that precaution was, Harry?"
Harry answered, that perhaps water might have been let into the trough.
“ Exactly so, Harry,” said Sir Rupert, “ the mountain streams were in several places conveyed over the edges, and running along the trough, kept it constantly moist." -Harry and Lucy concluded, vol. iii. pp. 168–176.
Classical LITERATURE,—The schoolmaster of an obscure village in the North of England, being disgusted at the blundering way in which one of his pupils attempted to translate the first line of Horace's first Epistle :
“ Qui fit Mæcenas ut nemo quam sibi sortem,” dictated to him the following version of it :-" Qui fit Macenas?" " Who made Mæcenas?" “ Ut! Nemo!"_" What! Nobody!" Quam sibi sortem ?" What sort of fellow must he be ?"-LILLIANA.
ENGLISH IN SWITZERLAND.-The English literally swarm in this country. Yos meet their equipages on all the great routes, and you find them penetrating the most secluded spots. They not only exceed in number the travellers of any other nation, but, I incline to believe, of all other nations put together. The French are too urlane, too artificial in their taste and manners, to be fond of exploring the beauties of nature : the Germans come here in considerable numbers, but they travel economically, and seldom frequent the great hotels ; so that these hotels, many of which are as handsome and expensive as those of Bath or Cheltenham, are supported almost altogether by Englishmen, who talk indeed bad French, but order good dinners and wine, and, if they sometimes behave indifferently, pay extremely well. It is to be regretted that the English are so reserved and haughty in their manners, when travelling through countries where this hauteur and distance are almost unknown. They are shy towards their own countrymen, and still more so towards foreigners, and I have frequently observed different parties keeping entirely to themselves, as if they would not or could not join in general conversation. At a table d'hote, where our countrymen invariably form a decided majority, I have heard a conversation awkwardly begun and sluggishly maintained in English, whilst the few foreigners who are present look and listen, having no opportunity of joining, and evidently thinking us islanders a very odd set of people.--Leeds Mercury.
SPREAD OF LIBERAL PrincipLES ON THE CONTINENT.--I have met with many most intelligent men, and I cannot but observe that they all seem to me extremely liberal in their opinions—French, Prussians, Swiss, and even Austrians. It would be presumptuous to form a general or decisive opinion from the particular instances that have fallen under my notice; but my impression from what I hear is, that knowledge and the spirit of freedom are making their way on the continent. I asked a French gentleman at Lucerne what was the latest news from Greece, and he told me with grea! exultation the excellent accounts from Missolonghi and the Morea, adding that the English were doing themselves eternal honour by aiding the Greeks, and regretting that his own countrymen had done almost nothing in the same great cause.- [From some very sensible “ Letters from the Continent,” in the Leeds Mercury, one of the ablest and most intelligent of the Country Newspapers.]
Judicious Economy.-In consequence of drilling the crew of one of his Majesty's ships to the broad-sword exercise, the edge of the cutlasses had been jagged, as inight naturally be expected. On the cutlasses being returned into store, the then Board of Ordnance considered the subject as one which deserved their interference ; and without entering into the merits of the case, dispatched the Captain a letter officially reprimanding him for his negligence in permitting these weapons to be thus abused (!) sad they required any explanation beyond that which common experience would have suggested, the officer might have acquainted the Board, that, being then on the coast of America, with whose government this country was at war, and well knowing that nothing gare sailors so much confidence in boarding as the knowledge of the use of the broad-sworl, he had caused his crew to be regularly exercised by the serjeant of marines, being in hourly expectation of an engagement with an enemy's cruizer.—Naval Sketch book.