THE BOOK OF THREE HUNDRED ANECDOTES.
HISTORICAL, LITERARY, AND HUMOROUS.
A NEW SELECTION.
BURNS & OATES. LONDON: GRANVILLE MANSIONS. NEW YORK: BARCLAY STREET.
Abon Hannifah, 39
Adam, Dr., and the Schoolboy, 106
Aguesseau, D', Chancellor of France, 115
Alban's, Duchess of, and the Sailor, 28
Algerine Captain, 119
Alphonsus, King of Naples, 39
American Heroines, 135
Amour, St., General, 1
Andre, St., Marquis de, 90
Astley Cooper, 26
Atterbury, in the House of Peers, 113
Bakers, The, of Lyons, 18
Bailly, Miss—Escape of the Pretender, 94
Bautru and the Spanish Librarian, 77
Bayard, The Chevalier, 80
Beauvais, Ladies of, 118
Belmont, Countess de, 45
Benbow and the Wounded Sailor, 101
Ben Jonson at Dinner, 21
Bernard, Father, 88
Bishop and Clerks, 104
Boufflers, Marshal, 120
Bouille, Marquis de, 121
Boutteville, Count de, and the Soldier, 81
Boutibonne, M., Imaginary Accident, 58
Breton Peasants, 48
Brougham, Lord—Examination of a Witness, 70
Buffon and his Servant, 115
Busby, Dr., and the Scholar, 106
Cajeta, Siege of, 51
Camden, Lord, in the Stocks, 73
Camerons and Christians, 117
Campo, Marquess del, and George III., 93
Candle Light, War by, 120
Canning and the Preacher, 125
Carteret, Lady, and Dean Swift, 132
Carving Accident, 90
Catalogue Making, 15
Chamillart the French Lawyer, 70
Chantrey—First sculpture, 9
Charles II. and Killigrew, 63
Charles V. of France, 64
Charles VI. of Austria, 122
Charles XII. and his Secretary, 119
Charlotte, Princess, 54
Chatillon, Admiral, and the Beggar, 10
Cherin, General, 109
Child and Goat, 103
China Ware, 129
Christmas Pudding Extraordinary, 20
Clerambault and La Fontaine, 126
Cobbler of Leyden, The, 114
Cochrane, Sir John, 46
Cochrane, Lord, 56
Coleridge's "Watchman", 107
Coleridge and his Dinner Companion, 126
Conjugal Affection—French Troops in Italy, 4
Cornwallis, Admiral, and the Mutineers, 105
Crimean Captain, 111
Curran and Dr. Boyse, 40 and the Jockey, 67 and the Farmer, 69 his Witty Replies, 70
Cuvier and his Visitors, 116
Day, Thomas, and Sir W. Jones, 72
Deaf and Dumb Mother, 1
Denon and Defoe, 16
Dey of Algiers and Admiral Keppel, 104
Dickens—Origin of "Boz", 15
Dieppe Pilot, 43
Domat, Judge, and the Poor Widow, 11
Douglas, The, 47
DRAMA, The, 27-33
Drummond, Provost, 52
Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Pitt—a Dispute in Bed, 86
Duncan, Admiral, 121
Duval, the Librarian, 77
Edinburgh—Spoiled Street, 130
Erskine and Lord Kellie, 126
Erskine, Legal Anecdotes of, 67-68
Eveillan, Archdeacon of Angers, 57
Faithful Depositary, 37
Faithful Domestic, 36
Falkland, Lord, and the House of Commons, 86
Family Sacrifice—French Revolution, 4
Fear of Death, 58
Fenelon, Archbishop—his Humanity, 56
Fielding, Sir J., and the Irishman, 71
Filial Affection—French Boy, 2
Fletcher, of Saltown, and his Footman, 113
Fontenelle, 37, 38
Foote, the Actor, 33
Fouche and Napoleon, 91
Francis I. and his Fool, 38
Frederick the Great and the Page, 61 and the Soldier, 62 and the Deserter, 62 his Arguments, 62
French Curate—Forgiveness, 39 Peasant Girl, 45 Officer in Flanders, 77 Officer in Spain, 77 Servant at Noyon, 95 of La Vendee, 91
Gainsborough—Picture of the Pigs, 6
Garrick and Rich, 33
Garrick and Sir J. Reynolds, 115
Gendarmes and Priest, 91
George I. and the Lieutenant, 121 II. and the Dutch-Innkeeper, 64 and the Court Martial, 122 III. —Punctuality, 64 Carbonel the Wine Merchant, 65 The Horse Dealer, 66 Memorial to a Servant, 66 Treatment of a Caricature, 66 and Lord Lothian, 102
Gibbet, Sight of a, 117
Gin versus Drugs, 25
Glynn, Dr., and the Magpie, 12
Gonsalvo de Cordova, 119
Goldsmith's Marlow, 32
Gooch, Sir W., and the Negro, 90
Gregory, Dr., a Militiaman, 38
Granby, Marquis of, and the Lord-in-Waiting, 108
Grance, Count de, and the Cannon Ball, 112
Grenadier, French, 121
Guise, Colonel, 24
H., Letter, Use of, 14
Haddock, Admiral, 102
Hanging Judge, The, 73
Hanway, Jonas, and the Coachman, 107
Hawker, Colonel, and the French Officer, 77
Heavy Play, A, 28
Heber's Palestine, 14
Henderson and the Actor, 113
Henri IV. and D'Aubigne, 40
Hill, Sergeant, 75 Rowland, 101
Hogarth—Picture of the Red Sea, 9
Hood, Sir S., 57
Hough, Dr., and the Barometer, 114
Housemaid, Presence of mind of a, 92
Hulet, the Comedian, 31
Hume's Speeches, 86
Huntly, Marquis of, and James VI., 95
Ice, Custom-house doubt, 70
James I. and the Courtier, 38 in Westminster Hall, 60 and the Earl of Scarborough, 96
James IV. of Scotland and the Robbers, 92
John Gilpin, Origin of, 14
Johnson, Dr., and the Hare, 49 and Wilkes, 60 and Lord Elibank, 60 reply to Miller, 60
Judge, A Benevolent, 11
Kaimes, Lord, and the Sheepstealer, 75
Kean, Charles, 29
Kennedies, The, 36
Keppel, Admiral, at Algiers, 104
Kirwan, Dr., 20
Labat, Mons. of Bayonne, 47
Lady and Highwayman, 100
Lamb, Counsellor, 72
Lamb, Charles, and the Farmer, 116
LAW AND LAWYERS, 66-75
Lely the Painter, and the Alderman, 6
Lettsom, Dr., and the Highwayman, 101
Lisieux, Bishop of, 53
Long and Short Barristers, 74
Longueville, Duke of, 40
Louis, St., 78 XII. and the Composer, 63 XIV. and the Comte de Grammont, 62 and Lord Stair, 63 and the Eddystone Workmen, 63
Lyndhurst, Lord,—Retirement from Office, 87
Mackenzie, General, 34
Maclaurin and his Pupils, 130
Marie Antoinette, 40
Maximilian I. and the Beggar, 11
Mayor, An English, 89 A French, 89
Memory, Artificial, 127
Miner, Swedish, 3
Moliere and the Doctors, 23
Monkey, A Grenadier, 123
Montaigne on Doctors, 23
Montesquieu, M. de, 55
Morand and the Critics, 33
Morland the Painter, 6
Morvilliers and Charles IX., 34
Motte, M. de la, and the Critics, 28
Mungo Park and the African Woman, 50
Mysterious Benefactor, 19
Napoleon Bonaparte, 17, 18, 91, 110
Nash and the Doctor, 25
Navy Chaplains, 104
Neckar and the Corporation of Paris, 51
Nelson, Lord—Punctuality, 98
Nena Sahib and the Devil, 107
Nevailles, Marshal de, 48
Norton, Sir F. and Lord Mansfield, 72
O'Brien, Lieutenant, 102
Old Age secured—the Irish Beggar, 11
Old Ambrose, 35
O'Neil, Sir Phelim, 78
Orkney, Countess of, 1
Orleans, Duke of, 39
Ossuna, Duke of, and the Felon, 100
Parisian Stockbroker, 128
Parisian Ragman, 127
Pepusch, Dr., 116
Peterborough, Lord, and the Mob, 91
Peter the Great, 71, 113
Philadelphian Lady, 128
Philip II. of Spain, 88
Physicians in China, 23
Pitt, and the Duke of Newcastle, 86
Pius IX., and the Attorney, 12
Polignac, Compte de, 17
Pope the Poet, 125
Presence of Mind, 90-95
Prideaux—Life of Mahomet, 13
Quartering upon the Enemy, 111
Quick the Actor, 32
Racine and his Family, 3
Ragged Regiment, 118
RANK AND ANCESTRY, 95
Reclaimed Robbers, 101
Rejected Addresses, The, 125
Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 5
Richardson—opinion of a Picture, 5
Rivardes and the Wooden Leg, 111
Robert, King of France, 114
Ross, Lord, 124
Savage Dr., and the Pope, 132
Savoie, Magdeline De, 110
Schaumbourg, Count, 117
Scott, Sir W. —Punctuality, 99 and the Beggar, 11 and the Inn-keeper, 109
Scott, Mr., of Exeter, 98
Selwyn, G., and the Traveller, 116
Senesino and Farinelli, 30
Sentinel on the Stage, 31
Shaving a Queen, 27
Sheridan, Dr., and the Scholar, 105
Sheridan, 88, 132, 133
Sidney, Sir Philip, 53
Sion College, and George III., 131
Sir and Sire, 17
Sisters of Charity, 129
Smith, Sydney, Charity Sermon, 125
Smiths, The Two, 126
Stackelberg, Baron Von, 54
Steele and Addison, 124
Sterne and the Old Woman, 134
Strasburgh Lawyer, A, 68
Suwarrow, Marshall, 110
Swift, Dean, 10, 21, 22, 109, 131
Talleyrand, Madame de, 16
Tantara, and the Landscape, 9
Tenterden, Lord, 74
Thelwall and Erskine, 71
"They're all Out", 87
Thomson the Poet, and Quin, 15
Thurot, Admiral, 79
TIME, Value of, 115
Turenne, Marshal, 112
Turner, The Painter, 6
Tyrolese Heroine, 136
Van Dyke, 40
Vendean Servant, 91
Vernet—Picture of St. Jerome, 8
Villars, Marshal, 110
Villecerf, Madame de, 22
Voisin, Chancellor of Louis XIX., 34
Wager, Sir C., and the Doctors, 25
Wardlaw, Archbishop of St. Andrew's, 49
Weeping at a Play, 31
Welch Dispute, A, 97
West, the Painter, 7
William III., and St. Evremond, 131
Willie Law, 22
Wise, Dr., and the Parliament, 131
Ximenes, Cardinal, 123
"Yellow Cabriolet," The, 28
York, Duke of, and the Housekeeper, 108
General St. Amour.—This officer, who distinguished himself in the Imperial service, was the son of a poor Piedmontese peasant, but he never forgot his humble extraction. While the army was in Piedmont, he invited his principal officers to an entertainment, when his father happened to arrive just as they were sitting down to table. This being announced to the general, he immediately rose, and stated to his guests his father's arrival. He said he knew the respect he owed to them, but at the same time he hoped they would excuse him if he withdrew, and dined with his father in another room. The guests begged that the father might be introduced, assuring him that they should be happy to see one so nearly related to him; but he replied, "Ah, no, gentlemen; my father would find himself so embarrassed in company so unsuited to his rank, that it would deprive us both of the only pleasure of the interview—the unrestrained intercourse of a parent and his son." He then retired, and passed the evening with his father.
The Deaf and Dumb Mother.—The late Countess of Orkney, who died at an advanced age, was deaf and dumb, and was married in 1753 by signs. She resided with her husband at his seat, Rostellan, near Cork. Shortly after the birth of her first child, the nurse saw the mother cautiously approach the cradle in which the infant lay asleep, evidently full of some deep design. The Countess, having first assured herself that her babe was fast asleep, took from under her shawl a large stone, which had purposely been concealed there, and, to the utter horror of the nurse, who largely shared the popular notion that all dumb persons are possessed of peculiar cunning and malignity, raised it up, as if to enable her to dash it down with greater force. Before the nurse could interpose to prevent what she believed would bring certain death to the sleeping and unconscious child, the dreadful stone was flung, not at the cradle, however, but upon the ground, and fell with great violence. The noise awakened the child. The Countess was overjoyed, and, in the fulness of a mother's heart, she fell upon her knees to express her thankfulness that her beloved infant possessed a blessing denied to herself—the sense of hearing. This lady often gave similar indications of superior intelligence, though we can believe that few of them equalled the present in interest.
Filial Affection.—A veteran, worn out in the service of France, was left without a pension, although he had a wife and three children to share his wretchedness. His son was placed at L'Ecole militaire, where he might have enjoyed every comfort, but the strongest persuasion could not induce him to taste anything but coarse bread and water. The Duke de Choiseul being informed of the circumstance, ordered the boy before him, and enquired the reason of his abstemiousness. The boy, with a manly fortitude, replied, "Sir, when I had the honour of being admitted to this royal foundation, my father conducted me hither. We came on foot: on our journey the demands of nature were relieved by bread and water. I was received. My father blessed me, and returned to the protection of a helpless wife and family. As long as I can remember, bread of the blackest kind, with water, has been their daily subsistence, and even that is earned by every species of labour that honour does not forbid. To this fare, sir, my father is reduced; and while he, my mother, and my sisters, are compelled to endure such wretchedness, is it possible that I can enjoy the plenty which my sovereign has provided for me?" The duke felt this tale of nature, gave the boy three louis d'ors for pocket-money, and promised to procure the father a pension. The boy begged the louis d'ors might be sent to his father, which, with the patent of his pension, was immediately done. The boy was patronised by the duke, and became one of the best officers in the service of France.
Racine.—The celebrated French poet, Racine, having one day returned from Versailles, where he had been on a visit, was waited upon by a gentleman with an invitation to dine at the Hotel de Conde. "I cannot possibly do myself that honour," said the poet; "it is some time since I have been with my family; they are overjoyed to see me again, and have provided a fine carp; so that I must dine with my dear wife and children." "But my good sir," replied the gentleman, "several of the most distinguished characters in the kingdom expect your company, and will be anxious to see you." On this, Racine brought out the carp and showed it to his visitor, saying, "Here, sir, is our little meal; then say, having provided such a treat for me, what apology could I make for not dining with my poor children? Neither they nor my wife could have any pleasure in eating a bit of it without me; then pray be so obliging as to mention my excuse to the Prince of Conde and my other illustrious friends." The gentleman did so; and not only His Serene Highness, but all the company present, professed themselves infinitely more charmed with this proof of the poet's affection as a husband and a father, than they possibly could have been with his delightful conversation.
Touching Recognition.—Some years ago, in making a new communication between two shafts of a mine at Fahkin, the capital of Delecarlia, the body of a miner was discovered by the workmen in a state of perfect preservation, and impregnated with vitriolic water. It was quite soft, but hardened on being exposed to the air. No one could identify the body: it was merely remembered that the accident, by which he had thus been buried in the bosom of the earth, had taken place above fifty years ago. All enquiries about the name of the sufferer had already ceased, when a decrepid old woman, supported on crutches, slowly advanced towards the corpse, and knew it to be that of a young man to whom she had been promised in marriage more than half a century ago. She threw herself on the corpse, which had all the appearance of a bronze statue, bathed it with her tears, and fainted with joy at having once more beheld the object of her affections. One can with difficulty realize the singular contrast afforded by that couple—the one buried above fifty years ago, still retaining the appearance of youth; while the other, weighed down by age, evinced all the fervency of youthful affections.
Family Sacrifice.—During the French revolution, Madame Saintmaraule, with her daughter, and a youth, her son, not yet of age, were confined in prison and brought to trial. The mother and daughter behaved with resolution, and were sentenced to die; but of the youth no notice was taken, and he was remanded to prison. "What!" exclaimed the boy, "am I then to be separated from my mother? It cannot be!" and immediately he cried out, "Vive le Roi!" In consequence of this, he was condemned to death, and, with his mother and his sister, was led out to execution.
Expedient of Conjugal Affection.—Napoleon used to relate an anecdote shewing the conjugal affection of some women who accompanied his troops when he was at Col de Tende. To enter this mountainous and difficult country, it was necessary for the soldiers to pass over a narrow bridge, and, as the enterprise was a hazardous one, Napoleon had given orders that no women should be permitted to cross it with them. To enforce this order, two captains were stationed on the bridge with instructions, on pain of death, not to suffer a woman to pass. The passage was effected, and the troops continued their march. When some miles beyond the bridge, the Emperor was greatly astonished at the appearance of a considerable number of women with the soldiers. He immediately ordered the two captains to be put under arrest, intending to have them tried for a breach of duty. The prisoners protested their innocence, and stoutly asserted that no women had crossed the bridge. Napoleon, on hearing this, commanded that some of the women should be brought before him, when he interrogated them on the subject. To his utter surprise they readily acknowledged that the captains had not betrayed their trust, but that a contrivance of their own had brought them into their present situation. They informed Napoleon, that having taken the provisions, which had been prepared for the support of the army, out of some of the casks, they had concealed themselves in them, and by this stratagem succeeded in passing the bridge without discovery.
Sir Joshua Reynolds.—"What do you ask for this sketch?" said Sir Joshua to an old picture-dealer, whose portfolio he was looking over. "Twenty guineas, your honour." "Twenty pence, I suppose you mean?" "No, sir; it is true I would have taken twenty pence for it this morning, but if you think it worth looking at, all the world will think it worth buying." Sir Joshua ordered him to send the sketch home, and gave him the money.
Ditto.—Two gentlemen were at a coffee-house, when the discourse fell upon Sir Joshua Reynold's painting; one of them said that "his tints were admirable, but the colours flew." It happened that Sir Joshua was in the next box, who taking up his hat, accosted them thus, with a low bow—"Gentlemen, I return you many thanks for bringing me off with flying colours."
Richardson, in his anecdotes of painting, says, a gentleman came to me to invite me to his house: "I have," says he, "a picture of Rubens, and it is a rare good one. There is little H. the other day came to see it, and says it is a copy. If any one says so again, I'll break his head. Pray, Mr. Richardson, will you do me the favour to come, and give me your real opinion of it?"
Gainsborough.—A countryman was shown Gainsborough's celebrated picture of "The Pigs." "To be sure," said he, "they be deadly like pigs; but there is one fault; nobody ever saw three pigs feeding together but what one on 'em had a foot in the trough."
Turner.—Once, at a dinner, where several artists, amateurs and literary men were convened, a poet, by way of being facetious, proposed as a toast the health of the painters and glaziers of Great Britain. The toast was drunk, and Turner, after returning thanks for it, proposed the health of the British paper-stainers.
Lely and the Alderman.—Sir Peter Lely, a famous painter in the reign of Charles I., agreed for the price of a full-length, which he was to draw for a rich alderman of London, who was not indebted to nature either for shape or face. When the picture was finished, the alderman endeavoured to beat down the price; alleging that if he did not purchase it, it would lie on the painter's hands. "That's a mistake," replied Sir Peter, "for I can sell it at double the price I demand."—"How can that be?" says the alderman; "for it is like nobody but myself."—"But I will draw a tail to it, and then it will be an excellent monkey." The alderman, to prevent exposure, paid the sum agreed for, and carried off the picture.
Morland.—It is well known that Morland the painter used to go on an expedition with a companion sometimes without a guinea, or perhaps scarcely a shilling, to defray the expenses of their journey; and thus they were often reduced to an unpleasant and ludicrous dilemma. On one occasion the painter was travelling in Kent, in company with a relative, and finding their cash exhausted, while at a distance from their destination, they were compelled to exert their wits, for the purpose of recruiting themselves after a long and fatiguing march. As they approached Canterbury, a homely village ale-house caught their eye; and the itinerant artists hailed, with delight, the sign of the Black Bull, which indicated abundance of home-made bread and generous ale. They entered, and soon made considerable havoc among the good things of mine host, who, on reckoning up, found that they had consumed as much bread, cheese and ale, as amounted to 12s. 6d. Morland now candidly informed his host that they were two poor painters going in search of employment, and that they had spent all their money. He, however, added that, as the sign of the Bull was a disgraceful daub for so respectable a house, he would have no objection to repaint it, as a set-off for what he and his companion had received. The landlord, who had long been wishing for a new sign (the one in question having passed through two generations), gladly accepted his terms, and Morland immediately went to work. The next day the Bull was sketched in such a masterly manner that the landlord was enraptured; he supplied his guests with more provisions, and generously gave them money for their subsequent expenses. About three months after a gentleman well acquainted with Morland's works, accidentally passing through the village, recognised it instantly to be the production of that inimitable painter: he stopped, and was confirmed in his opinion, by the history which the landlord gave of the transaction. In short, he purchased the sign of him for twenty pounds; the landlord was struck with admiration at his liberality; but this identical painting was some time afterwards sold at a public auction for the sum of one hundred guineas!
When Benjamin West was seven years old, he was left, one summer day, with the charge of an infant niece. As it lay in the cradle and he was engaged in fanning away the flies, the motion of the fan pleased the child, and caused it to smile. Attracted by the charms thus created, young West felt his instinctive passion aroused; and seeing paper, pen and some red and black ink on a table, he eagerly seized them and made his first attempt at portrait painting. Just as he had finished his maiden task, his mother and sister entered. He tried to conceal what he had done, but his confusion arrested his mother's attention, and she asked him what he had been doing. With reluctance and timidity, he handed her the paper, begging, at the same time, that she would not be offended. Examining the drawing for a short time, she turned to her daughter, and, with a smile, said, "I declare he has made a likeness of Sally." She then gave him a fond kiss, which so encouraged him that he promised her some drawings of the flowers which she was then holding, if she wished to have them. The next year a cousin sent him a box of colours and pencils, with large quantities of canvas prepared for the easel, and half a dozen engravings. Early the next morning he took his materials into the garret, and for several days forgot all about school. His mother suspected that the box was the cause of his neglect of his books, and going into the garret and finding him busy at a picture, she was about to reprimand him; but her eye fell on some of his compositions, and her anger cooled at once. She was so pleased with them that she loaded him with kisses, and promised to secure his father's pardon for his neglect of school. The world is much indebted to Mrs. West for her early and constant encouragement of the talent of her son. He often used to say, after his reputation was established, "My mothers kiss made me a painter!"
Vernet relates, that he was once employed to paint a landscape, with a cave, and St. Jerome in it; he accordingly painted the landscape with St. Jerome at the entrance of the cave. When he delivered the picture, the purchaser, who understood nothing of perspective, said, "the landscape and the cave are well made, but St. Jerome is not in the cave."—"I understand you, sir," replied Vernet, "I will alter it." He therefore took the painting, and made the shade darker, so that the saint seemed to sit farther in. The gentleman took the painting; but it again appeared to him that the saint was not actually in the cave. Vernet then wiped out the figure, and gave it to the gentleman, who seemed perfectly satisfied. Whenever he saw strangers to whom he showed the picture, he said, "Here you see a picture by Vernet, with St. Jerome in the cave." "But we cannot see the saint," replied the visitors. "Excuse me, gentlemen," answered the possessor, "he is there; for I saw him standing at the entrance, and afterwards farther back; and am therefore quite sure that he is in it."
Hogarth.—A nobleman, not remarkable for generosity, sent for Hogarth and desired that he would represent on one of the compartments of his staircase, Pharoah and his host drowned in the Red Sea. At the same time he hinted that no great price would be given for the performance. Hogarth however agreed. Soon afterwards he applied for payment to his employer, who seeing that the space allotted for the picture had only been daubed over with red, declared he had no idea of paying a painter when he had proceeded no farther than to lay his ground. "Ground!" exclaimed Hogarth, "there is no ground in the case, my lord, it is all sea. The red you perceive is the Red Sea. Pharoah and his host are drowned as you desired, and cannot be made objects of sight, for the sea covers them all."
Tantara, the celebrated landscape painter, was a man of ready wit, but he once met his match. An amateur had ordered a landscape for his gallery, in which there was to be a church. Our painter did not know how to draw figures well, so he put none in the landscape. The amateur was astonished at the truthfulness and colouring of the picture, but he missed the figures. "You have forgotten to put in any figures," said he, laughingly. "Sir," replied the painter, "the people are gone to mass." "Oh, well," replied the amateur, "I will wait and take your picture when they come out."
Chantrey's First Sculpture.—Chantrey, when a boy, used to take milk to Sheffield on an ass. To those not used to seeing and observing such things, it may be necessary to state that the boys generally carry a good thick stick, with a hooked or knobbed end, with which they belabour their asses sometimes unmercifully. On a certain day, when returning home, riding on his ass, Chantrey was observed by a gentleman to be intently engaged in cutting a stick with his penknife, and, excited by curiosity, he asked the lad what he was doing, when, with great simplicity of manner, but with courtesy, he replied, "I am cutting old Fox's head." Fox was the schoolmaster of the village. On this, the gentleman asked to see what he had done, pronounced it to be an excellent likeness, and presented the youth with sixpence. This may, perhaps, be reckoned the first money Chantry ever obtained in the way of his art.
Admiral Chatillon had gone one day to hear mass in the Dominican Friars' chapel; a poor fellow came and begged his charity. He was at the moment occupied with his devotions, and he gave him several pieces of gold from his pocket, without counting them, or thinking what they were. The large amount astonished the beggar, and as M. Chatillon was going out of the church-door, the poor man waited for him: "Sir," said he, showing him what he had given him, "I cannot think that you intended to give me so large a sum, and am very ready to return it." The admiral, admiring the honesty of the man, said, "I did not, indeed, my good man, intend to have given you so much; but, since you have the generosity to offer to return it, I will have the generosity to desire you to keep it; and here are five pieces more for you."
A Beggar's Wedding.—Dean Swift being in the country, on a visit to Dr. Sheridan, they were informed that a beggar's wedding was about to be celebrated. Sheridan played well upon the violin; Swift therefore proposed that he should go to the place where the ceremony was to be performed, disguised as a blind fiddler, while he attended him as his man. Thus accoutred they set out, and were received by the jovial crew with great acclamation. They had plenty of good cheer, and never was a more joyous wedding seen. All was mirth and frolic; the beggars told stories, played tricks, cracked jokes, sung and danced, in a manner which afforded high amusement to the fiddler and his man, who were well rewarded when they departed, which was not till late in the evening. The next day the Dean and Sheridan walked out in their usual dress, and found many of their late companions, hopping about upon crutches, or pretending to be blind, pouring forth melancholy complaints and supplications for charity. Sheridan distributed among them the money he had received; but the Dean, who hated all mendicants, fell into a violent passion, telling them of his adventure of the preceding day, and threatening to send every one of them to prison. This had such an effect, that the blind opened their eyes, and the lame threw away their crutches, running away as fast as their legs could carry them.
Old Age Secured.—As Sir Walter Scott was riding once with a friend in the neighbourhood of Abbotsford, he came to a field gate, which an Irish beggar who happened to be near hastened to open for him. Sir Walter was desirous of rewarding his civility by the present of sixpence, but found that he had not so small a coin in his purse. "Here, my good fellow," said the baronet, "here is a shilling for you; but mind, you owe me sixpence." "God bless your honour!" exclaimed Pat: "may your honour live till I pay you."
Maximilian I.—A beggar once asked alms of the Emperor Maximilian I., who bestowed upon him a small coin. The beggar appeared dissatisfied with the smallness of the gift, and on being asked why, he replied that it was a very little sum for an emperor, and that his highness should remember that we were all descended from one father, and were therefore all brothers. Maximilian smiled good-humouredly, and replied: "Go—go, my good man: if each of your brothers gives you as much as I have done, you will very soon be far richer than me."
A Benevolent Judge.—The celebrated Anthony Domat, author of a treatise on the civil laws, was promoted to the office of judge of the provincial court of Clermont, in the territory of Auvergne, in the south of France. In this court he presided, with general applause, for twenty-four years. One day a poor widow brought an action against the Baron de Nairac, her landlord, for turning her out of her mill, which was the poor creature's sole dependence. M. Domat heard the cause, and finding by the evidence that she had ignorantly broken a covenant in the lease which gave her landlord the power of re-entry, he recommended mercy to the baron for a poor but honest tenant, who had not wilfully transgressed, or done him any material injury. Nairac being inexorable, the judge was compelled to pronounce an ejectment, with the penalty mentioned in the lease and costs of suit; but he could not pronounce the decree without tears. When an order of seizure, both of person and effects was added, the poor widow exclaimed, "O merciful and righteous God, be thou a friend to the widow and her helpless orphans!" and immediately fainted away. The compassionate judge assisted in raising the unfortunate woman, and after enquiring into her character, number of children, and other circumstances, generously presented her with one hundred louis d'ors, the amount of the damages and costs, which he prevailed upon the baron to accept as a full compensation, and to let the widow again enter upon her mill. The poor widow anxiously enquired of M. Domat when he would require payment, that she might lay up accordingly. "When my conscience (he replied) shall tell me that I have done an improper act."
Pope Pius IX.—An advocate, the father of a large family, fell into ill health, and soon afterwards into want. Pius IX., hearing of this, sent a messenger with a letter to the advocate, but he was at first refused admittance, on the ground that the physician had enjoined the utmost quiet. On the messenger explaining from whom he came he was admitted, and, on the letter being opened, what was the surprise of the family on finding within 300 scudi (L62), with the words, "For the advocate ...—Pius IX.," in the pontiff's own handwriting.
Dr. Glynn was remarkable for many acts of kindness to poor persons. He had attended a sick family in the fens near Cambridge for a considerable time, and had never thought of any recompense for his skill and trouble but the satisfaction of being able to do good. One day he heard a noise on the college staircase, and his servant brought him word that the poor woman from the fens waited upon him with a magpie, of which she begged his acceptance. This at first a little discomposed the doctor. Of all presents, a magpie was the least acceptable to him, as he had a hundred loose things about his rooms, which the bird, if admitted, was likely to make free with. However, his good nature soon returned: he considered the woman's intention, and ordered her to be shown in. "I am obliged to you for thinking of me, good woman," said he, "but you must excuse my not taking your bird, as it would occasion me a great deal of trouble." "Pray, doctor," answered the woman, "do, pray, be pleased to have it. My husband, my son, and myself have been long consulting together in what way we could show our thankfulness to you, and we could think of nothing better than to give you our favourite bird. We would not part with it to any other person upon earth. We shall be sadly hurt if you refuse our present." "Well, well, my good woman," said Dr. Glynn, "if that is the case, I must have the bird; but do you, as you say you are so fond of it, take it back again, and keep it for me, and I will allow you eighteenpence a week for the care of it. I shall have the pleasure of seeing it every time I come." This allowance Dr. G. punctually paid as long as the bird lived.
An Odd Fault.—It is said that when the learned Humphrey Prideaux offered his Life of Mahomet to the bookseller, he was desired to leave the copy with him for a few days, for his perusal. The bookseller said to the doctor at his return, "Well, Mr. What's your Name, I have perused your manuscript; I don't know what to say of it; I believe I shall venture to print it; the thing is well enough; but I could wish there were a little more humour in it." This story is otherwise told in a note in Swift's works, where the book is said to have been Prideaux's "Connexion of the History of the Old and New Testament," in which, it must be confessed, the difficulty of introducing humour is more striking.
Dictionaries.—Dr. Johnson, while compiling his dictionary, sent a note to the Gentleman's Magazine, to inquire the etymology of the word CURMUDGEON. Having obtained the desired information, he thus recorded in his work his obligation to an anonymous writer: "CURMUDGEON, s. a vicious way of pronouncing coeur mechant. An unknown correspondent." Ash copied the word into his dictionary, in the following manner: CURMUDGEON, from the French, coeur, "unknown," and mechant, "correspondent!"
Heber's Palestine.—When Reginald Heber read his prize poem, "Palestine," to Sir Walter Scott, the latter observed that, in the verses on Solomon's Temple, one striking circumstance had escaped him, namely, that no tools were used in its erection. Reginald retired for a few minutes to the corner of the room, and returned with the beautiful lines:—
"No hammer fell, no ponderous axes rung; Like some tall palm, the mystic fabric sprung. Majestic silence," &c.
Use of H.—"What has become of your famous General Eel?" said the Count d'Erleon to Mr. Campbell. "Eel," said a bystander, "that is a military fish I never heard of;" but another at once enlightened his mind by saying to the count, "General Lord Hill is now Commander-in-Chief of the British forces!"
Cowper's "John Gilpin."—It happened one afternoon, in those years when Cowper's accomplished friend, Lady Austen, made a part of his little evening circle, that she observed him sinking into increased dejection. It was her custom, on these occasions, to try all the resources of her sprightly powers for his immediate relief, and at this time it occurred to her to tell him the story of John Gilpin, (which had been treasured in her memory from her childhood), in order to dissipate the gloom of the passing hour. Its effects on the fancy of Cowper had the air of enchantment. He informed her the next morning that convulsions of laughter, brought on by his recollection of her story, had kept him waking during the greatest part of the night! and that he had turned it into a ballad. So arose the pleasant poem of "John Gilpin."
Catalogue Making.—Mr. Nichols, in the fourth vol. of his Literary Anecdotes, mentions that Dr. Taylor, who was librarian at Cambridge, about the year 1732, used to relate of himself that one day throwing books in heaps for the purpose of classing and arranging them, he put one among works on Mensuration, because his eye caught the word height in the title-page; and another which had the word salt conspicuous, he threw among books on Chemistry or Cookery. But when he began a regular classification, it appeared that the former was "Longinus on the Sublime," and the other a "Theological Discourse on the Salt of the World, that good Christians ought to be seasoned with." Thus, too, in a catalogue published about twenty years ago, the "Flowers of Ancient Literature" are found among books on Gardening and Botany, and "Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy" is placed among works on Medicine and Surgery.
Dickens' Origin of "Boz."—A fellow passenger with Mr. Dickens, in the Britannia steam-ship, across the Atlantic, inquired of the author the origin of his signature "Boz." Mr. Dickens replied that he had a little brother who resembled so much the Moses in the Vicar of Wakefield, that he used to call him Moses also; but a younger girl, who could not then articulate plainly, was in the habit of calling him Bozie or Boz. This simple circumstance made him assume that name in the first article he risked before the public, and as the first effort was approved of he continued the name.
Thomson and Quin.—Thomson the poet, when he first came to London, was in very narrow circumstances, and was many times put to shifts even for a dinner. Upon the publication of his Seasons one of his creditors arrested him, thinking that a proper opportunity to get his money. The report of this misfortune reached the ears of Quin, who had read the Seasons, but never seen their author; and he was told that Thompson was in a spunging-house in Holborn. Thither Quin went, and being admitted into his chamber, "Sir," said he, "you don't know me, but my name is Quin." Thomson said, "That, though he could not boast of the honour of a personal acquaintance, he was no stranger either to his name or his merit;" and invited him to sit down. Quin then told him he was come to sup with him, and that he had already ordered the cook to provide supper, which he hoped he would excuse. When supper was over, and the glass had gone briskly about, Mr. Quin told him, "It was now time to enter upon business." Thomson declared he was ready to serve him as far as his capacity would reach, in anything he should command, (thinking he was come about some affair relating to the drama). "Sir," says Quin, "you mistake me. I am in your debt. I owe you a hundred pounds, and I am come to pay you." Thomson, with a disconsolate air, replied, that, as he was a gentleman whom he had never offended, he wondered he should seek an opportunity to jest with his misfortunes. "No," said Quin, raising his voice, "I say I owe you a hundred pounds, and there it is," (laying a bank note of that value before him). Thomson, astonished, begged he would explain himself. "Why," says Quin, "I'll tell you; soon after I had read your Seasons, I took it into my head, that as I had something to leave behind me when I died, I would make my will; and among the rest of my legatees I set down the author of the Seasons for a hundred pounds; and, this day hearing that you were in this house, I thought I might as well have the pleasure of paying the money myself, as order my executors to pay it, when, perhaps, you might have less need of it; and this, Mr. Thomson, is my business." Of course Thomson left the house in company with his benefactor.
Denon and De Foe.—M. de Talleyrand, having one day invited M. Denon, the celebrated traveller, to dine with him, told his wife to read the work of his guest, which she would find in the library, in order that she might be the better able to converse with him. Madame Talleyrand, unluckily, got hold, by mistake, of the "Adventures of Robinson Crusoe," by De Foe, which she ran over in great haste; and, at dinner, she began to question Denon about his shipwreck, his island, &c., and, finally, about his man Friday!
Possibility.—Bonaparte was passing along the dreadful road across the Echelles de Savoie, with his engineer, when he stopped, and pointing to the mountain, said, "Is it not possible to cut a tunnel through yonder rock, and to form a more safe and commodious route beneath it?" "It is possible, certainly, sire," replied his scientific companion, "but"—"No buts;—let it be done, and immediately," replied the Emperor.
Sir and Sire.—A petition from the English detenus at Valenciennes was left for signature at the house of the colonel of gendarmerie, addressed in a fulsome manner to Bonaparte, under his title of Emperor of the French, and beginning with "Sire." Some unlucky wag took an opportunity of altering this word into "Dear Sir," and nearly caused the whole party to be imprisoned.
Polignac.—Monsieur le Compte de Polignac had been raised to honour by Bonaparte; but, from some unaccountable motive, betrayed the trust his patron reposed in him. As soon as Bonaparte discovered the perfidy, he ordered Polignac to be put under arrest. Next day he was to have been tried, and in all probability would have been condemned, as his guilt was undoubted. In the meantime, Madame Polignac solicited and obtained an audience of the Emperor. "I am sorry, madam, for your sake," said he, "that your husband has been implicated in an affair which is marked throughout with such deep ingratitude." "He may not have been so guilty as your majesty supposes," said the countess. "Do you know your husband's signature?" asked the Emperor, as he took a letter from his pocket and presented it to her. Madame de Polignac hastily glanced over the letter, recognised the writing, and fainted. As soon as she recovered, Bonaparte, offering her the letter, said, "Take it; it is the only legal evidence against your husband: there is a fire beside you." Madame de P. eagerly seized the important document, and in an instant committed it to the flames. The life of Polignac was saved: his honour it was beyond the power even of the generosity of an emperor to redeem.
The Price of Bread.—Some years ago, the bakers of Lyons thought they could prevail on M. Dugas, the provost of the merchants in that city, to befriend them at the expense of the public. They waited upon him in a body, and begged leave to raise the price of bread, which could not be done without the sanction of the chief magistrate. M. Dugas told them that he would examine their petition, and give them an early answer. The bakers retired, having first left upon the table a purse of two hundred louis d'ors. In a few days the bakers called upon the magistrate for an answer, not in the least doubting but that the money had effectually pleaded their cause. "Gentlemen," said M. Dugas, "I have weighed your reasons in the balance of justice, and I find them light. I do not think that the people ought to suffer under a pretence of the dearness of corn, which I know to be unfounded; and as to the purse of money that you left with me, I am sure that I have made such a generous and noble use of it as you yourself intended. I have distributed it among the poor objects of charity in our two hospitals. As you are opulent enough to make such large donations, I cannot possibly think that you can incur any loss in your business; and I shall, therefore, continue the price of bread as it was."
Kosciusko.—The hero of Poland once wished to send some bottles of good wine to a clergyman at Solothurn; and as he hesitated to trust them by his servant, lest he should smuggle a part, he gave the commission to a young man of the name of Zeltner, and desired him to take the horse which he himself usually rode. On his return, young Zeltner said that he never would ride his horse again unless he gave him his purse at the same time. Kosciusko enquiring what he meant, he answered, "As soon as a poor man on the road takes off his hat and asks charity, the horse immediately stands still, and will not stir till something is given to the petitioner; and as I had no money about me, I was obliged to feign giving something, in order to satisfy the horse."
Mysterious Benefactor.—In the year 1720, celebrated for the bursting of the South Sea Bubble, a gentleman called late in the evening at the banking house of Messrs. Hankey and Co. He was in a coach, but refused to get out, and desired that one of the partners of the house would come to him, into whose hands, when he appeared, he put a parcel, very carefully sealed up, and desired that it might be taken care of till he should call again. A few days passed away—a few weeks—a few months—but the stranger never returned. At the end of the second or third year the partners agreed to open this mysterious parcel, when they found it to contain L30,000, with a letter, stating that it had been obtained by the South Sea speculation, and directing that it should be vested in the hands of three trustees, whose names were mentioned, and the interest appropriated to the relief of the poor.
Bannister.—Charles Bannister dining one day at the Turk's Head Tavern, was much annoyed by a gentleman in the adjoining box, who had just ordered fish for dinner, and was calling on the waiter for every species of fish sauce known to the most refined epicure. "Waiter," said he, "bring me anchovy sauce, and soy; and have you got Harvey's? and be sure you bring me Burgess's;—and waiter—do you hear?—don't omit the sauce epicurienne." How many more he would have enumerated it is difficult to say, had not Bannister stepped up to him, and bowing very politely, said, "Sir, I beg your pardon for thus interrupting you, but I see you are advertised for in the newspaper of this morning." "Me, sir, advertised for!" exclaimed the gentleman, half petrified with surprise; "pray, sir, what do you mean?" Bannister, taking the paper, pointed to an advertisement addressed to "The Curious in Fish Sauces." The gentleman felt the rebuke, sat down, and ate his dinner without further ceremony.
A Christmas Pudding Extraordinary.—When the late Lord Paget was ambassador at Constantinople, he, with the rest of the gentlemen who were in a public capacity at the same court, determined one day when there was to be a grand banquet, to have each of them a dish dressed after the manner of their respective countries; and Lord Paget, for the honour of England, ordered a piece of roast beef and a plum pudding. The beef was easily cooked, but the court cooks not knowing how to make a plum pudding, he gave them a receipt:—"So many eggs, so much milk, so much flour, and a given quantity of raisins; to be beaten up together, and boiled so many hours in so many gallons of water." When dinner was served up, first came the French ambassador's dish—then that of the Spanish ambassador—and next, two fellows bearing an immense pan, and bawling, "Room for the English ambassador's dish!" "Confound my stupidity!" cried his lordship; "I forgot to tell them of the bag, and these stupid scoundrels have boiled it without one; and in five gallons of water too. It will be good plum broth, however!"
Dr. Kirwan, the celebrated Irish chemist, having one day at dinner with him a party of friends, was descanting upon the antiseptic qualities of charcoal, and added, that if a quantity of pulverised charcoal were boiled together with tainted meat, it would remove all symptoms of putrescence, and render it perfectly sweet. Shortly afterwards, the doctor helped a gentleman to a slice of boiled leg of mutton, which was so far gone as to shed an odour not very agreeable to the noses of the company. The gentleman repeatedly turned it upon his plate, without venturing to taste it; and the doctor observing him, said, "Sir, perhaps you don't like mutton?" "Oh, yes, doctor," he replied, "I am very fond of mutton, but I do not think the cook has boiled charcoal enough with it."
When the Archbishop of York sent Ben Jonson an excellent dish of fish from his dinner table, but without drink, he said,—
"In a dish came fish From the arch-bis- Hop was not there, Because there was no beer."
Poor-Man-of-Mutton is a term applied to a shoulder of mutton in Scotland after it has been served as a roast at dinner, and appears as a broiled bone at supper, or at the dinner next day. The late Earl of B., popularly known as "Old Rag," being indisposed at a hotel in London, one morning the landlord came to enumerate the good things in his larder, in order to prevail on his guest to eat something, when his lordship replied, "Landlord, I think I could eat a morsel of a poor man;" which, with the extreme ugliness of his lordship's countenance, so terrified the landlord, that he fled from the room and tumbled down stairs, supposing the earl, when at home, was in the habit of eating a joint of a vassal, or tenant when his appetite was dainty.
Swift.—A gentleman, at whose house Swift was dining in Ireland, after dinner introduced remarkably small hock glasses, and at length, turning to Swift, addressed him,—"Mr. Dean, I shall be happy to take a glass of hic, haec, hoc, with you." "Sir," rejoined the doctor, "I shall be happy to comply, but it must be out of a hujus glass."
Swift, having a shoulder of mutton too much done brought up for his dinner, sent for the cook, and told her to take the mutton down, and do it less. "Please your honour, I cannot do it less." "But," said the dean, "if it had not been done enough, you could have done it more, could you not?" "Oh, yes, sir, very easily." "Why, then," said the dean, "for the future, when you commit a fault, let it be such a one as can be mended."
Making Things Better.—A rich man sent to call a physician for a slight disorder. The physician felt his pulse, and said, "Do you eat well?" "Yes," said the patient. "Do you sleep well?" "I do." "Oh, then," said the physician, "I must give you something to take away all that."
Madame de Villecerf, who was brought to death in the flower of her age by the unskilfulness of her surgeon, comforted him thus: "I do not look upon you," she said, in dying, "as a person whose error has cost me my life, but as a benefactor, who hastens my entry into a happy immortality. As the world may judge otherwise, I have put you in a situation, by my will, to quit your profession."
Willie Law, a half-witted man, was the descendant of an ancient family, nearly related to the famous John Law, of Lauriston, the celebrated financier of France. Willie on that account was often spoken to and taken notice of by gentlemen of distinction. Posting one day through Kirkaldy, with more than ordinary speed, he was met by Mr. Oswald, of Dunnikier, who asked him where he was going in such a hurry. "Going!" says Willie, with apparent surprise, "I'm gaen to my cousin Lord Elgin's burial." "Your cousin Lord Elgin's burial, you fool! Lord Elgin's not dead," replied Mr. Oswald. "Oh, never mind," quoth Willie; "there's six doctors out o' Edinbro' at him, and they'll hae him dead afore I get there."
Physicians in China.—Caleb Colton, nephew of the late Sir George Staunton, gives in a recent publication the following anecdote:—"My late uncle, Sir G. Staunton, related to me a curious anecdote of old Kien Long, Emperor of China. He was inquiring of Sir George the manner in which physicians were paid in England. When, after some difficulty, his majesty was made to comprehend the system, he exclaimed, 'Is any man well in England that can afford to be ill? Now, I will inform you,' said he, 'how I manage my physicians. I have four, to whom the care of my health is committed: a certain weekly salary is allowed them; but the moment I am ill the salary stops till I am well again. I need not tell you that my illnesses are usually short.'"
Zimmerman, who was very eminent as a physician, went from Hanover to attend Frederick the Great in his last illness. One day the king said to him, "You have, I presume, sir, helped many a man into another world?" This was rather a bitter pill for the doctor; but the dose he gave the king in return was a judicious mixture of truth and flattery: "Not so many as your majesty, nor with so much honour to myself."
Montaigne, who is great upon doctors, used to beseech his friends that if he felt ill they would let him get a little stronger before sending for the doctor.
Moliere, when once travelling through Auvergne, was taken very ill at a distance from any place where he could procure respectable medical aid. It was proposed to him to send for a celebrated physician at Clermont. "No, no," said he, "he is too great a man for me: go and bring me the village surgeon; he will not, perhaps, have the hardihood to kill me so soon."
Louis XIV., who was a slave to his physicians, asked Moliere one day what he did with his doctor. "Oh, sire," said he, "when I am ill I send for him. He comes; we have a chat, and enjoy ourselves. He prescribes;—I don't take it, and I am cured."
General Guise going over one campaign to Flanders, observed a raw young officer, who was in the same vessel with him, and with his usual humanity told him that he would take care of him, and conduct him to Antwerp, where they were both going, which he accordingly did, and then took leave of him. The young fellow was soon told by some arch rogues, whom he happened to fall in with, that he must signalise himself by fighting some man of known courage, or else he would soon be despised in the regiment. The young man said he knew no one but Colonel Guise, and he had received great obligations from him. "It is all one for that," said they, "in these cases. The Colonel is the fittest man in the world, as everybody knows his bravery." Soon afterwards the young officer accosted Colonel Guise, as he was walking up and down the coffee room, and began, in a hesitating manner, to tell him how much obliged he had been to him, and how sensible he was of his obligations. "Sir," replied Colonel Guise, "I have done my duty by you, and no more." "But Colonel," added the young officer, faltering, "I am told that I must fight some gentleman of known courage, and who has killed several persons, and that nobody"—"Oh, sir," interrupted the Colonel, "your friends do me too much honour; but there is a gentleman (pointing to a fierce-looking black fellow that was sitting at one of the tables) who has killed half the regiment, and who will suit you much better." The officer went up to him, and told him he had heard of his bravery, and that for that reason he must fight him. "Who?—I, sir?" said the gentleman; "why, I am the apothecary."
Dr. Moore, author of "Zeluco," used to say that at least two-thirds of a physician's fees were for imaginary complaints. Among several instances of this nature, he mentions one of a clothier, who, after drinking the Bath waters, took it into his head to try Bristol hot wells. Previous, however, to his setting off, he requested his physician to favour him with a letter, stating his case to any brother doctor. This done, the patient got into a chaise and started. After proceeding half way, he felt curious to see the contents of the letter, and on opening it, read as follows:—"Dear Sir,—The bearer is a fat Wiltshire clothier: make the most of him." It is almost unnecessary to add that his cure was from that moment effected, as he ordered the chaise to turn, and immediately proceeded home.
Sir Charles Wager had a sovereign contempt for physicians, though he believed a surgeon, in some cases, might be of service. It happened that Sir Charles was seized with a fever while he was out upon a cruise, and the surgeon, without much difficulty, prevailed upon him to lose a little blood, and suffer a blister to be laid on his back. By-and-bye it was thought necessary to lay on another blister, and repeat the bleeding, to which Sir Charles also consented. The symptoms then abated, and the surgeon told him that he must now swallow a few bolusses, and take a draught. "No, no, doctor," says Sir Charles, "you shall batter my hulk as long as you will, but depend on it, you shan't board me."
Nash and the Doctor.—When the celebrated Beau Nash was ill, Dr. Cheyne wrote a prescription for him. The next day, the doctor coming to see his patient, inquired if he had followed his prescription? "No, truly, doctor," said Nash; "if I had, I should have broken my neck, for I threw it out of a two-pair-of-stairs window."
Gin versus Medicine.—The celebrated Dr. Ward was not more remarkable for humanity and skill than for wit and humour. An old woman, to whom he had administered some medicines proper for a disorder under which she laboured, applied to him, with a complaint that she had not experienced any kind of effect from taking them. "No effect at all?" said the doctor. "None in the least," replied the woman. "Why, then you should have taken a bumping glass of gin." "So I did, sir." "Well, but when you found that did not succeed, you should have taken another." "So I did, sir; and another after that." "Oh, you did?" said the doctor; "aye, aye, it is just as I imagined: you complain that you found no effect from my prescription, and you confess yourself that you swallowed gin enough to counteract any medicine in the whole system of physic."
Abernethy.—A Chancery barrister having been for a long while annoyed by an irritable ulcer on one of his legs, called upon Mr. Abernethy for the purpose of obtaining that gentleman's advice. The counsellor judging of an ulcer as of a brief, that it must be seen before its nature could be understood, was busily employed in removing his stocking and bandages, when Mr. Abernethy abruptly advanced towards him, and exclaimed in a stentorian voice, "Halloo! what are you about there? Put out your tongue, man! Aye, there 'tis—I see it—I'm satisfied. Quite enough;—shut up your leg, man—shut it up—shut it up! Go home and read my book, p.—, and take one of the pills there mentioned every night on going to bed." The lawyer handed over the fee, and was about to leave the room, when Mr. A. thus accosted him: "Why, look here;—this is but a shilling!" The barrister sarcastically replied, "Aye, there 'tis—I see it—I'm satisfied. Quite enough, man;—shut it up—shut it up!" and hastily decamped from the room.
A lady, who had received a severe bite in her arm from a dog, went to Mr. Abernethy, but knowing his aversion to hearing any statement of particulars, she merely uncovered the injured part, and held it before him in silence. After looking at it an instant, he said in an inquiring tone, "Scratch?" "Bite," replied the lady. "Cat?" asked the doctor. "Dog," rejoined the patient. So delighted was Mr. A. with the brevity and promptness of her answers, that he exclaimed, "Zounds, madam! you are the most sensible woman I ever met with in my life."
Astley Cooper.—Probably no surgeon of ancient or modern times enjoyed a greater share of reputation during his life than fell to the lot of Sir Astley, and that in all parts of the world. We cannot give a better example of this than the fact of his signature being received as a passport among the mountains of Biscay by the wild followers of Don Carlos. A young English surgeon, seeking for employment, was carried as a prisoner before Zumalacarrequi, who demanded what testimonials he had of his calling or his qualifications. Our countryman presented his diploma of the College of Surgeons, and the name of Astley Paston Cooper, which was attached to it, no sooner struck the eye of the Carlist leader, than he at once received his prisoner with friendship, and appointed him a surgeon in his army.
THE DRAMA—ACTORS, ETC.
Shaving a Queen.—For some time after the restoration of Charles the Second, young smooth-faced men performed the women's parts on the stage. That monarch, coming before his usual time to hear Shakspeare's Hamlet, sent the Earl of Rochester to know the reason of the delay; who brought word back, that the queen was not quite shaved. "Ods fish" (his usual expression), "I beg her majesty's pardon! we will wait till her barber is done with her."
Liston, in his early career, was a favourite at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and having applied to the manager for a remuneration equal to the increased value of his services, he refused the request, adding, "If you are dissatisfied you are welcome to leave me; such actors as you, sir, are to be found in every bush." On the evening of the day when this colloquy occurred, the manager was driving to another town, where he intended "to carry on the war," when he perceived Liston standing in the middle of a hedge by the road-side. "Good heavens! Liston," cried the manager, "what are you doing there?" "Only looking for some of the actors you told me of this morning," was the reply.
Good-natured Author.—The late M. Segur, among other literary productions, supplied the French theatres with a number of pleasing trifles. If he was not always successful, he was at least always gay in his reverses. When his works were ill received by the public, he consoled himself for a failure by a bon-mot; he made even a point of consoling his companions in misfortune. A piece of his was once brought forward called the Yellow Cabriolet, which happened to be condemned on the first representation. Some days afterwards a piece, by another author, was presented, which was equally unfortunate. The author, petrified at his failure, stood for a moment immoveable. "Come, come, my dear sir," said M. Segur, "don't be cast down, I will give you a seat in my Yellow Cabriolet."
A Heavy Play.—When Sir Charles Sedley's comedy of "Bellamira" was performed, the roof of the theatre fell down, by which, however, few people were hurt except the author. This occasioned Sir Fleetwood Shepherd to say, "There was so much fire in his play, that it blew up the poet, house and all." "No," replied the good-natured author, "the play was so heavy, that it broke down the house, and buried the poor poet in his own rubbish."
Monsieur de la Motte, soon after the representation of his "Ines de Castro," which was very successful, although much censured by the press, was sitting one day in a coffee-house, when he heard several of the critics abusing his play. Finding that he was unknown to them, he joined heartily in abusing it himself. At length, after a great many sarcastic remarks, one of them, yawning, said, "Well, what shall we do with ourselves this evening?" "Why, suppose," said de la Motte, "we go to the seventy-second representation of this bad play."
The Sailor and the Actress.—"When I was a poor girl," said the Duchess of St. Albans, "working very hard for my thirty shillings a week, I went down to Liverpool during the holidays, where I was always kindly received. I was to perform in a new piece, something like those pretty little dramas they get up now at our minor theatres; and in my character I represented a poor, friendless orphan girl, reduced to the most wretched poverty. A heartless tradesman prosecutes the sad heroine for a heavy debt, and insists on putting her in prison unless some one will be bail for her. The girl replies, 'Then I have no hope, I have not a friend in the world.' 'What? will no one be bail for you, to save you from prison?' asks the stern creditor. 'I have told you I have not a friend on earth,' is the reply. But just as I was uttering the words, I saw a sailor in the upper gallery springing over the railing, letting himself down from one tier to another, until he bounded clear over the orchestra and footlights, and placed himself beside me in a moment.' Yes, you shall have one friend at least, my poor young woman,' said he, with the greatest expression in his honest, sunburnt countenance; 'I will go bail for you to any amount. And as for you (turning to the frightened actor), if you don't bear a hand, and shift your moorings, you lubber, it will be worse for you when I come athwart your bows.' Every creature in the house rose; the uproar was perfectly indescribable; peals of laughter, screams of terror, cheers from his tawny messmates in the gallery, preparatory scrapings of violins from the orchestra, were mingled together; and amidst the universal din there stood the unconscious cause of it, sheltering me, 'the poor, distressed young woman,' and breathing defiance and destruction against my mimic persecutor. He was only persuaded to relinquish his care of me by the manager pretending to arrive and rescue me, with a profusion of theatrical banknotes."
Kean.—In the second year of Kean's London triumph, an elderly lady, whose sympathy had been excited by his forlorn condition in boyhood, but who had lost sight of him in his wanderings till his sudden starting into fame astonished the world, was induced, on renewing their acquaintance, to pay a visit of some days to him and Mrs. Kean, at their residence in Clarges-street. She made no secret of her intention to evince the interest she felt in his welfare by a considerable bequest in her will; but, on accompanying Mrs. K. to the theatre to see Kean perform Luke, she was so appalled by the cold-blooded villany of the character, that, attributing the skill of the actor to the actual possession of the fiendlike attributes, her regard was turned into suspicion and distrust. She left London the next day, and dying soon afterwards, it appeared that she had altered her testamentary disposition of her property, which had once been made in Kean's favour, and bequeathed the sum originally destined for him to a distant relative, of whom she knew nothing but by name.
Mimic Reclaimed.—In the beginning of the last century, a comedian of the name of Griffin, celebrated for his talents as a mimic, was employed by a comic author to imitate the personal peculiarities of the celebrated Dr. Woodward, whom he intended to be introduced in a comedy as Dr. Fossil. The mimic, dressed as a countryman, waited on the doctor with a long catalogue of complaints with which he said his wife was afflicted. The physician heard with amazement diseases and pains of the most opposite nature, repeated and redoubled on the wretched patient. The actor having thus detained the doctor until he thought himself completely master of his errand, presented him with a guinea as his fee. "Put up thy money, poor fellow," cried the doctor, "thou hast need of all thy cash, and all thy patience, too, with such a bundle of diseases tied to thy back." The mimic returned to his employer, who was in raptures at his success, until he told him that he would sooner die than prostitute his talents to render such genuine humanity food for diversion.
Senesino and Farinelli, when in England together, being engaged at different theatres on the same night, had not an opportunity of hearing each other, till, by one of those sudden revolutions which frequently happen, yet are always unexpected, they were both employed to sing on the same stage. Senesino had the part of a furious tyrant to represent and Farinelli that of an unfortunate hero in chains; but in the course of the very first song, the latter so softened the heart of the enraged tyrant, that Senesino, forgetting his assumed character, ran to Farinelli and embraced him.
Weeping at a Play.—It is a prevailing folly to be ashamed to shed a tear at any part of a tragedy, however affecting. "The reason," says the Spectator, "is, that persons think it makes them look ridiculous, by betraying the weakness of their nature. But why may not nature show itself in tragedy, as well as in comedy or farce? We see persons not ashamed to laugh loudly at the humour of a Falstaff,—or the tricks of a harlequin; and why should not the tear be equally allowed to flow for the misfortunes of a Juliet, or the forlornness of an Ophelia?" Sir Richard Steele records on this subject a saying of Mr. Wilks the actor, as just as it was polite. Being told in the green-room that there was a general in the boxes weeping for Juliana, he observed with a smile, "And I warrant you, sir, he'll fight ne'er the worse for that."
Dramatic Effect.—It is related in the annals of the stage, as a remarkable instance of the force of imagination, that when Banks's play of the Earl of Essex was performed, a soldier, who stood sentinel on the stage, entered so deeply into the distress of the scene, that in the delusion of his imagination, upon the Countess of Nottingham's denying the receipt of the ring which Essex had sent by her to the queen to claim a promise of favour, he exclaimed, "'Tis false! she has it in her bosom;" and immediately seized the mock countess to make her deliver it up.
Charles Hulet, a comedian of some celebrity in the early part of the last century, was an apprentice to a bookseller. After reading plays in his master's shop, he used to repeat the speeches in the kitchen, in the evening, to the destruction of many a chair, which he substituted in the room of the real persons in the drama. One night, as he was repeating the part of Alexander, with his wooden representative of Clitus, (an elbow chair), and coming to the speech where the old general is to be killed, this young mock Alexander snatched a poker, instead of a javelin, and threw it with such strength, against poor Clitus, that the chair was killed upon the spot, and lay mangled on the floor. The death of Clitus made a monstrous noise, which disturbed the master in the parlour, who called out to know the reason; and was answered by the cook below, "Nothing, sir, but that Alexander has killed Clitus."
Goldsmith's Marlow.—Mr. Lewis Grummit, an eminent grazier of Lincolnshire, met late one night a commercial traveller who had mistaken his road, and inquired the way to the nearest inn or public house. Mr. G. replied, that as he was a stranger, he would show him the way to a quiet respectable house of public entertainment for man and horse; and took him to his own residence. The traveller, by the perfect ease and confidence of his manner, shewed the success of his host's stratagem; and every thing that he called for, was instantly provided for himself and his horse. In the morning he called, in an authoritative tone, for his bill, and the hospitable landlord had all the recompense he desired in the surprise and altered manners of his guest. It was from this incident that Dr. Goldsmith took the hint of Marlow mistaking the house of Mr. Hardcastle for an inn, in the comedy of "She Stoops to Conquer."
Mr. Quick, while performing the part of Romeo, was seized with an involuntary fit of laughter, which subjected him to the severe rebuke of his auditors. It happened in the scene of Romeo and the apothecary, who, going for the phial of poison, found it broken; not to detain the scene, he snatched, in a hurry, a pot of soft pomatum. Quick was no sooner presented with it, than he fell into a convulsive fit of laughter. But, being soon recalled to a sense of his duty by the reproofs of the audience, he came forward and made the following whimsical apology:—"Ladies and gentlemen, I could not resist the idea that struck me when the pot of pomatum, instead of the phial of poison, was presented. Had he at the same time given me a tea-spoon, it would not have been so improper; for the poison might have been made up as a lenitive electuary. But, if you please, ladies and gentlemen, we will begin the scene again without laughing."
Garrick and Rich.—Soon after the appearance of Garrick at the theatre of Drury Lane, to which he, by his astonishing powers, brought all the world, while Mr. Rich was playing his pantomimes at Covent Garden to empty benches, he and Mr. Garrick happened to meet one morning at the Bedford coffee-house. Having fallen into conversation, Garrick asked the Covent Garden manager, how much his house would hold, when crowded with company. "Why, master," said Rich, "I cannot well tell; but if you will come and play Richard for one night, I shall be able to give an account."
Morand, author of Le Capricieuse, was in a box of the theatre during the first representation of that comedy; the pit loudly expressing disapprobation at the extravagance and improbability of some traits in this character, the author became impatient; he put his head out of the box, and called, "Know, gentlemen, that this is the very picture of my mother-in-law. What do you say now?"
Foote, on his last journey to France for the recovery of his health, while waiting for the packet, entered the kitchen of the Ship tavern at Dover, and, addressing the cook, who prided herself in never having been ten miles out of town, exclaimed, "Why, cookee, I understand you have been a great traveller." She denying the charge, Foote replied, "Why, they tell me up stairs that you have been all over Grease, and I am sure I have seen you myself at Spithead."
A person talking to Foote of an acquaintance of his, who was so avaricious as even to lament the prospect of his funeral expences, though a short time before he had been censuring one of his own relations for his parsimonious temper—"Now is it not strange," continued he, "that this man would not remove the beam from his own eye, before he attempted to take the mote out of other peoples?" "Why, so I dare say he would," cried Foote, "if he were sure of selling the timber."
General Mackenzie, when commander-in-chief of the Chatham division of marines, during the late war, was very rigid as to duty; and, among other regulations, would suffer no officer to be saluted on guard if out of his uniform. It one day happened that the general observed a lieutenant of marines in a plain dress, and, though he knew the young officer quite intimately, he called to the sentinel to turn him out. The officer appealed to the general, saying who he was; "I know you not," said the general; "turn him out." A short time after, the general had been at a small distance from Chatham, to pay a visit, and returning in the evening in a blue coat, claimed entrance at the yard gate. The sentinel demanded the countersign, which the general not knowing, desired the officer of the guard to be sent for, who proved to be the lieutenant whom the general had treated so cavalierly.—"Who are you?" inquired the officer.—"I am General Mackenzie," was the reply.—"What, without an uniform?" rejoined the lieutenant; "oh, get back, get back, impostor; the general would break your bones if he knew you assumed his name." The general on this made his retreat; and the next day, inviting the young officer to breakfast, told him—"He had done his duty with very commendable exactness."
Morvilliers, keeper of the seals to Charles the Ninth of France, was one day ordered by his sovereign to put the seals to the pardon of a nobleman who had committed murder. He refused. The king then took the seals out of his hands, and having put them himself to the instrument of remission, returned them immediately to Morvilliers, who refused to take them again, saying, "The seals have twice put me in a situation of great honour: once when I received them, and again when I resigned them."
Louis the Fourteenth had granted a pardon to a nobleman who had committed some very great crime. M. Voisin, the chancellor, ran to him in his closet, and exclaimed, "Sire, you cannot pardon a person in the situation of Mr. ——." "I have promised him," replied the king, who was always impatient of contradiction; "go and fetch the great seal." "But sire—." "Pray, sir, do as I order you." The chancellor returned with the seals; Louis applied them himself to the instrument containing the pardon, and gives them again to the chancellor. "They are polluted, now, sire," exclaimed the intrepid and excellent magistrate, pushing them from him on the table, "I cannot take them again." "What an impracticable man!" cried the monarch, and threw the pardon into the fire. "I will now, sire, take them again," said the chancellor; "fire purifies all things."
Old Ambrose.—Among the few individuals who accompanied James II. to France, when he was dethroned, was Madame de Varonne, a lady of good family, but of ruined fortune. She was compelled to part with all her servants successively, until she came to her footman, Ambrose, who had lived with her twenty years; and who, although of an austere deportment, was a faithful and valuable servant. At length her resources would not permit her to retain even Ambrose, and she told him he must seek another place. "Another place!" exclaimed the astonished servant; "No; I will never quit you, let what will happen; I will live and die in your service." In vain was Ambrose told by his mistress that she was totally ruined; that she had sold every thing she had, and that she had no other means of subsistence than by seeking some employment for herself. Ambrose protested he would not quit his mistress; he brought her his scanty savings of twenty years, and engaged himself to a brazier for tenpence a day and his board. The money he brought every evening to his mistress, whom he thus supported for four years; at the end of which time she received a pension from the French king, which enabled her to reward the remarkable fidelity of her old servant.
The Kennedies.—Mr. Pennant, in his Tour in Scotland, relates the following circumstance, which shows that a sense of honour may prevail in those who have little regard to moral obligation:—After the battle of Culloden, in the year 1745, a reward of thirty thousand pounds was offered to any one who should discover or deliver up the young Pretender. He had taken refuge with the Kennedies, two common thieves, who protected him with the greatest fidelity, robbed for his support, and often went in disguise to Inverness to purchase provisions for him. A considerable time afterwards one of these men, who had resisted the temptation of thirty thousand pounds from a regard to his honour, was hanged for stealing a cow of the value of thirty shillings.
A young woman, named La Blonde, was in the service of M. Migeon, a furrier, in the Rue St. Honore, in Paris; this tradesman, though embarrassed in his affairs, was not deserted by his faithful domestic, who remained at his house without receiving any salary. Migeon, some years afterwards died, leaving a wife and two young children without the means of support. The cares of La Blonde were now transferred to the assistance of the distressed family of her deceased master, for whose support she expended fifteen hundred francs, the fruit of her labour, as well as the produce of rent from her small patrimony. From time to time this worthy servant was offered other situations, but to all such offers she replied by the inquiry, "Who will take care of this family if I desert them?" At length the widow Migeon, overcome with grief, became seriously ill. La Blonde passed her days in comforting her dying mistress, and at night went to take care of the sick, in order to have the means of relieving her wants. The widow Migeon died on the 28th of April, 1787. Some persons then proposed to La Blonde to send the two little orphans to the poor house; but the generous girl, indignant at this proposition, replied, "that at Ruel, her native country, her two hundred livres of rent would suffice for their subsistence and her own."
A Faithful Depositary.—Under the ministry of Neckar in France, the receiver of taxes at Roye, in Picardy, had the misfortune to have his premises burnt,—cattle, furniture, and every thing became the prey of the flames, except two thousand livres of the king's money, the produce of the taxes which he had collected. These the courageous man rescued from the flames, and the next day lodged them in the hands of the provincial director. When Neckar was apprised of the fact, he laid it before the king, and afterwards wrote to the receiver with his own hand as follows: "His Majesty having been informed of the circumstance of your loss, and being pleased with the conduct you have displayed, returns you the 2000 livres, which he desires you will keep as a testimony of his esteem."
A Reproof.—Two youngsters once asked Fontenelle whether it was more correct to say, donnez-nous a boire, (give us to drink), or apportez-nous a boire, (bring us drink). The academician replied, "That both were unappropriate in their mouths; and that the proper term for such fellows as they was menez-nous a boire, lead us to drink."
Fontenelle was once staying with his nephew, M. Aube, and had the misfortune to let a spark fall upon his clothes, which set fire to the bed, and eventually to the room. M. Aube was extremely angry with his uncle, and shewed him what precautions he ought to have taken to prevent such an accident. "My dear nephew," replied Fontenelle, calmly, "when I set fire to your house again, depend upon it I will act differently."
Fontenelle, being praised for the clearness of his style on the deepest subjects, said, "If I have any merit, it is that I have always endeavoured to understand myself."
The conversation turning one day, in the presence of Fontenelle, on the marks of originality in the works of Father Castel, well known to the scientific world for his "Vrai Systeme de Physique generale de Newton;" some person observed, "but he is mad." "I know it," returned Fontenelle, "and I am very sorry for it, for it is a great pity. But I like him better for being original and a little mad, than I should if he were in his senses without being original."
Triboulet, the fool of Francis the First, was threatened with death by a man in power, of whom he had been speaking disrespectfully; and he applied to the king for protection. "Be satisfied," said the king: "if any man should put you to death, I will order him to be hanged a quarter of an hour after." "Ah, sir!" replied Triboulet, "I should be much obliged if your majesty would order him to be hanged a quarter of an hour before!"
Dr. Gregory, professor of the practice of physic at Edinburgh, was one of the first to enrol himself in the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers, when that corps was raised. So anxious was he to make himself master of military tactics, that he not only paid the most punctual attendance on all the regimental field-days, but studied at home for several hours a day, under the serjeant-major of the regiment. On one of these occasions the serjeant, out of all temper at the awkwardness of his learned pupil, exclaimed in a rage, "Why, sir, I would rather teach ten fools than one philosopher."
James I. gave all manner of liberty and encouragement to the exercise of buffoonery, and took great delight in it himself. Happening once to bear somewhat hard on one of his Scotch courtiers, "By my saul," returns the peer, "he that made your majesty a king, spoiled the best fool in Christendom."
French Curate.—During the French revolution, the inhabitants of a village in Dauphine had determined on sacrificing their lord to their revenge, and were only dissuaded from it by the eloquence of the cure, who thus addressed them:—"My friends," said he, "the day of vengeance is arrived; the individual who has so long tyrannized over you must now suffer his merited punishment. As the care of this flock has been entrusted to me, it behoves me to watch over their best interests, nor will I forsake their righteous cause. Suffer me only to be your leader, and swear to me that in all circumstances you will follow my example." All the villagers swore they would. "And," continues he, "you will further solemnly promise to enter into any engagement which I may now make, and to remain faithful to this your oath." All the villagers exclaimed, "We do." "Well then," said he, solemnly taking the oath, "I swear to forgive our lord." Unexpected as this was, the villagers kept their word and forgave him.
The Duke of Orleans, on being appointed Regent of France, insisted on possessing the power of pardoning. "I have no objection," said he, "to have my hands tied from doing harm, but I will have them left free to do good."
Abon Hannifah, chief of a Turkish sect, once received a blow in the face from a ruffian, and rebuked him in these terms, not unworthy of Christian imitation: "If I were vindictive, I should return you outrage for outrage; if I were an informer, I should accuse you before the caliph: but I prefer putting up a prayer to God, that in the day of judgment he will cause me to enter paradise with you."
Alphonsus, King of Naples and Sicily, so celebrated in history for his clemency, was once asked why he was so forgiving to all men, even to those most notoriously wicked? "Because," answered he, "good men are won by justice; the bad by clemency." When some of his ministers complained to him on another occasion of his lenity, which they were pleased to say was more than became a prince: "What, then," exclaimed he, "would you have lions and tigers to reign over you? It is for wild beasts to scourge; but for man to forgive."
Van Dyke.—"When any one commits an offence against me," this painter used to say, "I try to raise my soul so high that the offence shall not be able to reach up to it."
Marie Antoinette.—On the elevation of this princess to the throne after the death of Louis XV., an officer of the body-guard, who had given her offence on some former occasion, expressed his intention of resigning his commission; but the queen forbade him. "Remain," said she, "forget the past as I forgive it. Far be it from the Queen of France to revenge the injuries of the Dauphiness."
Friends and Hares.—The Duke of Longueville's reply, when it was observed to him that the gentlemen bordering on his estates were continually hunting upon them, and that he ought not to suffer it, is worthy of imitation: "I had much rather," answered the duke, "have friends than hares."
Henri IV. once reproached M. d'Aubigne for continuing his friendship for M. de la Tremouille, who had recently been banished from court. D'Aubigne replied—"As M. de la Tremouille is so unfortunate as to have lost the confidence of his master, he may well be allowed to retain that of his friend."
Curran says, "when a boy, I was one morning playing at marbles in the village ball alley, with a light heart and lighter pocket. The gibe and the jest went gaily round, when suddenly there appeared amongst us a stranger, of a very remarkable and very cheerful aspect; his intrusion was not the least restraint upon our merry little assemblage, on the contrary, he seemed pleased, and even delighted; he was a benevolent creature, and the days of infancy (after all the happiest we shall ever see), perhaps rose upon his memory. God bless him! I see his fine form, at the distance of half a century, just as he stood before me in the little ball-alley in the days of my childhood. His name was Dr. Boyse. He took a particular fancy to me. I was winning, and was full of waggery, thinking every thing that was eccentric, and by no means a miser of my eccentricities; every one was welcome to a share of them, and I had plenty to spare after having freighted the company. Some sweetmeats easily bribed me home with him. I learned from poor Boyse my alphabet and my grammar, and the rudiments of the classics. He taught me all he could, and then sent me to the school at Middleton. In short, he made a man of me. I recollect it was about five and thirty years afterwards, when I had risen to some eminence at the bar, and when I had a seat in parliament, on my return one day from court, I found an old gentleman seated alone in my drawing-room, his feet familiarly placed, on each side of the Italian marble chimney-piece, and his whole air bespeaking the consciousness of one quite at home. He turned round—it was my friend of the ball-alley. I rushed instinctively into his arms, and burst into tears. Words cannot describe the scene which followed:—"You are right, sir; you are right. The chimney-piece is your's—the pictures are your's—the house is your's. You gave me all I have—my friend—my father—my benefactor!" He dined with me; and in the evening I caught the tear glistening in his fine blue eye, when he saw poor little Jack, the creature of his bounty, rising in the House of Commons, to reply to a Right Honourable. Poor Boyse! he is now gone; and no suitor had a larger deposit of practical benevolence in the Court above. This is his wine—let us drink to his memory."
Bishop Fowler, of Gloucester, and Justice Powell, had frequent altercations on the subject of ghosts. The bishop was a zealous defender of the reality of them; the justice was somewhat sceptical. The bishop one day met his friend, and the justice told him that since their last conference on the subject, he had had ocular demonstration, which had convinced him of the existence of ghosts. "I rejoice at your conversion," replied the bishop; "give me the circumstance which produced it, with all the particulars:— ocular demonstration, you say?"—"Yes, my lord; as I lay last night in my bed, about the twelfth hour, I was awakened by an extraordinary noise, and heard something coming up stairs!"—"Go on, sir."—"Fearfully alarmed at the noise, I drew my curtain—." "Proceed."—"And saw a faint glimmering light enter my chamber."—"Of a blue colour, was it not?" interrogated the doctor.—"Of a pale blue! and this pale blue light was followed by a tall, meagre, stern figure, who appeared as an old man of seventy years of age, arrayed in a long light coloured rug gown, bound with a leathern girdle: his beard thick and grisly; his hair scant and straight; his face of a dark sable hue; upon his head a large fur cap; and in his hand a long staff. Terror seized my whole frame. I trembled till the bed shook, and cold drops hung upon every limb. The figure advanced with a slow and solemn step."—"Did you not speak to it? there was money hid, or murder committed, without doubt," said the bishop.—"My lord, I did speak to it; I adjured it by all that was holy to tell me whence, and for what purpose it thus appeared."—"And in heaven's name what was the reply?"—"Before he deigned to speak, he lifted up his staff three several times, my lord, and smote the floor, even so loudly that verily the strokes caused the room to reverberate the thundering sound. He then waved the pale blue light which he bore in what is called a lantern, he waved it even to my eyes; and he told me, my lord, he told me that he was—yes, my lord—that he was—not more nor less than—the watchman! who had come to give me notice that my street-door was open, and that unless I rose and shut it, I might be robbed before morning." The justice had no sooner concluded, than the bishop disappeared.
A Dieppe Pilot.—In August, 1777, a vessel from Rochelle, laden with salt, and manned by eight hands, with two passengers on board, was discovered making for the pier of Dieppe. The wind was at the time so high, and the sea so boisterous, that a coasting pilot made four fruitless attempts to get out, and conduct the vessel into port. Boussard, a bold and intrepid pilot, perceiving that the helmsman was ignorant of his dangerous position, endeavoured to direct him by a speaking trumpet and signals; but the captain could neither see nor hear, on account of the darkness of the night, the roaring of the winds, and the tremendous swell of the sea. The vessel in the meantime grounded on a flinty bottom, at a short distance from the advanced jetty. Boussard, touched with the cries of the unfortunate crew, resolved to spring to their assistance, in spite of every remonstrance, and the apparent impossibility of success. Having tied one end of a rope round his waist, and fastened the other to the jetty, he plunged headlong into the raging deep. When he had got very near the ship, a wave carried him off, and dashed him on shore. Several times was he thus repulsed, rolled upon flinty stones, and covered with the wreck of the vessel, which the fury of the waves was tearing rapidly to pieces. He did not however give up his attempt. A wave now threw him under the vessel, and he was given up for lost, but he quickly emerged, holding in his arms a sailor, who had been washed overboard. He brought him on shore motionless and just expiring. In short, after an infinity of efforts and struggles, he reached the wreck, and threw the rope on board. All who had strength enough to avail themselves of this assistance, were successively dragged to land. Boussard, who imagined he had now saved all the crew, worn down by fatigue, and smarting from his wounds and bruises, walked with great difficulty to the light-house, where he fainted through exhaustion. Assistance being procured, he quickly recovered. On hearing that cries still issued from the wreck, he once more collected the little strength he had left, rushed from the arms of his friends, plunged again into the sea, and had the good fortune to save the life of one of the passengers, who was lashed to the wreck, and who had been unable before to profit by the means of escape.
Mons. de Crosne, the Intendant of Rouen, having stated these circumstances to M. Neckar, then director-general of the finances, he immediately addressed the following letter to Boussard, in his own hand-writing:— "Brave man, I was not apprized by the Intendant till the day before yesterday, of the gallant deed achieved by you on the 31st of August. Yesterday I reported it to his majesty, who was pleased to enjoin me to communicate to you his satisfaction, and to acquaint you, that he presents you with one thousand livres, by way of present, and an annual pension of three hundred livres. Continue to succour others when you have it in your power; and pray for your king, who loves and recompenses the brave."
Italian Peasant.—A great inundation having taken place in the north of Italy, owing to an excessive fall of snow in the Alps, followed by a speedy thaw, the river Adige carried off a bridge near Verona, all except the middle part, on which was the house of the toll-gatherer, who thus, with his whole family, remained imprisoned by the waves, and in momentary danger of destruction. They were discovered from the bank, stretching forth their hands, screaming, and imploring succour, while fragments of the only remaining arch were continually dropping into the water. In this extreme danger, a nobleman who was present, a Count of Pulverino, held out a purse of a hundred sequins, as a reward to any adventurer who would take a boat and deliver this unhappy family. But the danger of being borne down by the rapidity of the current, or of being dashed against a fragment of the bridge, was so great, that no one in the vast number of spectators had courage enough to attempt the exploit. A peasant passing along enquired what was going on, and was informed of the circumstances. Immediately jumping into a boat, he, by strength of oars, gained the middle of the river, brought his boat under the pile, and the whole family safely descended by means of a rope. By a still more strenuous effort, and great strength of arm, he brought the boat and family to shore. "Brave fellow!" exclaimed the count, handing the purse to him, "here is your recompense." "I shall never expose my life for money," answered the peasant; "my labour is a sufficient livelihood for myself, my wife, and children. Give the purse to this poor family, who have lost their all."
This incident has been admirably worked up in a German ballad by Buerger (see the "Song of the Brave Man," in "Popular Ballads.")
Countess de St. Belmont.—When M. de St. Belmont, who defended a feeble fortress against the arms of Louis XIV., was taken prisoner, his wife, the Comtesse de St. Belmont, who was of a most heroic disposition, still remained upon the estates to take care of them. An officer of cavalry having taken up his quarters there without invitation, Madame de St. Belmont sent him a very civil letter of complaint on his ill behaviour, which he treated with contempt. Piqued at this, she resolved he should give her satisfaction, and sent him a challenge, which she signed "Le Chevalier de St. Belmont." The officer accepted it, and repaired to the place appointed. Madame de St. Belmont met him, dressed in men's clothes. They immediately drew their swords, and the heroine had the advantage of him; when, after disarming him, she said, with a gracious smile, "You thought, sir, I doubt not, that you were fighting with the Chevalier de St. Belmont; it is, however, Madame de St. Belmont, who returns you your sword, and begs you in future to pay more regard to the requests of ladies." She then left him, covered with shame and confusion.
French Peasant Girl.—One evening early in 1858, Melanie Robert, daughter of a small farmer, near Corbeil, was proceeding to Essonnes, when a man armed with a stout stick suddenly presented himself, and summoned her to give up her money. Pretending to be greatly alarmed, she hastily searched her pocket, and collecting some small pieces of coin held them out to the man, who without distrust approached to take them. But the moment he took the money, Melanie made a sudden snatch at the stick, and wresting it from his hand, dealt him so violent a blow with it across the head that she felled him to the ground. She then gave him a sound thrashing, and, in spite of his resistance, forced him to accompany her to the office of the commissary of police, by whom he was committed for trial.