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A few years ago, there was a fellow with a long beard in London, who professed himself to be the wandering jew.-He declared he had been with Noah in the ark. Some person asked him which country he liked best of all that he had visited in his long peregrinations; he answered, Spain, as perhaps a man would have done who had really seen all the world. But it was remarked, as rather extraordinary, that a jew should prefer the country of the inquisition. God bless you, sir, replied the ready rogue, shaking his head, and smiling at the same time, as if at the error of the observation, “ it was long before christianity that I was last in Spain; and I shall not go there again till it is all over.”
Don Manuel Espriella. The disinterestedness of Mozart was extreme. He frequently composed sonatas and other pieces for his friends, which he gave them without retaining a copy; the music-merchants, who were always on the catch, collected those pieces, and published them for their own account. When he was told this :-“ They are shabby fellows," said he, “ what would you have me do?" He once composed an opera gratuitously, to retrieve the affairs of a country manager, upon the sole condition that no copy should be taken of it, that if it succeeded he might dispose of it to others, and reap its emoluments: the opera did succeed, and shortly appeared in several" theatres without Mozart's permission :“ They are shabby fellows," was again all his vengeance, and he thought no more of the matter.
An old harpsichord tuner came to put some
strings on his travelling forte-piano. Mozart asked him what he charged, saying he was going away. This poor man, who looked on him almost as a god, answered, quite disconcerted, humbled, and stammering :-" Imperial majesty! lord and master of the chapel of his iinperial majesty! I cannot. -It is true, I have attended several times. Well, you shall give me half-a-crown” “ Half-a-crown!" cries Mozart, “ for shame, such a clever fellow as you are should not undervalue his talents;" and he gave him a few ducats. The old man retired with numberless bows, and continually repeating, “ Ah! Imperial majesty!"
From the German of C. F. Cramer.
In an hour after the reduction of Monte Video, by storm, a naval officer of rank happened to be passing a grocer's shop, in which he observed a British soldier, of the 40th regiment.. Fearing that so immediately after an assault, the soldier night be about to commit some exaction from the grocer, curiosity induced him to wait, unperceived, until he should ascertain the man's intentions; when, to his great astonishment and satisfaction, he saw the grocer deliver a quantity of sugar to the soldier, who, taking out a dollar, desired him to pay bimself, and on receiving the change, put it into his pocket, with this remark only : Well, dear enough too."
Naval Chronicle, o. 17, p. 382. A king of Sardinia was once told that the nobility of Savoy were very poor. At a certain time
several noblemen, knowing that the king was to pass through Chainbery, came to pay their homage in magnificent dress. The king gave them to understand that he did not think them so poor as had been represented. “ Sire," answered they, “ we were informed of your majesty's arrival; we have done what we ought, but we owe what we have done.” Nous avons fait tout ce que nous devions, mais nous devon tout ce que nous avons fait.
When I was at the Hague, I was witness to a circumstance I could not otherwise have believed, respecting the price of flowers in Holland; I saw four hundred and seventy-five guineas offered and refused for a hyacinth. It was, to be sure, the most charming flower that ever was seen: it belonged to a florist of Haarlem, and another florist offered this price for it. The reason which the owner of it gave me for refusing the offer was, that his hyacinth was known to all the amateurs of Europe, and that he sold the bulbs every year for more than the interest of five hundred guineas. These bulbs produced the same sort of tower, in all its beauty.
Duten's Memoirs, v. 1, p. 49. A gentleman who was not personally known to Voltaire, was received by him at Ferney with that easy politeness which always distinguished his reception of travellers. The next morning the stranger, highly delighted with his entertainment, and also with the beautiful situation of Ferney castle, boldly declared that it was his intention to reside
for six weeks in that enchanting retreat. Voltaire said to him with a smile: « Upon my honour, sir, you are the exact reverse of Don Quixote; that Spanish knight took the inns to be castles, and you certainly take this castle for an inn." The traveller felt the reproof and departed.
Voltairiana, 0.1, p. 200.
BEAUTY, BEAUTIFUL. Ask a toad what is beauty, the supremely beautiful, the TO-KALON, he will answer you, that it is his female, with two large round eyes projecting out of its little head; a broad and flat neck, yellow belly, and dark brown back. Ask a Guinea negro; and with him beauty is a greasy, black skin, hollow eyes, and a flat
Put the question to the devil, and he will tell you, that beauty is a pair of horns, four claws, and a tail. Consult the philosophers likewise, they will give you some unintelligible jargon for answer, they must have something correspondent to beauty in the abstract, to the TO-KALON.
I once sat next to a philosopher at a tragedy; .that's beautiful, said he ! How beautiful ? said I ! Because the author has attained his end. The next day he took a dose of physic, which had a very good effect : that's a beautiful physic, said I, it has attained its end: he perceived that a medicine is not to be called beautiful, and that the word beauty is applicable only to those things which give a pleasure accompanied with admiration; that tragedy, he said, had excited these two sensations in him, and that was the TO-KALON, the beautiful.
We went to England together, and happened to be at the same play, perfectly well translated; but the spectators, one and all, yawned : Oh-ho! said he, the TO-KALON, I find, is not the same in England as in France; and, after several pertinent reflections, he concluded that beauty is very relative; that what is decent at Japan is indecent at Rome, and what is fashionable at Paris is otherwise at Pekin; and thus he saved himself the trouble of composing a long treatise on the beautiful.
Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary, 0. 1.
True love's the gift which God has given
It is not Phantasy's hot fire,
Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly;
With dead desire it doth not die;
Scott's Lay of the last Minstrel. : To stop a practice which had grown very common, the emperor Paul issued the
umane command that no carriage should drive full speed through the streets, under the penalty that, without any regard to persons, horses and carriages should be forfeited, an extra fine paid by the master according to the circumstances of the case, the coachman forced to serve as a common soldier without the plea of having merely obeyed orders