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" for what purpose those men were armed?" On being informed that they were the king's, and the opposite troops belonged to the parliament, “What, says Oliver," have they differed then?” The simplicity of the question excited laughter among the troopers, and Oliver was permitted to proceed to his camp without further molestation.
Life of Cromwell.
Foote had two natural children, to whom he was much attached. As they were playing about his knees one evening after dinner, a French gentleman present asked him, “ Sont-ils par la même mere, monsieur ?"-" Oui, monsieur,” replied he;
by the same mare, but I have strong doubts whether by the same horse."
Foote's Memoirs, v. 2, p. 103.
Old lord Ligonier took the charge of his nephew, when commanding the British forces abroad, and at the commencement of the first engagement he was greatly exasperated at the timidity which was evinced by his elève, who excused himself, on the score of the novelty of the dreadful scene; as the slaughter increased, the young man's fear became less conspicuous, until musket ball not only levelled to the earth a soldier who was at his side, but splashed his coat with the brains of the deceased. On witnessing this, a visible emotion was depictured on the features of the young soldier, which was noticed by the enraged uncle, who, with a bitter imprecation, vowed that his nephew was a poltron, and only fit to be tied to his mother's apron
string. “I beg your pardon, uncle," replied the nephew, archly, and looking at his bedaubed regimental coat,
“ I am not afraid, but am only astonished to find that a skull here should be possessed of brains at all.”
WHEN general O'Kelly was introduced to Louis XIV. soon after the battle of Fontenoy, his majesty observed, that Clare's regiment behaved well in that engagement. “ Sire," said the general," they behaved well, it is true; many of them were wounded : but my regiment behaved better, for we were all killed!”
Stultifera Navis, p. 240,
TaE virgin Mary of Atocha is made of wood, yet is seen melting into tears at the pathetic parts of a sermon annually prached before her every Good Friday. On such occasions, the spectators cannot help sharing in the bitternes of the virgin's
One day, the preacher, having exerted all his powers of oratory with the usual effect, perceived among his crying congregation a carpenter, who looked on with a dry eye. wretch!” exclaimed the sacred orator--what-not weep!--not discover the smallest emotion, when you see the holy virgin herself dissolved in tears!”. « Ah, reverend father," replied the carpenter," it was I, who fixed up that statue yesterday in its niche: in order to fasten the virgin properly, I was obliged to drive three great nails in her backside : 'twas then she would have cried, had she been able.” Light reading at Leisure Hours, p. 294.
When lord Stair was ambassador at Paris during the
regency, he gave orders to his coachman to give way
to nobody except the king, meaning that an English ambassador should take the pass even of the regent, but without naming him. The host was seen coming down a street through which the coach passed. Colonel Young, who was master of the horse, rode to the window of the coach, and asked lord Stair, if he would be pleased to give way to God Almighty? he answered, “ By all means, but none else;" and then stepping out of the coach, paid respect to the religion of the country in which he was, and kneeled in a very dirty street.
NOTWITHSTANDING the modern vocabulary of honour, which tells a man to risk his life, because another treads upon the tail of his dog; I must
nevertheless affirm, that such conduct has nothing to do with real courage; for there are but very few injuries of such a glaring nature as to demand the blood of a fellow creature at the hands of another. Would it argue real courage, let me ask, for a man of a delicate and weak habit
, and quite devoid of skill, to put his strength in opposition to an experienced bruiser? or would it redound to the credit of an individual who had never fired a pistol, to place himself within twelve paces of a man who could hit a crown piece at 30 yards, and who was to have the first shot into the bargain; if such be the standard bravery, and the touchstone of honour, I must certainly coincide with Falstaff, swhen he exclaims,
" What is honour? a word—What is that word honour? Air; a trim reckoning. Who hath it? He that died a Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. Is it insensible then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No."
Dr. Paley, in his political and moral philosophy, very justly observes, that honour is nothing more than a law instituted by one certain class of people which is to act as a tie upon another, having no reference whatever, either to religion or morality; and with respect to that species of honour which prompts a man to rush headlong into ruin, it is invariably the rule, that if the actor succeeds, he is crowned with the applause of the multitude; whereas, if he fails, he is sure to be as uniVersally reprehended.
Modorn Ship of Fools, p. 223.
A mercantile acquaintance of Foote, would one day after dinner read him a poem of his own composing, and pompously began :
me, O Phoebus! and ye muses nine! Pray be attentive." _“ I am," said Foote, “ nine and one are ten; go on.
Foote's Memoirs, v. 2, p. 61.
When Dr. Franklin was asked, why those who had acquired more wealth than was sufficient for all the purposes of comfort, should still desire to increase it? he answered, “ That avarice was the most natural and common of all the human passions," and illustrated his assertion by giving to
a child, then in the room, a large apple. The moment it had taken it, he offered it another, which it also received; and before it could dispose of either, he presented a third: it vainly tried to hold it in its little hands, and at last, in a passion of tears, threw itself and the fruit on the floor.-“ Is not this child the political baby who grasps at more than it can enjoy, and will find insatiable desire terminate in disappointment?"
A gentleman who had the ill fate to have a son very weak in his intellects, was continually recommending silence, as the best method of hiding his imperfection. It so happened, that the father took his son to an entertainment, and, for want of room to sit together, they were obliged to take separate seats. After dinner, two gentlemen, opposite to the son, differed in opinion npon a subject they were discoursing about; and, rather than have a serious dispute, they agreed to leave it to the gentleman opposite to them. They then stated the case, and desired his opinion. The son was silent. They waited a little while and again desired him to decide.-Still he kept silence. The gentlemen, looking stedfastly at him, exclaimed: "Why, the fellow is a fool!" Upon which the son started up, and called out, “ Father, father, they have found me out.”
Lounger's Pocket Book, p. 161. The ancient house of Ruthsen, in the Highlands of Scotland, once the seat of the unfortunate Gow.