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An Athenian, one day, reproached Anacharsis, for his being a Scythian: “My country,” replied he, “ dishonours me; but you are a dishonour to your country." He was asked, What was the best, and what the worst thing, which men possess? “ The tongue," replied he. Fenelon's Life of Anacharsis, v. 1, p. 178.
An instance of a singular challenge occurs in the biography of lieutenant-colonel Wood, a distinguished officer in queen Anne's reign.
A Frenchman at Ghent, being detected in cuining false money, was tried and condeinned. When he was put to the rack, he confessed that a major De Fuiney, of lord Galway's regiment, was an accomplice; but, before his execution (which was done by throwing him into a cauldron of red-hot oil,) he as strenuously denied it: nevertheless, the major would have surely met the same fate, if the generosity of the English governor had not protected him till the army went into the field, which was in 1697; when the major was ordered to be tried by a court-martial, of which colonel Wood was president, and the major was broken and declared mcapable of ever again serving. At this, his friends were so enraged, that they talked freely, and even scandalously, concerning the decision of the court. On colonel Wood's hearing of this, it so much hurt him, that he posted the following general challenge on a church-door at Brussels :
“Whereas the proceedings of the court-martial which cashiered major Abraham de Fuiney, and whereof I was president, have been scandalously
misrepresented to the world by some of his nation; I do hereby declare, that if any Frenchmer, of what rank in the army, or quality whatsoever, have said or do say, that the court-martial which cashiered the said De Fuiney, has done him any injustice, they are rascals, cowards, and villains, and do scandalously lie: and, that they all may know who it is that has publicly set up this declaration, to vindicate the honour of his nation, of the court-martial, and of himself, and to throw the villanous scandal upon themselves, which most unworthily they would have put upon an English court-martial, I have hereunto set my name,
“ CORNELIUS Wood." The Frenchmen in our service were alarmed at this general challenge: all of them thought themselves concerned therein, but more particularly the major's brother; who sent the colonel a letter, somewhat of the nature of a challenge. He gave it to his aid-de-camp, charging him to say nothing of the contents to any person whatever; and then riding to Brussels, met his antagonist in the park, when he pushed so vigorously at him, that the Frenchman chose rather to trust to his heels than his sword, and the colonel being in very heavy boots, could not overtake him before he got out at the gate. The colonel having thus put his life at stake in vindication of the honour of his country, had run as great a hazard by fighting in the park belonging to the court of Brussels, it being death by the law of the country: but the ladies interposing for the life of so gallant a man, procured his pardon from the elector of Bavaria ; on receiving
which he said, “ that he was ignorant of the laws of the country; yet, if it had been at the altar, he would have answered a challenge where the honour of the English nation was concerned,"
Life of Col. Wood. The late dean Swift, of eccentric memory, once preached a charity sermon at St Patrick's Church, Dublin, the length of which disgusted many of his auditors; which coming to his knowledge, and it falling to his lot soon after to preach another sermon of the like kind in the same place, he took special care to avoid falling into the former
His test was, “ He that hath pity upon the poor, lendeth unto the Lord, and that which he hath given, will he pay him again." The dean, after repeating his text in a more than commonly emphatical tone, added, “Now, my beloved brethren, you hear the terms of this loan; if you like the security, down with your dust.” It is worthy of remark, that the quaintness and brevity of this sermon produced a very large contribution.
Anecdotes of Swift.
UPON the decease of one of the Guarauno Indians, who inhabit a part of the Spanish possessions, in South America, his companions take up the corpse, and throw it into the river Oronooko, tied with a cord, which they fasten to a tree. On the following day they drag out the carcass; when they find it a skeleton, perfectly clean and white, stripped of the flesh, which has been devoured by fish. They disjoint the bones, and lay them up
curiously in a basket, which they hang upon the roof of the house.
Among the Laplanders, especially the rustics, inhabiting Finmark, there is a custom, that when in a scarcity of tobacco, ten or even more smoke by turns from the same, pipe. They so order it; they set down in a circle, then he who is fond of a pipe and tobacco, after a few whiffs, from his seat, offers the pipe to him who sets next to him, who, taking also two or three whiffs, passes the pipe to his next map, and thus on, until the owner, shall have equally shared it among all his companions ; a courtesy of this kind is esteemed very liberal and honourable in that nation, and he, who performs it, obtains considerable favor among them.
Leems' Account of Danish Lapland. THERE was a time in this kingdom, when letters were so low, that whoever could
himself, in a court of justice, able to read a verse in the New Testament, was vested with the highest privileges; and a clergyman, who knew any thing of grammar, was looked upon as a prodigy. In those enlightened days, a rector of a parish, as we are told, going to law with his parishioners about paving the church, quoted this authority, as from St. Peter : “ paveant illi, non paveam ego;" which he construed," they are to pave the church, not I:" and this was allowed to be good law by a judge, who was an ecclesiastic too. Alfred the Great complained, towards the end of the ninth century, that from the Humber to the Thames there was
not a priest, who understood the liturgy in his mother-tongue, or who could translate the easiest piece of latin:” and a correspondent of Abelard, about the middle of the twelfth, complimenting him upon a resort of pupils from all countries, says, " that even Britain, distant as she was, sent her savages to be instructed by him”-remota Britania sua animalia erudienda destinabat.
If the clergy had then, as they are said to have had, all the learning among themselves, what a blessed state must the laity have been in ? And so indeed it appears,
for there is extant an old act of parliament, which provides, that “a nobleman shall be entitled to the benefit of his clergy, even though he cannot read :. and another law, cited by judge Rolls in his abridgement, sets forth, that “the command of the sheriff to his officer, by word of mouth, and without writing, is good; for it may be, that neither the sheriff nor his officer can write or read.”
AFTER the action near Breslaw in Silesia, between the Prussians and the Austrians, which preceded the battle of Lissa, and before the two armies met in this latter contest, a French soldier in Frederic's service, who had just deserted, was stopped, and conducted to the king. “Why did you leave me?" said Frederic. “Because," answered the soldier, “ your affairs are too desperate.”_"Well,” replied the king, “ go back to your colours. We shall have another battle soon; and, if I lose it, come and find me out, and you and I will desert together."
Military Mentor, v. 1, p. 236.